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ADI a driving force in LED production

LED screens featuring team banners or advertising have been common in stadiums for several years, becoming a staple for professional teams and leagues.  

New technology has grown in leaps and bounds – over a decade ago we were introduced to live matches in HD and have seen increased coverage overall. 

The idea of featuring LED technology in stadiums is something we’ve become accustomed to, as a new level of interaction and engagement has been achieved for the audiences of clubs and venues. 

ADI has been a provider of stadium screen and digital displays for clubs across the UK, venturing to the fourth tier of English football, League Two. As innovations become bigger and powerful, more professional clubs will be keen to find out what that could mean for them. 

As a company, ADI want to be flexible in what they can offer clubs and organisations. 

“Club’s mindsets are changing. It’s no longer a question of whether they can afford LED technology – it’s about thinking how it can be used to drive revenue,” ADI CEO Geraint Williams said. 

“We’re in an age where fans and brands demand more. Fans want a better experience and brands want better value. 

“Failure to deliver is a huge risk for future growth. There are others in the market who simply install a screen or perimeter LED display and walk away without helping clubs understand how to maximise its value. 

“We’re not that kind of supplier. We very much see ourselves as an extension to a club’s commercial team. Increasingly, we’re working with clubs of all sizes to create new models that increase partner revenue over a long-term basis.” 

ADI offers innovation in stadium hardware and as a content producer, to provide clubs with a valuable revenue generation pathway. 

“Revenue Based Design is a term borrowed from the architecture industry. It’s about engineering something in such a way that maximises the revenue derived from it,” Williams said. 

“In architecture, the theory is applied to buildings and spaces, but the same principle works in designing commercial stadium platforms.  

“Our technical and creative teams work hand in hand to create high impact digital platforms that add value to the matchday experience, whilst maximising the revenue potential of the investment. 

ADI have worked hard over the years to be the frontier of LED technology and a major player for clubs trying to find some extra revenue. They’ve been ever-present for teams in the English football pyramid, including Middlesbrough who currently play in the EFL Championship. 

“ADI completely changed the way we thought about the commercialisation of LED technology,” Middlesbrough Chief Operating Officer Mark Ellis said. 

“We invested in a new perimeter LED system over three years ago. As a Championship club we had to completely rethink the model in order to make it commercially viable. 

“ADI helped us to do that – designing a model that delivered incredible results – a 47% increase in partnership revenue and a 16% profit rise. 

“It’s been so successful we’ve since extended the digital stadium platform with ADI’s help.” 

ADI have not just limited themselves to the UK, but they’ve notably contributed for Germany’s top-flight Bundesliga with virtual advertising hardware.  

A ‘Virtual Hybrid’ can deliver different brand adverts into relevant viewing territories by virtually changing the LED content on screen. This means that clubs and venues have more control over what they want their audiences to engage with. Lagardere Sports, German football’s biggest media rights holder, have deployed this for a few seasons and are able to revolutise the way communications are run on a global scale. 

A move into Germany is just the start of ADI’s ambition. They’ve been servicing customers in offices from five continents overall, including France, South Africa and Ireland, as well as the aforementioned UK and Germany. 

There are ADI franchises in South Africa, Northern Africa and right here in Australia, boasting a vast network across the globe. The ADI brand is still growing, with the company open to adding further partners around the world. 

With COVID-19 posing issues for some clubs and organisations, using LED technology and interacting with audiences has become essential in broadcasts, both for club marketing communications and brand or advertising exposure that affect the success of revenue stream. 

You can find out more about how ADI can benefit your club or venue here. 

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Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Never assume ethnicity is the problem, without addressing the behaviour

The association between a violent brawl at a NPL game and Football Australia rescinding the ban on ethnic club names couldn't be further from the fact, and only helps pernicious issues within Australian sporting culture remain unchallenged.

The association between a violent brawl at a National Premier League (NPL) game and Football Australia (FA) rescinding the ban on ethnic club names couldn’t be further from the fact, and only helps pernicious issues within Australian sporting culture remain unchallenged.

The fight between spectators at a NPL game between Rockdale Ilinden and Sydney United 58 on Sunday was an alarming scene of violence. The fight began after a spectator entered the pitch and interfered with a player, which sparked a full-blown melee where objects were thrown by spectators as police were called to quell the conflict.

In the aftermath, media outlets were quick to jump to the narrative that this fight was caused by the FA’s Inclusivity Principles for Club Identity (IPCI). Previously, clubs had been banned from using names that alluded to ethnic boundaries or events at the advent of the A-league and the death of the NSL, under a National Club Identity Policy which was replaced by the IPCI. While the clubs eschewed their ethnic names and insignia during the period this policy was in place, their heritage and supporter base remained untouched.

