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Volume 20 No. 42
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NBA looks at LED stanchion signs

System offers potential for animation, syncing with other arena ads

As the NBA debates the merits of putting advertising on uniforms, league officials also are asking club marketers to consider new on-court signage that could be in place as soon as next season — an LED system that would sit on the basket stanchion.

The sign system, from Dorna/Van Wagner, would replace static signage from ANC.
The LED backboard arm sign from Dorna/Van Wagner allows for limited animation. It would replace the static basket profile stanchion signage from rival sign provider ANC, which has been used in NBA arenas since 2007 and was in 21 NBA arenas during the 2011-12 regular season, all carrying State Farm signs.

The newer Dorna sign was tested in the NBA Development League and select college games during the last two seasons. At the recent meeting of team marketers in Toronto, league officials collected data about current stanchion signage deals and asked whether club marketers would be interested in the new signage. Not surprisingly, most were, especially those playing in arenas that they do not own.

As is true now, if approved, the signage would be local inventory for games televised only in the local market and national inventory for nationally televised games. The LED system would allow for sales to more than one advertiser and for that valuable basket signage to sync with other on-court and in-arena advertising, or even TV ads.

Meanwhile, league marketers still have to figure out what restrictions there would be as far as the use of signs during game action and other uses that would be objectionable to anyone involved in game operations.

“You don’t want it to be distracting to the degree that someone is taking a three-pointer from the corner and the signage lights up before the ball comes down,” said one involved marketer.

As for a timetable for implementation, next season is the earliest possible scenario, with one source noting that it might be tested by a few teams before a leaguewide rollout.