Inside Air Canada Centre’s $3M Digital Signage Transformation

The home of Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors uses Omnivex Moxie software to manage extensive digital signage network.>

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The deployment features 14 unique display configurations using a variety of display technologies. In some cases, one player is running one screen, in others one player is driving a four-screen diamond, and there is even one case of a single player driving 42 screens that form a multi dimensional video sculpture. Video walls of many shapes and sizes are located throughout different areas of the concourse.

The system also includes content displayed on large, full color LED boards and long LED tickers. There are even cylindrical 360-degree LED video displays on the network. In other areas of the facility, projectors are displaying content on large areas of a wall. All of these various types and configurations of displays are managed remotely using Moxie software.

“We walked the concourses 100 times to get a real clear understanding of how to engage people,” Brown says. “[The signs] were designed for that space, not just monitors stuck on the wall.”

The arena remained open throughout the installation, Brown says, adding to the level of stress and need for organization.

PHOTOS: Air Canada Centre’s Unique Digital Signage

“The level of coordination had to be very high with all of those contractors running in and out,” he says.

Phase one of Air Canada Centre’s digital signage system was unveiled for fans and guests during the Maple Leafs’ preseason game against the Boston Bruins on Sept. 16, 2009, more than two weeks after the target date of Sept. 1. Fortune smiled on arena staffers when a WWE event set for Sept. 7 was canceled. Even so, Brown and his colleagues learned a lesson.

“You have to be very clear on your time line and be sure to let everyone know,” he says. “Our private joke was to add your own personal buffer but don’t tell anyone about that.”

In 2010, MLSE expanded the Moxie powered deployment to include concession stand digital menu boards and POP displays. Subsequent phases of the digital signage deployment have been identified, both at Air Canada Centre and at other facilities managed or owned by MLSE.

“Once the system, we had a whole different team of people to keep it up and running,” Brown says. “That’s a lot of content to fill.”

Cineplex staffers worked with MLSE employees for the first year or so, but the content—an average of four hours per event, with each clip running seven to 10 seconds—is now managed in-house.

Benefits Of Digital Signage

Advertising space is sold on the screens based on “prime” time (when there are more people out in the concourse, such as during an intermission) and “fringe” time (when the game is on and fewer people are in the concourse).

Moxie software has the tools to automatically determine which ads to play and how often based on whether they are operating on fringe or prime time. The system also allows for all of the screens throughout the facility to change to a special sponsor branded message when desired, such as when a goal is scored.