FA CEO James Johnson was forced to defend the policy on 2GB radio, while host Ray Hadley grilled him on the incident. To argue that the IPCI caused the violence in the stands on Sunday is to ignore a history of violence in Australian sport. Hadley insinuates that this is an issue for football particularly: “It’s almost unheard of in modern-day sport in Australia. Sometimes things get out of hand at Rugby league, Rugby Union, more particularly your sport”. In his favourite sport – one that hasn’t been “captivated by PC BS” as he eloquently states – spectators are regularly charged with assault after violent clashes.

As recently as this year, Parramatta fans fought in a wild brawl with their fellow supporters at a game. The issue is present within AFL, where spectators are regularly charged with assault. In 2018 two men were hospitalised after being attacked after an AFL game in Melbourne by men wearing their club colours proudly. In 2010 at the WACA, during a one-day test between Australia and Pakistan, a spectator stormed the field and tackled a Pakistani player and was charged with assault and trespass. The problem is a cultural one, that is endemic across all of Australian sport. To blame a spectator brawl on something as irrelevant as the name and identity of the clubs involved, while turning a blind eye to a history of violence that is perpetuated throughout Australian sport is to condemn ourselves to never fixing the cause, and never finding the solution.

Even within the world of football, violence between fans is not a new phenomenon despite what critics of the IPCI would like you to think. It happened before the ban on ethnic club names, it happened during the ban, and it will continue to happen after the introduction of the IPCI. Why is this so? Because a small minority of Australian spectators, regardless of their sport, are prone to violence. Violence between spectators is a worldwide phenomenon and amazingly remains so in countries whose populations are homogeneous and don’t divide themselves into clubs based on their heritage or ethnicity.

NSW Police Detective Superintendent Anthony Cooke stated that it was only a small minority of the spectators involved in the melee on Sunday, and there was no clear link to ethnic violence. With the former National Club Identity Policy in place, football was less inclusive of those of other cultures and ethnicity with little benefit to the game, while suppressing communities that embraced the world game.

This isn’t an effort to downplay the violence in the stands on Sunday however, but to blame the IPCI however is to ignore the fact that it is a minority of people who engage in anti-social behaviour. It remains easier to direct fault towards the policy of the FA instead of addresses the cultural issues that remain within football and Australian sport as a whole.

“We need to focus on the behaviours, not the ethnicity,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson stated in his interview with Ray Hadley. To remove spectator violence from all levels of the football pyramid we need to do exactly this. To villainize supporters based on the heritage of the club they support is to ignore the very real dangers of anti-social behaviour that is fuelled by far greater animosity than the name on their badge. Hadley misses this point completely and seems to believe that if the club had an anglicised name then the spectator violence wouldn’t have happened. The evidence shows this is objectively wrong and drawing upon ethnicity is simply a media narrative that damages the clubs and the footballing industry. The NSL, the precursor to the A-league, was severely damaged and ultimately destroyed by this stigma being attached by the media.

Hadley’s and 2GB’s attempted stitch-up of Johnson shouldn’t be a surprise. Football within Australia has a long history of being some sort of ethnic boogeyman, with the foreigner with the strange name being an easy target for disdain. While the FA has made it clear it won’t tolerate this behaviour from spectators, fans, and club officials, it has also taken the correct stance in deciding to punish those who do wrong based solely on their behaviour. While the violent brawl was unacceptable, and those involved need to be heavily punished with bans as Football Australia intends to do, it isn’t unheard of in the slightest. These issues aren’t self-contained to football or ethnically named clubs and are instead just a symptom of a much larger illness in Australian sporting culture. To ignore the violence that continues to permeate with Australian sport in an attempt to blame a policy that
contributes little to the issue will only allow the real causes to remain unchecked.

Signify technology lights up sporting clubs safely 

Signify is the world leader in lighting innovation for professionals, customers and lighting for the Internet of Things. 

Signify is the world leader in lighting innovation, providing their service for professionals, customers and lighting for the Internet of Things. 

Holding a strong presence worldwide, Signify can be found in over 70 countries, featuring approximately 38,000 employees.  

Their energy efficient lighting products, systems and services gives customers a more superior quality of light, which makes theirs and other people’s lives safer and more comfortable, leading onto businesses becoming more productive and cities more liveable. 

As parts of the world still continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Signify can help reduce the risk of viruses and bacteria spreading, especially in large indoor gatherings. It’s their Ultraviolet-C disinfection lighting that has been implemented for the first time at a UK professional sporting club. 

