Optimizing the Fan Experience
Four Winds Interactive
With over half a million signs deployed globally for more than 7,500 clients, Four Winds Interactive (FWI) provides powerful digital signage solutions for customers across industries and sectors that are worried about optimizing the consumer and employee experience.
Supported by FWI’s dynamic software platform, clients can better reach their target audiences in a meaningful and impactful way. Be it advertising and promotion, high-impact video walls, menu boards or wayfinding, Four Winds Interactive (FWI) is the partner to choose when investing in your brand and image.
“What makes our company unique is the combination of our software platform and our professional services offerings. We have a very powerful software platform where you can design and build these advanced applications, and that’s backed by a best-in-class team of designers, software and hardware experts, trainers and more,” explained CEO David Levin.
The Four Winds Interactive team has over 13 years of experience delivering results with a full suite of products and services that support a client’s program from beginning to end. They provide digital signage solutions for airlines and airports, banking and investment branches, casinos, corporate enterprise, education, healthcare, hospitals, and convention centers, as well as the arena and professional sports market.
“The fact that we are much more vertical than just sports has led to us being a very capable and powerful platform. A lot of other systems just can’t support the different types of use cases that teams and stadiums need,” said Cary Delbridge, Director of Sales, Enterprise Accounts. One of the ways this is achieved is through offerings like its Visual Communications Management service.
“That’s a person at FWI that the team can contact prior to the season or during the season and we can really be the feet on the street, or the person that is creating custom content for a particular night,” noted Delbridge, citing bobblehead doll nights as one example.
“All of that can be done and supported by an FWI employee and this service has been really valuable to these teams when they need to really focus on other things and not necessarily digital signage, where we can be that additional layer of support,” he said.
The company’s digital signage platform for arenas and professional sports operations is second to none and its visual communications solution has been demonstrated in the various use cases being employed in AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
The 19,600 seat arena was designed with the fan experience in mind and FWI was able to offer a single solution that could replace existing legacy systems that powered its menu boards, directional wayfinding signs and video screens, making it a premier venue for professional athletes and fans alike.
With 265 screens throughout the arena including a sixteen by nine foot LED video wall and five strategically located large-scale cylindrical video walls, FWI provided a flexible, yet robust solution that offered ease of use and synchronicity, and supported the consolidation of all digital signage applications in the venue under one platform.
Four Winds Interactive received a 2018 DIGI Award from NewBay Media’s Digital Signage magazine for “Best Deployment, Entertainment” for its work in AmericanAirlines Arena. The award recognizes integrators and solutions providers who go over and above to deliver results for customers.
To be sure, FWI simplifies content management, improves productivity and increases sponsorship value, all while maximizing the fan experience. Beyond its full-service approach to digital signage, FWI is regarded for its integration and implementation capabilities.
“We have the largest implementation and professional services team in the industry. So what does that mean to a sports team? When they’re ramping up before the season is starting, they are putting together their in-game experience, their concession experience, their fan experience,” said Delbridge. “They want to get ahead of that and all of that can be outsourced to FWI to create and build that experience. At the same time, as things change throughout the year, promotions, events, other uses for the stadium, concerts, a college bowl game – if they want to modify that content, they can do it themselves or they can come to us.”
Though FWI can provide end-to-end solutions from hardware to software, managed programs, program support and everything in between, it can also pair its software to better leverage a client’s existing hardware.
“Oftentimes we use the hardware that they already bought so they don’t have to make any additional capital investment. We give them a software platform that lets them fully optimize all of the screens and devices that they put in and leverage them for fan experience, revenue generation, operations – everything that digital signage applications are capable of,” said Levin.
FWI provides reliable, cost-effective solutions by focusing on four key areas in the sports space: fan experience, sponsorship, player and employee communication and operational efficiency and integration.
“That can be at the beginning, when the fan is about to enter the stadium, that large scale video wall that tells them about upcoming games or events or sponsorships. From the time they go and get something from the concessions, that’s our software powering those screens, to something that’s happening in the game, such as a moment of exclusivity: that’s us,” Delbridge explained.
Delbridge explained that moments of exclusivity, “refer to in-game moments when a specific event happens, such as a dunk or a three point shot, where there is a complete screen takeover and as part of that screen takeover it would be a good sponsorship opportunity.”
Moments of exclusivity truly immerse and engage fans to be a part of the game’s greatest moments, moments that become experiences that the fan can take with them for the rest of their lives, long after the game is over. FWI’s platform enables the content administrator to trigger those experiences in-game. Another interactive element of FWI’s digital signage platform for arenas and professional sports teams is related to dedicated areas for fans to learn about the venue, the officials, player and team statistics, history and milestones, and other information that might be interesting to a fan.
Delbridge noted that this is especially relevant as fantasy sports leagues are taking off in popularity. “What’s really unique is that the fan can interact and learn more about that on their own instead of just constantly having content in front of them. Now they can interact and make it part of the experience,” he said.
From large scale video walls to VIP experiences, Four Winds Interactive can do it all and has become the foremost authority in the field as a result. New efforts are also being made to promote ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft to help fans extend their stay at the venue, which both drives sales and keeps shared roadways safe from drunk drivers. According to Delbridge, “There truly isn’t a platform out there that is capable of supporting all of these use cases that we’ve been talking about. Oftentimes, the other systems that are out there may be good at menu boards, but they’re not good at providing a good overall fan experience.”
The FWI digital signage platform includes a number of products including elements like the FWI Cloud offering and Integration Framework. Levin explained what the newly launched Cloud offering is and how it enables clients to get more out of their capital investments.
He said, “It makes it really easy for different team members that work within a stadium or different associates to control devices within the arena. Oftentimes in an arena you have one person who knows how to use the software systems and then all the requests have to get funneled through that person,” creating a bottleneck and muddying the workflow. Custom training is also provided to ensure that the digital signage platform is leveraged effectively. One of the other ways FWI ensures customer satisfaction is through collaboration, which is achieved through its customer advisory board.
“We’re innovating our software platform, trying to make it capable to support all of these experiences that customers want to deploy within their environment. And they know their business, they know their fans, they know their advertising revenue model and they come to us with ideas,” explained Levin. Together, innovation comes to life in the venue.
The goal at FWI, besides improving the fan experience and the customer experience across industries and sectors, is to continue to secure projects such as AmericanAirlines Arena and integrate with partners to elevate operational efficiency and output, helping clients get the most out of their screens. This is FWI’s forte and an opportunity it looks to leverage.
“We want to win more stadiums and create more fan experiences and have more users on the software platform contributing content that flows through to those screens. Personally, I’d like to see more instances of our software being deployed on hardware that people have already bought to help them make much better use of that,” explained Levin.
He added, “Every day, people get information from screens that are powered by our software, but people don’t know that we’re the software platform that’s powering the content on the screen.” This is the chance for the Four Winds Interactive team to shine as brightly as the messages, moments and sponsorships they project on screens around the world.