UW-Platteville buiding new scoreboardsBy Colten Bartholomew • May 3, 2012 • Category: Sports
Athletic Director Mark Molesworth cited a need for a new system and competing with other WIAC universities and schools across the nation as reasons for the overhauls.
“It’s attractive to potential student athletes,” Molesworth said. “And if you don’t have the bells and whistles of the other schools, you can’t compete.”
In an effort to elevate the UW-Platteville fan experience at games and to make Pioneer athletic facilities better than the competition, the athletic department has announced that three new digital display boards will be placed around campus athletic facilities.
Bo Ryan Court in Williams Fieldhouse has already debuted its addition, a digital scorer’s table that will face the home stands during volleyball and basketball games.
A digital message board, similar to the board at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, will serve to announce and promote events inside Williams Fieldhouse.
But Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium will receive the biggest renovation: a digital scoreboard capable of video replays.
The video scoreboard comes in response to years of frustration with the current scoreboard’s malfunctions, such as failing to work on game days and counting time up instead of down. It also comes in response to a lack of customer service from All-American Scoreboards, the company who installed it, Molesworth said.
The project has been fully funded by sponsors and advertisers.
“With state funding dwindling, we have to be creative and entrepreneurial and bring more outside dollars to our campus,” Molesworth said.
Sports Information Director Danny Kambel, whose job will include working with sponsors to be sure advertisements are displayed correctly, also sees the project as a tool to help non- student athletes.
“A great thing about these (scoreboards) is that these are what are used at places like UW-Madison,” Kambel said. “The student workers using the same exact tools that are used at one of the largest athletic departments in the nation, so it can enhance their careers as an operator.”
The video scoreboard at the stadium will also provide opportunities for the university and its sponsors. First, Butch Lietl Field will be the only soccer field in the nation on the Division III level that has a video replay board; second, it will provide sponsors a new way to advertise at football and soccer games.
“With this board, our sponsors will be able to play a full, television-quality commercial in the middle of a game, which is something that very few other places can offer,” Molesworth said.
Molesworth and Kambel both emphasized the new boards’ effect on the fan experience at Pioneer sporting events.
“We as a society have become ingrained with the interaction with a scoreboard during a game, and this project allows us to give our fan a top-of-the-line experience,” Molesworth said.
Daktronics, the company installing the scoreboard, has been crucial in acquiring the sponsorships and throughout the marketing process. Daktronics provides customers with a representative to sit in on calls and meetings in order to answer questions and show the customers examples.
“(Daktronics) being there and helping us inform potential sponsors what the capabilities of the scoreboards will be and how it can promote their message has helped immensely,” Molesworth said.
Sponsors can see the benefit for their businesses in these new projects. One of the most attractive benefits for the companies is the exclusivity the university is offering. For example, Ubersox Auto Group is the exclusive automotive sponsor of these boards, meaning no other car dealerships will have advertisements on them.
“Being one of the largest employers in Platteville, we like to support the university how we can,” said Dan Rohrback, president and CEO of Southwest Healthcenter. “At UW-Platteville games, especially basketball, there’s a large range of ages, from babies to the elderly, so being able to have our name at these events helps us.”