Renowned economist Theodore Levitt once said, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things”. It takes a creative person to think up an innovative idea and it takes an innovator to implement the creative idea, but if you are neither creative nor innovative then we’ve got you covered. This article contains some amazing innovations that have been implemented in youth sports facilities around the country to provide people with an engaging experience.
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Innovative programming can mean a lot of different things to different facilities. If your facility only offers the usual sports like baseball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball then innovating your program could mean introducing new sports or activities to the schedule. Some examples being activities like climbing and adventure camps or ninja camps that offer kids a fun and new way to exercise and compete with their friends. If your facility already offers every sport and activity known to man, you can still implement innovative ways to run those programs. A good example that comes to us from the Cedar Point Sports Center is their youth league draft night. Before their season starts, they hold an event very similar to the draft nights done at the professional level in which kids get called up to the stage and told what team they will be on, what their team colors are, and who their coach is for the upcoming season. They also get the opportunity to put their name and number on the back of their jersey and experience what it might be like to be drafted to a professional team. It is a simple innovation that provides the kids and their parents with a fun night to get them even more excited for their upcoming season.
Guest Experience Innovations
Don’t forget to innovate and provide amenities to the parents and guests that attend games and tournaments at your facility. Something that is easy to do but greatly appreciated by all is to provide covered seating for guests at outdoor fields and courts. Tiered metal bleachers are a staple at outdoor fields, but it is far too rare to see a covering over top to provide the people in the stands with some shade or protection from the elements. A much more technologically advanced innovation that is starting to pop up in some facilities is the implementation of AI automated photography and videography solutions.
Brands like Pixellot and Playsight are now offering camera systems that use AI to track the action and record high quality videos of games. Those videos can be livestreamed so that family and fans that couldn’t make it are still able to follow along live or the footage can be used by players and coaches to find out what areas they may need improvement. Although most people have phones capable of recording the games, it can be frustrating to find a good angle that captures everything. Using AI to capture the video makes it easier for everyone watching the game to do just that.
While the focus of sports facilities is to provide an amazing experience to the players and fans, that wouldn’t be possible without the revenue provided by advertisements and sponsorships. An innovation that can be used both to display important information about the facility as well as advertisements is a digital display board. A digital board makes it easy to change and update information being displayed while also making it possible to switch between facility information and sponsored advertisements throughout the day. With a digital display, sponsors are then able to provide the venue with video advertisements and can easily set to switch to other images as needed. This could be a map of the facility or a programming schedule, for example.
If you are looking for fresh ideas, allow these innovations reveal what is possible for your sports complex or recreation facility. And if you are interested in implementing any of these ideas at your facility, or if you have some ideas of your own, feel free to contact us or give us a call at (727) 474-3845.