ACC bows more digi-screen might

OOH advertisers have new reach and flexibility at the Air Canada Centre.

The Air Canada Centre is lighting up a new $3 million digital signage network this week, one with over 320 HD-quality video display screens across a slew of ad-friendly configurations.

Unveiled during the Maple Leafs’ pre-season game against the Boston Bruins last week, the project was orchestrated by Waterloo-based digital signage consultancy Digital Display & Communications (DDC) for building owner-operator Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE). The network of digital screens now gives MLSE’s media department the ability to tailor ad and sponsor messages by event and target audience on short notice.

Replacing traditional backlit poster advertising boards, the new messaging real estate includes a giant 30′x50′ outdoor high-def LED board on the exterior of the building and new screen configurations and clusters spanning large 3×3 ‘media walls’ flanked by 1×2 portrait displays, 2×2 ‘wall diamonds’ angling out off the walls, as well as 1×2 ‘wall diamonds’ and ‘video banners’ consisting of 11-screen-wide, 7′ tall cylindrical displays showing video in 360 degrees, along with a ‘video sculpture’ consisting of 46 screens.


At one newly renovated entry, 42′ LCD flat panels are stitched together. Another that used still images for a history wall is now a cluster of different-sized and oriented screens, with rotating images and narratives on the images that can be heard if fans call designated numbers and listen using their mobile devices.

‘The strategy is simple,’ Kirkpatrick tells MiC. ‘Don’t place a bunch of TVs on a wall and expect people to be excited to view them. These screen configurations are interesting and present dynamic content in non-traditional formats, so that you can’t help but look at them.’

The sports facility, which has now hosted more than 27 million fans and over 2,000 events, including hockey, basketball and lacrosse games, concerts and live events since the doors opened in 1999, will see subsequent phases of the deployment, both at the Air Canada Centre and at other facilities managed or owned by MLSE. The organization owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, the Toronto Marlies, and three digital channels – Leafs TV, Raptors NBA TV and GOLTV.

‘Moving from static backlit signage to large non-traditional, high-definition video displays provides an unlimited creative pallet for sponsors, while also providing the fans with an extremely entertaining program that will include live game content, highlights and memorable historic and current content from their hometown teams, as well as concerts and other events,’ adds Kirkpatrick.