Clay Stahlka
This is the first installment in a four-part series of articles to help AV professionals take advantage of the opportunities in providing LED Message Centers to your ProAV customers. 

LED Message Centers are displays that offer the ability to show graphics, text, and videos with the goal of attracting attention, providing community notification and promoting point of sale purchases. These message centers can be indoor or outdoor, single-sided or double-sided, and are designed to operate 24/7/365. Message centers are most often found at hotels, airports/transportation centers, restaurants, schools,

hospitals, churches, retail stores, gas stations and convenience stores. They can also be used as mass-notification devices, alone or in combination with other emergency notification devices. 

How do message centers fit into the ProAV market? 

The common belief is that LED Message Centers are sold and installed by “sign companies.” In the past, that has been absolutely correct. However, AV professionals are already designing systems for and integrating into many of these spaces. Okay, maybe not gas stations and convenience stores, but certainly many of the other common application places. So, while you’re already in these places, why not expand your business by offering additional solutions? 

The first important point to take note of is, sign companies do not understand how to integrate a message center into a digital signage solution. I can vouch for this because I have been asked many times over the years how to synchronize messaging from digital signage to LED Message Centers. I brought multiple sign manufacturers and regional sign companies into the discussion to try to accomplish this task for my customers. Unfortunately, not a single common solution was found. Now, knowing what I know today, I realize this is not difficult, but sign companies have no idea how it can be done, or what is needed to accomplish the task. 

Over the past 5-years, I have focused on bringing together a solution to provide integrated systems that combine digital signage with LED Message Centers. We have partnered with Adaptive Displays, an American company, from Milwaukee to provide such a solution. Now, you can network your indoor digital signage with indoor and outdoor LED signs to coordinate a complete messaging and notification solution. Additionally, we can incorporate these systems into a complete communication and notification solution through the commonly used Singlewire Informacast software. At last, we now have a complete and functional solution for nearly any messaging and notification application. 

Let’s look at some of these opportunities in LED Message Center sales. 

  • Emergency Mass Notification 
  • Outdoor Monument Sign for church, school or business 
  • Scoreboard and sports stadium and arena signage 
  • Larger clock and notification display for Informacast-based systems 
  • KPI and statistics display for industrial and commercial applications 
  • Call center display 
  • Indoor and outdoor wayfinding 
  • Outdoor video display 

These opportunities are some of many possibilities that exist in the ProAV space. They all represent a positive growth opportunity within your existing business sector. None of these opportunities present obstacles within your existing staffing and integration infrastructure. In other words, you will not need additional specialized personnel or equipment to install these solutions. 

The first opportunity that we will take a deeper look at is the school “booster club sponsored” marquee display and scoreboard. 

Adaptive Displays at Arrowhead Highschool

 Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin

This is an Adaptive Displays A Series Outdoor sign, 7.8mm pixel pitch.  They selected the A Series, versus the J Series indoor equivalent, to provide that extra dose of protection in the cold environment of an ice rink.  Arrowhead also chose to place a plexiglass shield in front of the sign to minimize the effects of flying pucks!

We currently offer advertising and scoreboard options in two flavors:

#1- The installation you see here, which is used purely for paid sponsorships and advertising.  They communicate to the sign via Wireless Module.

#2- A sport-specific scoreboard option, hosted by either the A Series Outdoor or J Series Indoor, utilizing a control console from All-American, with whom Adaptive has a partnership.

The KwikTrigger function, compatible with both Apple and Android devices, can at the push of a button initiate “Touchdown”, “First Down”, “Goalllllllll” messages, along with Ads and my favorite, the headshot photo and Student Profile as a new Graduate approaches the podium.  Cool stuff!!

The thing we like about the A and J Series is they provide a pre-packaged solution; pull them out of the crate and hang them on the wall.  This Mullet Center installation was up and running in a matter of hours.

So, you can see that while you’re in the building providing traditional AV solutions, you can grab the additional opportunity to outfit their Gymnasium, Arena or Stadium with easy-to-install LED Message Center solutions that are both cost-effective and profitable, while being financed by alumni supporters or booster clubs.

For more information on these solutions, please reach out to your Starin sales team at MyTeam@Starin.biz or call your Starin Business Development Manager directly at 219-929-4127.