Professional Football Team’s Draft Room

Intended as a means to overhaul their draft operations, a professional American Football team is using a Haivision video wall system to visualize and plan their draft in addition to countless other organizational and team related tasks.

About the Client

A professional American football team needed to bring their draft room technology to the next level with a brand new, state-of-theart draft board. When researching options, the team’s Director of Football Information Systems realized that a collaborative visualization space would serve the needs of their annual draft operations and create a strategic “war room” environment for coaches, scouts, and management beyond the draft and throughout the year.

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Professional Draft Wall

The Challenge

Within the football league, draft boards for all teams have traditionally been basic white boards, chalk boards, and magnet boards. This old approach meant writing or printing names during player drafts that were later affixed to a board with magnets as it had been done for decades prior. Leading up to the draft, extensive print runs needed to be completed days or weeks in advance with all pertinent player information assigned to appropriate cards for use with the magnet board. Last-minute updates required re-prints that took up precious time in the eleventh hour. This created unnecessary stress and chaos. Agents and managers huddled together in the room, looking over one another’s shoulders to make critical decisions against a ticking clock. The Director of Football Information Systems knew the organization needed a new type of workspace centered around a dynamic visualization system that would better serve annual draft operations and allow key decision makers to visualize workflows, plans, and team strategies year-round.

Analog Draft Process

The Solution

The organization’s Director began considering options for a new draft wall by first looking into a variety of electronic offerings ranging from projection to display-based solutions. The Director and his team contacted several companies that might offer the ideal solution to use for the draft, while also providing additional utility for the rest of the year. The Director and his team visited Haivision in Atlanta, Georgia to experience the intuitive CineNet software firsthand. They immediately recognized how easy it would be for users of any skill level to operate the software and equipment. Particularly crucial was the ability to assign custom layouts and operations to the video wall without any programming knowledge, which would suit their needs during scout meetings, coaching sessions, and draft operations. The ease of use and dependability of the system when compared to competing processors and user interfaces led the organization to choose Haivision. After consultation, the team decided on a 6×4 55” LCD touch display video wall with surrounding 2×4 55” LCD video walls on either side all powered by an Alpha FX Core processor inside of the team’s new Draft Room. This custom installation also included two 10” CineNet Touch Control Point tablets and two custom speakers designed to run the height of the bordering 2×4 video walls.

State-of-the-Art Collaboration

The organization’s new collaborative digital workspace provides the ability to display both physically connected and streaming content sources. Housed within the team’s draft room, scouts, coaches, and staff can assemble their workstations on either side of the video wall so everyone in the room can reference all available data in a single, common operating picture. The center touch screen panels serve as the actual draft board where multi-touch controls allow managers to move electronic player cards around as they list, categorize, and strategize to make the most informed and efficient decisions leading up to and during each round of the draft. Instead of referencing a physical card with a player’s name linked to a series of printed statistics in folders scattered across desks, staff can now tap on a player’s name and immediately share the relevant, up-to-the-minute player information on the wall for everyone in the room to see across a single, shared platform.

Multi-Purpose Visualization

In addition to the initial intent of the wall during draft days, the video wall system has become an essential tool for the organization year-round. The scouting team utilizes the collaborative video space to analyze collected footage throughout the year to simulate plays. On a week-to-week basis, coaches use the system to display and review depth charts, injury analysis, and free agency prospects as they arise. Preseason cut list management is also presented across the shared operating space, so the entire coaching staff can all rely on the same common operating picture as they make crucial decisions. The team can also leverage the workspace for social projects and promotional events. For example, one player used the video wall for his anti-bullying program by hosting a video conference with multiple children all appearing across the displays at once. The room is ready at a moment’s notice. The powerful Alpha FX Core processor can immediately showcase static logos, team colors, and sponsors for signing days, season schedule release days, personnel management, and corporate functions.

Sports Operations Video Wall

The Benefits

The team’s Director of Football Information Systems understood that this new technology needed to be as approachable as possible for everyone in the organization noting, “We can set it up so that anybody can walk in and, with a minimal amount of training, use it.” As an example, he explained how a public relations representative can easily use the space, day or night, to collect, organize, and distribute relevant content about a newly signed player without any assistance from the Director’s office.

More Than a Draft Wall

Throughout the year the collaborative work space is also used for:

  • Footage Analysis
  • Depth Chart Reviews
  • Scout Teams
  • Free Agency Prospects
  • Injury Analysis
  • Pre-season Cut Lists
  • Public Relations
  • Signing Days
  • Social Program Promotions

Haivision systems are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. The team’s managers appreciate that the display wall, video processor, and CineNet software application can all be activated with a single button. Once running, the system can be operated by any user regardless of technical knowledge. Layouts and custom behaviors can be configured without any custom programming or coding experience. When the system is no longer needed, it can be shut down with another simple button press. Unlike other video walls on the market, information systems managers do not need to be “tethered” to a Haivision system for other people in the organization to use it effectively.

Professional sports teams from all leagues across the country realize what a shared, collaborative space with a dynamic visualization solution at its center can do for their entire organization both during seasonal play and throughout the whole year. The value of a system that is both customizable and approachable for team members of all technological skill levels is exponential. The Director put it best when he said, “The easier it is to use, the less intimidating it is to use, the more people are going to use it.”

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