There’s a sense of déjà vu surrounding the redevelopment of the digital media platform at the Victory Park project in downtown Dallas. Sensory Interactive managed the implementation of Victory Park’s original digital media installation in 2007, and has now completed a significant revamping and expansion of the system.
Victory Park is home to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and NHL’s Dallas Stars, along with thousands of apartment units, retail space, office buildings, a W Hotel, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. In 2007, it was one of the first urban mixed-use developments to deploy LED screens for revenue generation, self-promotion, and fan engagement. Ten years later, with the original displays nearing the end of their lifecycle, Victory Park’s owners returned to Sensory Interactive for an update that would reflect the many changes that had occurred both in the industry and at the project itself over the past decade.
Sensory Interactive began its involvement by performing a comprehensive evaluation of the opportunities for brand-building and revenue generation at the project. This included looking at the project architecture and site conditions to make sure the system maximized potential views from in and around the project, analyzing the ROI potential of various revenue models, considering opportunities to deploy new and emerging technologies, and evaluating the needs of tenants and Victory Park’s resident sports franchises.
Based on this evaluation, the Sensory Interactive team created a detailed program for upgrading and enhancing Victory Park’s existing digital media components, with an emphasis on maximizing revenue for the owner, while also accommodating tenant display requirements and creating a dramatic game-day experience for Mavericks and Stars fans.
The resulting promotional platform will deliver significant improvements over the system that was launched in 2007. In addition to reflecting technological advances that have occurred over the past decade, the project will also benefit from Sensory Interactive’s increasingly integrated project approach. The company now offers a comprehensive range of planning, design, implementation, content development, monetization, and operations services for large-scale promotional platforms, enabling it to look at every aspect of a project with the big picture in mind. This integrated approach is particularly useful for a complex, multifaceted environment like Victory Park.
While the previous system focused almost exclusively on the plaza in front of American Airlines Arena, Sensory Interactive’s masterplan for the new promotional platform expands the system’s geographic reach to reflect Victory Park’s growing footprint. This includes adding digital components to existing kiosks on Victory Park Lane, and also deploying large-format static displays at high-visibility locations throughout the project, including along its frontage with the Stemmons Freeway. The promotional platform’s long-term masterplan allows for the future conversion of some of these static signage elements to digital displays.
As part of the master planning effort, Sensory Interactive explored where the system could be expanded within the project’s existing entitlements, and then assisted Victory Park owner Estein & Associates in obtaining additional entitlements for new signage components that required City approval.
After preparing construction documents for all of the digital and static signage components, Sensory Interactive evaluated multiple vendors’ capabilities to deliver the required technology and work within the project’s numerous logistical challenges. Display manufacturer Daktronics was ultimately selected for the project based on their capacity to meet the project’s needs in both of these areas.
Daktronics handled the complex task of removing the existing displays and movable tracks, and installing the new displays while working within the noise and access constraints created by an onsite television studio, residential tenants, and a busy NBA schedule.
Sensory Interactive also designed a system of architectural lighting that can coordinate with the digital media in the plaza. This lighting is used to accentuate advertisers’ display content, create seasonal environments, and establish a team-specific game-day experience.
Sensory Interactive deployed a new content management system that centralizes control of the digital displays and lighting, and the firm oversaw an upgrade of the system’s onsite control room.
One of the most unique aspects of Sensory Interactive’s involvement in this project has been its role in defining the monetization strategy for the digital displays, and then representing the owner in the selection of a media sales organization to help execute this strategy.
Efforts to maximize the system’s revenue potential began in the earliest phases of the assignment, with the team looking closely at traffic patterns and sightlines throughout the development. They then combined this analysis with their understanding of the current market for digital display space and their expertise in media sales strategies to create elements that would maximize the volume of high-quality inventory.
With the components of the system clearly identified and well documented, Sensory Interactive oversaw a formal RFP process for the selection of a media sales agency. Sensory interactive created the RFP, prequalified potential bidders, evaluated the responses, and then led the contract negotiation process on behalf of Estein & Associates. Once the Dallas-based firm Big Outdoor was selected, Sensory Interactive’s creative team worked with them to develop marketing materials for the displays, including a highly polished video illustrating the promotional platform’s full potential.
Like Victory Park itself, Sensory Interactive has experienced major changes over the past ten years. In 2007, company president Randy Byrd was Sensory Interactive’s only full-time employee. Today the company includes 29 professionals with expertise in real estate, architecture, construction, content development, technology, and media sales.
Byrd actually met two of these employees while implementing the original Victory Park project. Jason Cox worked for Victory Park’s developer as the system’s Operations Manager, and Lawrence Bittok was a Sales Engineer for the project’s technology provider. Byrd later recruited Cox and Bittok to join Sensory Interactive, and both are now leaders of the company’s Victory Park project team.
“This is an exciting project for us for a number of reasons,” says Byrd, “beginning with the fact that it incorporates our full range of services. This end-to-end approach can dramatically improve the returns on a client’s digital media investment, particularly when you include the media sales management component.”
“It also represents an extension of our work in the area of sports facilities,” Byrd continues, “which is a market that has grown rapidly for us in recent years. We’ve found that our emphasis on careful planning and the use of the most appropriate technology for the situation is a great match for sports facilities’ complex, high-traffic environments.”
“Finally, it’s gratifying to revisit Victory Park after ten years and use it as a milestone to judge where we are as a firm today,” concludes Byrd. “As we’ve grown, we’ve focused on services that deliver real value to property owners. Our work on this project reaffirms that we have built a firm that can do this by keeping pace with the evolving needs of owners, the changing market, and advances in the available technology.”
Victory Park’s new promotional platform is now live, and Sensory Interactive remains involved in the project. The operational services team is providing technical support for the system’s hardware and software, and the creatives services team continues its work with media sales agency Big Outdoor. The Sensory Interactive team will also work with owner Estein & Associates to regularly evaluate the potential benefits of implementing future phases of the promotional platform’s long-term masterplan.