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Knicks To Be First NBA Franchise To Use Courtside LED Signs

The Sports Business Journal reports that the NBA has agreed to allow the Knicks to use LED courtside technology to help increase advertising revenue.

Until now, the NBA prohibited teams from using LED technology along the scorer’s table mainly because of player safety issues from the surface-mounted lights protruding from the LED signs.

But league officials gave the Knicks the green light on a new LED system after a test this summer during the WNBA Liberty home games with new LED signs by Mitsubishi that are recessed and spring mounted to the scorer’s table to protect players. ANC worked with the Knicks to create the software integration of the new signage.

The result is a new LED system that Knicks and NBA officials said allows for more customized courtside advertising inventory along with the ability for teams to tie all their scoreboard and ribbon-board LED down to court level, improving the in-game presentation.

The LED signage is considered a significant advance from the rotational signs, used by 20 teams, and the DLP or rear digital projection systems used courtside by the other teams. The LED signage will also be used to run real-time statistics and the customary fan prompts beginning with the first pre-season game on October 13th, at the Knicks’ first pre-season game against the 76ers.  According to the Knicks, the courtside signage in the MSG bowl will be coordinated with the digital signage “including MSG’s GardenVision center hung scoreboard and ribbon boards circling the middle-level, creating a 360 degree experience for fans and partners.”

But the NBA hopes the real impact is the enhancement of advertising (branding)opportunities for their sponsors (“partners” is the corporate term) and consequently more revenue for the teams.

“The advantages are it allows us to drive revenue and offer full integration opportunities with our sponsors,” said MSG Sports President Scott O’Neil. “But it allows us to better entertain fans as well.” O’Neil would not disclose the cost of the new system and said that the Knicks are repricing the value of their courtside advertising.

Steve Hellmuth, executive vice president of operations and technology for the NBA, said the DLP systems are more cumbersome than the sleeker new LED panel.

“The LED is thinner and more compact,” Hellmuth said. “The viewing angles are better, but just as important is that you can run game information and statistics, which makes it more valuable to advertisers because people will look at the signage more.”

Personally, new signage doesn’t move me one way or the other.  More real-time statistics is certainly a good thing for the fan, but a better product would be the best thing MSG could give fans in exchange for the price of a ticket.

Basketball Space Filler copy copy


September 24, 2009 - Posted by | Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks | ,


  1. Can we advertise this site on the MSG LED sign(s)? We can then propose different ads throughout the season:

    “Frustrated, Furious and Fed Up, But Still a Knick Fan, You Can Find Friends at:

    Or “Blog your Knick Blues Away on the Best Sports Blog in Cyberspace:

    Some of you might have other suggestions.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | September 25, 2009 | Reply

    • Yeah postup! Might I add:
      now finish that $20.00 hotdog and $15.00 flat Pepsi.

      Comment by Peaceman | September 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. Say Admin–set this poll up for the count. Steady votes for #1 and promptly contribute my 1/43rd royalties to making it real. If WordPress knows what’s good, they’d step up too.

    Sheer wit PUP–are you “capped-out” yet?
    Just bloging!


    Comment by Steady | September 25, 2009 | Reply

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