Pitch printing potential of AirPrint
AirPrint, an ESSMA Stadium Partner, offers an innovative and environment-friendly technology that makes it possible to print large images on any pitch without damaging the grass. This innovative technology offers new possibilities and opportunities in terms of improving the fan experience, strengthening the competition’s identity and raising brand awareness amongst fans for the club and/or the sponsor. Clubs such as PSG, Leicester City FC, the San Francisco Giants, etc. have implemented the AirPrint technology.
Other sports have already acknowledged the potential of printing club or sponsor logos on their “playing field”, with NBA clubs all boasting a unique home court design including prints of club logos, club website, club twitter handle, club slogan, stadium name or a special design like the city skyline. However in football there are still regulations in place to prevent this kind of printing, during official matches, even when it does not affect the quality of the game or the pitch in any way.
“The quality of the printed images and the types of images that you can print is amazing. With the traditional method of cutting and brushing the grass, you can create some simple patterns, but you will get nowhere near to the types of images that the AirPrint-method can deliver. You can print club logos, player’s faces, any type of text... this just wouldn’t be possible using the traditional method.”
Jonathan Calderwood, Head Groundsman PSG
Even though there are some limitations on matchdays, due to legal restrictions, there are still many possibilities of implementing Airprint technology on matchdays and non-matchdays.
Possibilities for groundsmen on non-matchday
In addition to the possibilities on matchday, the AirPrint possibilities on non-matchday include:
- Printing a drawing/image on the pitch to welcome a new player or in celebration of a player who achieved a record
- Club’s marketing activations
- Printing corporate logos on the pitch for companies which are organising an event in the stadium
- Printing club logos/emblems on the (middle of the) pitch to create a better atmosphere and add to the fan experience
The AirPrint technology can be used during events on non-matchday as advertisement for sponsors or to refer to the event itself. A company organising an event in the stadium could print its logo on the pitch for its clients to see or a sponsor could do the same.
“At FC Nantes, we first came into contact with AirPrint when we were organising a tribute for one of our legendary players at FC Nantes, Henri Michel and we saw the potential this type of technology had for such a project. In the end we were very happy about the superb results it delivered for our project.”
Luc Delatour, Stadium Manager FC Nantes