On Sunday Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET, the Atlanta Falcons are scheduled to play the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, in the 2017 Super Bowl, which is Super Bowl LI.
But once the pregame ceremonies end and the game actually starts, a system made by Daktronics takes over. The company provides the official game clock for NRG Stadium, as well as an LED ribbon display that wraps around the entire deck of the stadium. For those in the industry, the Super Bowl has sort of become synonymous with Daktronics. This is the 13th consecutive year that the Super Bowl will be played in a stadium that uses the company’s equipment.
Based out of Brookings, South Dakota, Daktronics was founded in the late 1960s by two professors of electrical engineering at South Dakota State University. Originally designing electronic voting systems, the company soon moved on to designing and manufacturing scoreboards and other equipment for arenas. The company is now one of the largest makers of large-scale high definition displays.
The company has become ubiquitous in fans’ experience at sporting events across the country, whether they may know it or not. There is Daktronics equipment in 25 of the 31 NFL stadiums and in all 30 MLB ballparks. There is also Daktronics gear in the vast majority of all NBA and NHL arenas, and in half of MLS stadiums. Outside of arenas, the company has also installed video billboards in places like Times Square in New York City and Las Vegas.
The company also has a foothold in Europe, providing screens for Wembley Stadium and Paris’ famed Theatre Le Grand Rex, among other venues. The company has also just struck a deal with London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Park to manufacture and install a 3,700 square foot curved LED video display, the largest such installation in Europe.
This year’s Super Bowl is a bit of a departure from the past. For the first time in at least three years, the big screen at the stadium won’t be a Daktronics product. NRG Stadium installed new screens made by Mitsubishi’s Diamond Vision in 2013. At the time, they were the largest video display boards in the world, but have since been surpassed in size by the screens made by Daktronics’ at EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The displays at EverBank Field measure 60 feet high by 362 feet wide, making the screens longer than the football field itself.
The company is currently installing a massive video display board at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is still under construction and will be the home of the Atlanta Falcons when it opens next season. The screen, dubbed the halo board, will measure 63,800 square feet, which will make it more than three times larger than the screens at Everbank Field.
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All the new installation work seems to be providing the company with some momentum on Wall Street. Shares of Daktronics (DAKT) fared well in the second half of last year after starting off slow, finishing the year at $10.70, up more than 15% for the year and 80% higher than the stock’s low point for the year of $5.92. However, the company is still down around 50% from its peak of $15.80 in December 2013.
Last quarter the company reported revenue of $170 million and delivered $0.21 earnings per share, both of which figures bested the year previous. The company will disclose its quarterly earnings at the end of the month.