This technology can be found at The Stoop, home to English Gallagher Premiership Rugby Union Club Harlequins. The possibilities as endless for Signify, who can expand to the top four tiers of English football as more clubs can come on board. 

As a case study for how UV-C can be implemented at any team, Signify’s UV-C partner Powercor installed 11 UV-C disinfection upper air units in the Honours Bar of The Stoop. 

In an area that is normally reserved for Season Ticket Members, that section is currently utilised by the home team as their player’s dressing room. As the players are currently the ones to benefit from safety features due to restrictions in the UK, it is thought that once the fans do return to sporting venues, they will be within a more hygienic and safer atmosphere which will become the way forward. 

“Signify is a highly trusted partner and a leader in their field,” Harlequins Chief Executive Officer Laurie Dalrymple said. 

“We are proud to be the first professional sports team in the UK to use UV-C disinfection lighting technology, and we expect to see it widely utilised in future across the sports and events industry.”

Signify have added another layer of analysis for medical purposes as doctors look at ways to manage their players.

Signify’s UV-C disinfection lighting adds an additional layer of protection to the stringent testing and operational processes we have in place to protect the squad,” Harlequins’ Head of Medical Mike Lancaster said. 

“From a medical perspective, I am very satisfied with the way the technology has been tested in depth and fully proven.” 

UV-C is the proven disinfection method that prevents the spread of diseases by disinfecting air, water and surfaces. It breaks down the DNA or RNA of microorganisms to make viruses and bacteria become harmless. Laboratory testing showed that the virus could be clamped down in as little as nine seconds.  

Signify’s partner Powercor have already installed 11 units for Harlequins that are suspended by brackets 800mm from the ceiling. The high position, combined with the luminaires’ design, allows the system to disinfect air as it circulates in the room, even when there are people present. 

Applicable to all sports and venues, this is just the start of the reach that Signify can have with sporting organisations. 

“As a long-term partner of Signify, we are very pleased to extend our professional expertise to UV-C disinfection lighting, which will become increasingly important to our customers in the years ahead,” Powercor Managing Director Richard Grace said. 

“We are proud to play our part in getting the Quins safely to the pitch and creating hygienic spaces for supporters to enjoy the legendary atmosphere of The Stoop once it is considered safe to re-open.” 

Natural convection moves the disinfected air back into the lower part of the room. Shielding and optics in the luminaire’s design will additionally prevent accidental exposure to UV-C radiation.

“Harlequins have a long history at the pinnacle of English rugby. Top athletes work hard to keep their health at an absolute peak, which extends to managing the risks we all now face in crowded public places,” Andy Gowen said, Director Public and Sports Lighting at Signify in the UK & Ireland. 

“We’re very proud to support the Club’s objective to offer players and supporters the very best protection.”

Signify has led the way for UV technology, where they’ve added plenty of innovation and expertise related to UV-C lighting. The way that this lighting is designed, installed and use is treated with care so that safety requirements are made and improves hygiene in a climate where it has never been more important. 

To find out more on Signify and what they can offer sport clubs, you can find it here. 

Sarah Styles appointed as Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation

Sarah Styles has been appointed to the role as Director of Office for Women in Sport and Recreation in Victoria.

Sarah Styles has been appointed to the role as Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation in Victoria.

Beginning with Sport and Recreation Victoria on May 3, 2021, Styles is a highly experienced and well-credentialed sports administrator, where she becomes a valuable addition as a skilled and respected leader, who has been a driving force behind women and girls getting involved in sport.

Styles has a wealth of experience upon taking up the position, with her background featuring roles as an investment banker, and business owner.

Styles is best renowned for her work with Cricket Australia, where she orchestrated a range of initiatives to increase women and girls’ involvement and inclusion in cricket as the organisation’s inaugural Head of Female Engagement.

Her leadership was highlighted by the historic ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women’s Day last year, as 86,174 fans packed the stands to see Australia defeat India to secure the title.

This incredible attendance showcases the growth of women’s sport over time, with the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand sure to be another fantastic milestone.

More recently Styles has worked as a strategic advisor to Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport on its ‘Women Leading Sport’ initiative, that aims to significantly increase the representation and success of women in leadership positions throughout Australian sport.

She is also a Director of Gender Equity Victoria – Victoria’s peak advocacy body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women.

Styles is the successor to Dr Bridie O’Donnell, who was the first Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation when it was established by the Victorian Government in 2017.

The Office and its Change Our Game plan provides a range of grant and funding programs to support women and girls across all levels of sport and recreation in Victoria.

The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation has also led a world-first board quota policy requiring sport and active recreation organisations funded by Sport and Recreation Victoria and the Victorian Government to comply with the compulsory minimum of 40 per cent consisting of women on boards.

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