Creative Solutions Produce Bold, Colorful, Dynamic Content for Chesapeake Energy Arena

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thunder-0313The Chesapeake Energy Arena has undergone renovations this past year, adding eight new types of digital signage displays consisting of 10 projectors, 36 MicroTiles and 166 flat-panels. Their purpose includes sponsor advertisement, marketing messages and directional information. Earlier renovations included a new HD video board to enhance the in-game entertainment.


The Chesapeake Energy Arena is home to the NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, but also hosts concerts and other first-class events throughout the year. Content is set on a two-minute loop with 8-, 10- or 12-second animations that rotate throughout the event. The objective of these boards is a combination of informing our customer base, promoting our brand and upcoming events, as well as sponsor advertising.


Three main challenges were faced in the beginning phase of the project. Due to the size of a few of our boards, creating animation-heavy content proved to be too laborious for the machines. Constantly looking for solutions hindered the workflow and the overall efficiency of the creative process.

Preparing content for play-out became the next challenge. The system Oklahoma City Thunder uses requires individual movies for each monitor in the display wall. For example, one display wall is composed of 22 monitors meaning 22 movies for each message.

Due to storage constraints coupled with the file size of the animations, finding the best codec for the system became another challenge.


Two solutions for creating content for the larger boards were found. The first solution consisted of breaking the animation into three main regions. Then those regions were synchronized to make the full animation. The second solution, which was found to have more upside, was to build the animations half-size. This created a more efficient design process for many reasons.

To prepare the content for play-out, templates were created in After Effects to streamline the process.

Finding the best codec for the system involved trial and error. Based on the contraints faced, WMV worked the best.


The new digital signage program provided a lift of over $1 million of incremental sponsorship sales. The dynamic nature of the platform, allowing for customized and fluid messaging, enhanced the advertiser value and is driving opportunities to add more boards throughout our venue. Additionally, it provides a canvas for institutional messaging that is consistent with our brand attributes — bold, colorful, dynamic and real-time content that is tailored to the event. Finally, the opportunity to drive event attendees to specific points of interest, concession stands, merchandise kiosks, etc. has improved the guest experience as well.

This case study was reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here.