Van Wagner Helps NCAA Keep Fans Informed

NCAA March Madness

(from Sports Business Journal, March 25, 2013)  For this year’s tournament, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is focusing on improving the attending fan experience.  In past years, attending a NCAA tournament game meant that one had to sacrifice seeing real-time highlights and other video elements from any other games going on at the same time.  This will no longer be the case.  Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s Executive Vice President for Championships and Alliances, has lead an effort to include more video, making the experience at a tournament game much like the one fans have on campus.  NCAA is now working with Van Wagner Big Screen Network (BSN) to present “March Madness Central.”  Using this, the NCAA now features game highlights, score updates, and even replays of big plays from other tournament games.  Paul Kalil, CEO of Van Wagner BSN, comments on the plan saying, “It really ties together the tournament into one experience for the fans, no matter where they are. Fans don’t have to get scores off their phone or wait until they get home to see highlights.”

To make this fan experience come to life, Van Wagner BSN is incorporating the video updates along with a “March Madness Central” banner onto the video boards that are already permanent in the venue.  However, in some venues, they are adding their own video boards as well as LED scorer’s tables.  For example, for the Final Four in the Georgia Dome, Van Wagner BSN is creating a 150,000 pound, eight-sided video board.  NCAA also put Van Wagner BSN in charge of creating more in-game entertainment for the fans.  For each team, they are producing videos which highlight flashbacks, classic moments, features on star athletes, texting and polling questions, and much more.  As a final highlight and benefit to the NCAA, they will now have more opportunities for sponsors to be integrated into the tournament games using the video boards.