Football Trade Directory

Manchester City installing new 'supersized' LED screens

Manchester City have begun the installation of a new ‘Supersized LED’ two-tier digital display system around the perimeter of the Etihad Stadium pitch.

According to the club and media evaluation agency Nielsen Sports, the new system will be commercially the most valuable pitch-side media space in the Premier League.

The new system will be operational towards the end of the 2020-21 season and will be supplied by the club’s newly-signed sponsor, Unilumin, a Chinese LED display solutions brand.

The club believes the system offers three key benefits: two tiers of screens that can synchronise to act as one super-sized pitch-side presence; content that can be mirrored across the two tiers to deliver twice the exposure of a traditional LED system; and the ability to display multiple aspects of the same campaign across the two levels with options for different messages or languages.

The advanced high-definition screens will also allow for the display of “brighter, more vibrant colours in animations and designs”, the club said, and maintain a sharp image even as a still or in super slow motion.

Peter Laundy, vice-president, director of partnership marketing and creative at City Football Group, commented: “Premium pitch-side media remains one of football’s most valued marketing assets. Our bespoke ‘Supersized LED’ system will provide an exciting new platform to engage with our fans, as well as drive ever greater value for our partners through the highest impact pitch-side brand moments in the Premier League.”

Gary Dixon, head of business unit marketing teamsport at Puma, the club’s kit supplier, endorsed the system. “For Puma, pitch-side media space is a hugely powerful tool for commu­nicating our brand and products to football fans around the world,” he said. “The versatility and capability of Manchester City’s new ‘Supersized LED’ will transform the way we approach our creative design and take our matchday content to a new level.”

English clubs have taken a gradual approach to implementing two rows of LED boards – where stadium infra­struc­ture and sightlines allow – with Stoke City being the first team to do so in 2012. Premier League side Wolver­hampton Wanderers introduced a double-row perimeter LED system in 2018 that allows sponsors to display their logos to television viewers with double the height.

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