Charlton Athletic FC’s (CAFC) Audio Visual Assistant, Steve Adamson, provides insights on the club’s use of the latest software and solutions to increase fan engagement and enhance the fan experience at their home ground, The Valley.
Can you give us an overview of your role at CAFC and how long have you been at the club?
My title is Audio Visual Assistant, and my main role is managing the big screen content on match days, including a live camera team from the University of Greenwich. I also edit the majority of the club’s video content for the CAFC PlayerHD and YouTube. I’ve been with the club for over a year.
In an increasingly digital age, all clubs are conscious of the need to engage better with their fans to attract them to the ground and off their sofas. Can you give some examples of measures you have introduced to help with this. And how important it is for the club to attract families and get people to the ground earlier; not just before kick-off?
Getting families to come to football is very important as these are the future generations who will be supporting your club through thick and thin. At Charlton we have introduced a lot of family-based entertainment, such as our Family Activity Zone that opens prior to every home game. We have also introduced a live fan cam onto the big screen, which has been popular amongst younger fans, as well as giving advertising brands great exposure. At Charlton we love digital technology as it opens up so many more platforms to engage with fans, which previously we couldn’t do. Where possible, we have tried to embrace new technology as quickly as we can, such as being the first team to offer 360 degree goal highlights on YouTube.
How did you hear about the NewTek Tricaster and 3Play solutions, and what were the key factors for you deciding to use them in your stadium?
Getting the right stadium solution was a long process and my first involvement with the NewTek system was at BVE. After initially speaking to NewTek, talks progressed and we experienced seeing a live matchday broadcast with another club that uses the Tricaster and 3Play system. Seeing other people use the system successfully was a key part of our decision to use NewTek products in our stadium.
How long did it take to install the equipment and get your staff up to speed to use it? How easily did it integrate with your existing technology?
The install was a very quick process, as was training the staff; however we benefitted from having staff who had broadcast connections and a partnership with the University of Greenwich, where the students are all broadcast motivated.
The system went in three days prior to the first pre-season fixture which it was used for, and this was enough time for staff to be trained to a basic level to get them through the match.
How pleased have you been with the performance of the NewTek technology and what key benefits have you found? How quickly did you see these benefits and which departments have especially benefitted from certain features?
We’ve been very pleased with the performance of the NewTek technology, especially as we have been able to use the technology installed for streaming multi-camera youth games, which previously we would have struggled to do. The benefits have come very quickly and a lot of departments have benefitted from being able to display interactive information on the screen.