NEC Display Solution client installation Entertainment, Leisure & Hospitality
M&S Bank Arena Liverpool
Making the digital transformation
There are many stakeholders who gain from digital communications; at the recently rebranded M&S Bank Arena Liverpool the system provides an enhanced visitor experience whilst delivering operational efficiencies and providing a medium for outreach for sponsors and advertisers. NEC display technology is utilised to meet the needs of all parties with high quality, high resolution digital surfaces.
A multipurpose venue for entertainment, conferences and exhibitions, Liverpool’s event campus plays a key role in the city’s economic development. First operational in 2008, the arena hosted the official opening ceremony for the Capital of Culture which marked a decade of regeneration in the city. The later addition of an exhibition centre and premium hotel sees the site well placed to attract businesses to its world-class conferencing, entertainment, exhibition and banqueting facilities.
Owned by Liverpool City Council and managed by The ACC Liverpool Group Ltd, the venue strives to be at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural and economic success. In order to continue to attract business and visitors to the city, the operators recognised the need to maintain its cutting-edge environment and embarked on a digital transformation.
Following a competitive tender process, Pioneer Group was selected to deliver the digital transformation project at M&S Bank Arena, comprising multipurpose concourse displays to communicate wayfinding alongside advertising and food and beverage messaging throughout the entire arena. The digital offering brings benefits to a wide group of stakeholders with screen time offered as part of a sponsorship package whilst also providing content tailored to current and upcoming events.
“We had previous knowledge of the venue and experience in other stadium projects; our advice regarding the utilisation and content strategy for the displays meant that we were able to achieve two VIP video walls within the budget - a great added value for the arena,” explains Paul Childerhouse, group director for Pioneer Group. “We in turn chose to work with NEC, based on the robust design and high resolution of their displays, enabling us to deliver a variety of content.”
The NEC Solution
In total, 29 NEC Ultra-High Definition 75-inch displays were installed throughout the North, East and West concourse areas of M&S Bank Arena. There are 22 displays on the outer concourse mounted from the ceiling in a portrait orientation; 20 of these displays are positioned in a back to back formation, with the additional two displays mounted singularly. On the inner concourse, seven displays are wall mounted in both landscape and portrait.
“We specified NEC for this project as its products are best suited to the needs of the client who required 4K UHD resolution,” says Paul. “The 75-inch dimension of the screen is crucial to enable multiple content windows to be displayed simultaneously, optimising digital revenue for the venue, showcasing internal messaging and advertising simultaneously, whilst still delivering excellent quality imagery.”
The installation also features two video walls using NEC 55-inch displays. These are placed in 1 x 4 portrait formation to best fit the entrance walls to the VIP area. With high footfall along huge concourses, NEC’s robust design is essential to withstand the often harsh environment of public spaces. The large screen size and UHD resolution ensures content attracts the attention of audiences far away whilst remaining clearly readable at close range. Paul confirms: “We advised on the positioning and viewing distances for displays on the concourse to ensure that the arena maximised its investment and the audience experience.”
This is the first major digital installation on the concourse area. The high quality displays enhance the experience for visitors whilst providing advertising opportunities for sponsors and local businesses. M&S Bank Arena is intrinsic to the local economy and its commitment to keeping the facility up to date as an attractive venue proposition is an essential element to future-proofing its success.
“A full understanding of the client’s requirements enabled our team of experienced engineers to deliver a solution to a high standard and within the timeframe specified. We worked closely with the arena team and with NEC to achieve exactly what was needed, delivering a solution which worked for all stakeholders.”
Rob March, head of partnerships and hospitality sales at M&S Bank Arena, confirms: “Pioneer Group fulfilled our requirements to install NEC digital display screens as part of our major rebrand to M&S Bank Arena. It was a comprehensive brief and a challenging install working around our busy events programme but Pioneer Group ensured the project ran as smoothly as possible and were a pleasure to work with.”
“We are pleased with the results, the NEC displays are fantastic quality and we have received positive feedback from clients and customers.”