Zero printed signage at major stadiums

Signage around the perimeters of some large-scale Aussie sporting venues will now be digitised instead of printed.

Australian cricket stadiums are preparing to use all digital boards to broadcast advertising during this season’s tests and 20/20 matches, but opportunities for printed sports signage have not dried up.

Signage printer company Stadium Signs has designed signs for sports venues such as the MCG for over 27 years, and according to director Pamela Hammond, the shift to digital signs is a positive prospect for the business.

“It’s really been a blessing, you can either play the victim or you can look for the fresh business and opportunities that it can give you,” she says.

“There’s still an enormous demand for printed signage in Australian sport, and we now look to other sports events such as Tough Mudder and the Pacific School Games in Adelaide.”

“Every day we change and develop. We now produce signage for social media events too, such as giant hash-tags,” Hammond told ProPrint.

The business has shifted from a stadium-only focus to more outdoor events, which Stadium Signs says has given it ‘amazing’ opportunities.

[Related: Printing for sport]

Stadium Signs recently installed a new flatbed printer and electron digital cutting machine which, according to Hammond, has increased productivity ten-fold.

“Flatbed means everything dries instantly and is on its way to clients within minutes,” she says.

“We now produce hard-signage all year round, not just during sporting seasons, so the digital signage has given us a kick up the backside.”

While Hammond says printer business models can become outdated and ‘die out like dinosaurs’, the company has taken on fresh clients and opportunities to keep up with print-on-demand culture.

“We didn’t let ourselves think we’ve gone down the tube because of LED signage,” she says.

The positive reception of digitisation is also echoed by Outdoor Media Association chief executive Charmaine Moldrich.

Moldrich says there is an evolution in the industry and a lot of companies are moving towards LED advertising.

“It’s a no brainer that the world is moving towards digitisation generally and the same goes for out-of-home media,” she says.

“The evolution is not an issue and is positive for the industry that I work in. It is naive to believe that digital doesn’t increase the opportunities for OOH media operators, advertisers and consumers alike.”

Moldrich also says printed signage is still ‘alive and well’ and that it won’t be a completely digital space.

“Currently only 25.3 per cent of our income is from digital advertising,” she says.

“Out of the 78,000 or so advertising spaces we sell, the majority of them are still printed faces, and it is costly to digitise- something you don’t worry about with printed.”

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