tennis canada logoToday we announced that Tennis Canada, the national governing body for Tennis in Canada, has selected ScreenScape to power a nationwide place-based media network that will power screens inside Tennis clubs and related venues across Canada.  It’s gratifying to see a leading sporting organization, like Tennis Canada, recognize the potential of place-based media and decide to lead the way in forming a coordinated network of Internet-connected screens.  In the process they, along with partners like the Ontario Tennis Association, are becoming exemplars of our technology for Tennis clubs across the country.

Simplicity, security, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, the four attributes of our NEW approach to place-based media that our customers seem to cite time and time again as their reasons for choosing ScreenScape, are no doubt key factors here again in Tennis Canada’s decision.  While those are some of the key differentiators of OUR unique approach to building place-based media networks, let’s take a step back and look at the factors that make place-based media, as a medium, attractive to an organization like Tennis Canada.  Here are five (of many) ways place-based media can help a sporting organization like Tennis Canada.

  1. Engagement.   Whether it’s at the grass roots level, a local tennis club that’s looking to drive participation and increase its membership, or at a national level where an organization like Tennis Canada is trying to grow the sport of Tennis among our youth, the simple task of connecting and controlling screens inside sporting venues leads directly into the formation of a powerful communications platform for engaging the tennis community at large.   All those images and videos that tennis fans and athletes are posting on social media can be directed to screens inside tennis clubs.   All those event notices and registration deadlines can be posted to screens, not just in one club, but dozens of clubs, or even neighbouring venues, simultaneously.  How about tournament results?  Player accolades?  Rule changes?  Of course.  It’s one thing to mail out your paper bulletins….but to engage with today’s connected customer it can certainly help to use a new and highly democratic form of communication like place-based media which not only amplifies the reach of official notices but opens up the discourse, turning passive viewers into active producers of digital content, active participants in a conversation.
  2. Education.   If you search Youtube you’ll find that hundreds of sporting organizations are using Youtube videos to inform and educate their audience with instructional videos.   But how many of those organizations are actively directing those videos to the places where their core audience tends to congregate?   Not enough.  Using simple plug & play devices to power screens inside each club,  Tennis Canada can now take an instructional video like this one, “How to Fix Your Ball Toss“, and quickly get it in front of all the young students of the game.   Watching the video on premise at a Tennis club makes sense.  It helps to start a timely conversation in the very place where an instructor or mentor may be on hand, where they can actually try their hand at some new exercises.
  3. Events.  Place-based media systems aren’t as complicated as the broadcasting systems of the past.  ScreenScape Connect offers the Tennis Community a simple plug & play device for getting any screen connected, and easy-to-use web-based software for quickly creating and editing their content.   This simplicity and ease-of-use means it’s easy to setup a screen network and easy to change programming on a timely basis, for a day or  for a weekend.  That permanent on-premises place-based media network you’ve set up for your Tennis club, which might be used to advance promote an upcoming event, can also be packed up and transferred.  It can double as a temporary digital notice board, on location, to brand and to provide logistic support for a specific tournament or sponsor event.
  4. Coordination.  An important mandate of a national governing body is to develop close working relationships with its key stakeholders.  In this case, an organization like Tennis Canada wants to foster coordination with local tennis clubs, and with regional associations such as the Ontario Tennis Association.  Today’s place-based media can help significantly in this area.   Individual tennis clubs can operate their own screens and feature their own specialized local programming while, at the same time, they can participate as members of any number of regional or national networks.   As a central body, Tennis Canada can provide leadership and coordination through the direct dissemination of content to local tennis clubs.  This helps the local and regional bodies with their programming and makes it easy for the entire collective to stay coordinated.
  5. Sponsorship.   Sporting organizations depend on the ongoing support of community and corporate sponsorships.   Using monetization strategies, sporting organizations can use place-based media to offer their sponsors a new and powerful way to reach their audience.   For the sporting organization this creates new opportunities to drive revenue at every level:  local, regional, and national.   Because individual locations can be aggregated into groups, to form large scale networks, it only takes a little bit of coordination by a regional or national body to pool hundreds of screens that collectively can reach an entire regional or national audience.  In this case, by inviting hundreds of tennis clubs to join their group, Tennis Canada can add a national place-based media network to the list of marketing vehicles they can offer a major sponsor.

We congratulate Tennis Canada, as well as others like the Ontario Tennis Association, that have come before them, in pioneering this new and exciting initiative – an Internet of screens for the tennis community.   We invite all sporting organizations, large and small, to follow suit and discover the power of a simple plug & play device to empower and energize their community.

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