Parc y Scarlets Rugby Stadium Case Study
Scarlets delivers top-class fan experience with an Exterity IPTV solution
Founded in 2003 by the Welsh Rugby Union, The Scarlets are a professional rugby union team based in south-west Wales.
The team recently moved to the new Parc y Scarlets stadium in nearby Pemberton, which opened in November 2008. The stadium’s main stand is located on the south side of the ground, and houses the Scarlets museum and club shop, as well as a sports bar, the players’ changing room and gym. The capacity in the stadium, including the terrace area is 14,870.
Even before a single brick was laid, The Scarlets knew they wanted to deliver a top class visitor experience for every single rugby fan. They decided the best way to guarantee each visitor had a memorable day out, would be to provide them access to a live feed of the match wherever they were in the stadium. It was a priority for The Scarlets that fans in the restaurants and cafes, as well as visitors in hospitality boxes and players in the changing rooms could experience every minute of each game.
It was clear that a traditional coax TV system would not suffice. Not only could the system not handle the sheer size of the stadium – as the quality of the signal would be compromised over longer distances - but it was not a future-proof solution. System expansion and adding extra channels over and above the set numbers supported by RF modulator set ups would be time consuming and expensive, causing an inconvenience for the IT department, should the need for expansion arise.
The IT team was tasked with finding a cost-effective alternative that would be fast and easy to deploy. The perfect solution would not only counter these problems, but also reflect the design and build quality of the stadium.
“The fan experience is our main concern. As such, we wanted a way to keep the fans abreast of the match, as well as future event information from any location in the stadium, which helps solidify their relationship with the Scarlets, and keeps them coming back for more.”
An Exterity network IPTV system proved to be the ideal solution. The system was deployed by partner Link Telecom in a matter of days, and was instantly able to deliver live coverage of every match directly from the pitch to 56 LCD screens mounted throughout the stadium as well as their 4x7 metre Big Screen, ensuring that every single rugby fan in the stadium does not miss a maul, try, tackle, penalty, or scrum.
“As part of the telephony solution for voice and data, the IP infrastructure is one of the main components of any new build so it makes financial sense to use this asset as much as possible. By using the Exterity solution, the Scarlets can cost-effectively deliver high-quality TV and video that would have traditionally required a costly and inflexible coaxial system,” adds Steve Tomlison, Business Systems Director at Link Telecom. Working with Exterity, Link Telecom was responsible for the ‘ground up’ installation at the new stadium.
“The Exterity deployment is scalable, and streams high-quality video content to any location in the stadium. This helps boost enjoyment, and helps to ensure that everyone visiting the stadium has a great day out, which is what a sports event is all about.”
Thanks to the Exterity system, fans can rest assured that they will not miss a single minute of the match. Getting a mid-game snack no longer risks missing an important play as match developments are displayed live throughout the stadium. In addition, players in the changing rooms as well as employees in the back office are always included in the fun, as they too can watch the live matches.
The Scarlets also benefit financially from the IPTV solution, as the deployment gives the team the ability to generate future ticket sales by promoting events, as well as generating additional revenue via advertising and retail sales.
Furthermore, adding a new screen is as simple as connecting an additional Exterity media player to the network. The scalability of the solution means that should the stadium expand or requirements increase, the addition of screens is not a concern to the IT team.
The Exterity IP video solution also maximises The Scarlets’ new network, making management and upkeep even easier. And when the games are not in progress, live TV, ads and video content can be viewed on all the LCD screens and PC desktops around the ground.
“Going to a rugby match is so much more than just watching a game, it is all about the visitor experience. By ensuring that fans don’t miss a second of the match, regardless of where they are in the stadium, The Scarlets are providing them with a memorable and fun day out. This ensures that not only will fans keep coming back, but they will also bring their family and friends,” says Colin Farquhar, CEO, Exterity.