Unilumin LED work does the talking



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Steve Scorse Unilumin on Coliseum Europe 2023 Image: Steve Scorse & Unilumin

Steve Scorse’s world revolves around perimeters and pixels as he is the top banana of the Unilumin Group, the largest LED manufacturer in the world.

A full-of-business-acumen Scorse and his team have helped the Premier League club Manchester City F.C. sharpen its tech teeth and provide a vision to the fans through Unilumin’s LED prowess.

Steve Scorse is the Chief Executive Officer of the Unilumin Group, UK, the official supplier for the Man City’s home ground – the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England (UK). He boasts 25 years of experience in LED displays having worked in multiple industry sectors including Sports Stadiums, Entertainment Venues, Broadcast Studios, Hospitality, Digital out of Home Signage, and Corporate AV.

‘Coliseum’ catches up with Steve Scorse, CEO, Unilumin Group, UK, and he reveals the challenges the company faced while trying to install a supersized LED wall at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Scorse also pointed out that time is a huge challenge while taking up projects in soccer stadiums and one has to deliver the goods within the fixed timeframe.
 

Unilumin Group

Shenzhen (China)-based the Unilumin Group Company Limited is a professional LED products and solutions supplier and the global supplier of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Founded in 2004, Unilumin is dedicated to providing high-quality and high-performance LED full-color display, LED professional lighting and urban landscape lighting products as well as solutions for the global customers.

Steve Scorse who is the head honcho of the company’s United Kingdom operations stated that for the last six years Unilumin has been noted as the largest LED manufacturer in the world – “We also have the largest production facility with about 400,000 square meters of factory. The LED factories today have become much robotized, much automated to have the precision of the line of the unit of high quality, high resolution LED, and ours is probably the most advanced factory in the world. We do a lot of customization and our products cover everything from sports arenas and stadiums to building façades, broadcast studios, and virtual production. We have a business that covers all of those sectors. In Europe, we have about eight subsidiaries, the United Kingdom being the one I am responsible for.”
 

Manchester City F.C.

The Manchester City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Manchester (UK) that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded in 1880 as St. Mark’s, they became the Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894.
 

Etihad Stadium

The City of Manchester Stadium (currently known as the Etihad Stadium for sponsorship reasons) is the home of the Premier League club Manchester City F.C. with a domestic football capacity of 55,000, making it the sixth-largest football stadium in England and ninth-largest in the United Kingdom.

Stated Scorse, “Everybody knows the Etihad Stadium due to the prominence of the club and its success. We are effectively the official technology partner for Man City and we have been since 2021. We provide them new technology solutions to improve fan engagement and commercial activities. We helped Man City install a supersized LED wall – an LED perimeter – and it was really a challenging task. The Man City decided that they wanted a two-meter high LED wall which is not possible as it will block the view of the lower tiers as well as looking into the safety quotient. But we picked up the gauntlet and helped them achieve this and went about the task in a very subtle manner which resulted in a two-meter high wall around the stadium, a very unique kind of idea.”

He informed that Man City is trying to upgrade their home ground but “unlike some of the stadiums that are trying to do everything at once and tearing it down and closing the stadium for a season, Man City is trying to do this over a period of three years. We will help them arm the Etihad Stadium with tech bells and whistles over this three-year period.”

He again reiterated that time is a huge challenge while taking up football stadium projects and though clubs are repeatedly reminded about allocating the job by the date set, “on most occasions they fail to do so and we are left with very less time to replace the old technology with the cutting-edge one”.

Scorse informed that since they have the largest manufacturing capacity in the world, the company has never missed deadlines. Another area of challenge is customization and to drive home his point he stated that with the Etihad Stadium within the 270 meters of perimeter there are 20 emergency exits and “we were asked to create safety doors for all of those exits. And in this case, because we have got a double system, we were required to produce 40 customized emergency exits. And this was a huge challenge for us.”

A through and through technocrat, he added that “as most perimeters are 10 millimeters pixel and say 900 millimeters high which means you have got about 80 pixels. This is a six millimeters screen with 1.9 meters high so you have got every 300 pixels vertical resolution. So, you have to be much more accurate in the alignment and the content distribution across the screen. A very challenging task indeed which our team carried out with perfection.”

In fact, the double stack perimeter system installed by Unilumin in the Etihad Stadium has been termed by Man City as the “most valuable piece of real estate in the Premier League”.

The revenue they get from this is very considerable plus they use it for optimizing game content to a pre-match and halftime, additional content, live scores, etc., so it is really utilized very well.

The two-tier system offers a wider range of technological possibilities to the top-flight – “The club can use that to help get its partners messages and brands across, and also use it for entertainment. The new two-tier super-sized system that the Etihad Stadium boasts now gives Man City just a whole range of possibilities.”

Unilumin is working on all areas with the Man City on LED displays.

Steve Scorse and his team are dealing with a very complex piece of engineering work from the screen perspective in the Etihad Stadium and the full-of-spunk team is firm on implementing the same to precision.

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