Behind the Screens with the Dallas Stars: How Fans Light Up The Ice


With 41 regular season home games each year it can be hard to make every event a unique experience. The jumbotron is universally accepted as the method of choice for entertainment directors of American professional sports teams, but the elite ones find ways to engage fans in a new way.

The Stars have done this during the 2018-19 season but putting the power in the hands of the fans. The organization worked with Fanpictor, a technology company that uses ultrasonic waves to activate smart devices.

Fans who download the Stars’ Fanpictor app can participate in a lightshow that runs shortly before the teams take the ice.

“It’s a new way of activating fans and bringing them into the show,” Jason Danby said.

The philosophy the Stars subscribe to is one of participation. Teams that simply ask their fans to stare at the video board are not creating the moments that memories are made of. The Stars have garnered their reputation through this interactivity with fans, many who may be coming to a hockey game for the first time.

The light show is not only unique, but also cost-effective.

Many teams use items like ‘thunder sticks’, towels and clappers, all of which cost tens of thousands of dollars more than what the Stars pay for their technology. The return on investment is also borne out in the numbers. Danby claims that the initial attempt to use the app at a game registered 6,264 users, well above the organization’s estimate of 4,000.

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