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The Challenge

Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, was looking to enhance the sports fan experience and provide valuable programming opportunities for middle school students across a total of six schools in the district. To achieve this, they needed to level up their technology game with digital displays. Their existing static scoreboards lacked flexibility, and the cost of high-end digital boards was prohibitive for middle schools with limited revenue. 

The Solution

“Our goal was to provide similar opportunities at the middle school level as we have in high schools, with a focus on affordability."

– Chad Zimmerman, District Activity Director for Millard Public Schools

The Results

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About Millard Public Schools

Millard Public Schools is a district of choice, helping more than 24,000 families find the right college and career path for their student. Options include neighborhood schools, Nebraska’s only K-12 International Baccalaureate Program, an accredited Pre K-8 Montessori program, and a Core Knowledge Program. High schools support an Advanced Placement® culture, offering more than two dozen AP classes. High school students may also earn college credit and professional credentials through their Academies including Health Sciences, Business & Entrepreneurship, Business & Logistics Management, and Education.

Early College at Millard South gives students a pathway to graduate with both their high school diploma and their Associate of Arts degree from Metropolitan Community College, fully transferable to UNO. Millard’s strong partnerships expand their Academy offerings to zoology, criminal justice, electrical, utility, welding, firefighting, plumbing, auto and more.

The Challenge

Upgrading to a next-generation digital display on a budget

Whether it’s the pro leagues, collegiate or high school, technology has the power to take any sporting facility to the next level. Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, knows this all too well. With a history of embracing technological advancements, Millard Public Schools made headlines in 2016 by being one of the first districts to install a video scoreboard. In 2023, under the leadership of Chad Zimmerman, the district activity director, Millard decided to make another power play — this time, extending beyond the high school level to include its six middle schools.

With a commitment to level up, Zimmerman recognized the need to upgrade its display technology for a more engaging fan experience and the desire to provide valuable programming opportunities to middle school students. Millard’s challenge was rooted in its existing technology’s limitations: static scoreboards.

“It’s a facilities arms race. Wanting to have nice facilities and something our neighbor school districts don’t have was of importance for us to stay cutting edge and show an investment in our programs,” Zimmerman says.

Its static scoreboards were outdated, non-dynamic, and inflexible and, in turn, unable to showcase content beyond simple scorekeeping. As the schools aimed to create a more engaging fan experience and provide additional programming opportunities for students, Zimmerman needed to find a solution that offered game-changing features, affordability and the ability to meet the specific requirements of middle school environments. The desire was to move beyond a one-dimensional scoreboard and create an immersive, interactive platform that would not only benefit sports events but also become a valuable tool for communication and engagement throughout the school day. It was also intended to be used for events and provide a revenue stream for the schools by displaying advertising.

The necessity for a digital display was clear. “I saw an opportunity to enhance the middle school experience, not just in competitive programming but also in fan engagement. Our goal was to provide similar opportunities at the middle school level as we have in high schools, with a focus on affordability,” Zimmerman explains.

The challenge lay in the fact that the six middle schools in the district lacked the revenue generation of their high school counterparts, making the cost associated with implementing high-end digital scoreboards a barrier. Zimmerman needed to find an affordable solution that still offered the benefits of digital scoreboards similar to those in the high schools.

The Solution

Samsung's cost-effective, feature-packed solution

The turning point for Millard Public Schools came when ScoreVision, with whom they had an existing relationship from the digital video board installation in the district’s high school gymnasiums and stadium, introduced them to the ScoreVisionLE (SVLE) software.

The collaboration with ScoreVision and the subsequent exploration of cost-effective digital display options led to the selection of Samsung displays with SVLE as the ideal solution for the middle schools.

“ScoreVision approached me about a new Samsung product that would be far more cost-effective than the large screens but still offer very similar opportunities, such as content showcasing, selling advertising and providing a unique, non-static experience for our students, spectators and sports teams,” Zimmerman says.

The selected solution involved the installation of 12 digital displays for scorekeeping, content display and communication. The decision to install two boards in each middle school was strategic. It would boost each school’s reputation and primarily aim to amplify a more immersive, enhanced fan experience.

“It shows an investment in our programs and validates the experiences of our students. It makes them feel that the district values their participation and is willing to invest in enhancing their experiences,” Zimmerman explains.

The displays were strategically placed to maximize visibility and impact. The installation process was a collaborative effort, involving coordination with Samsung to ensure durability, sound functionality and protective measures for the screens. The goal was to make the technology resilient to the active and sometimes unpredictable environment of middle school gyms.

Despite upgrading from a single static board to two digital displays, the installation was an easy process. Working in partnership with a local electrical company, the installation was executed seamlessly, involving power setup, wiring and other necessary adjustments to integrate the Samsung screens into the school infrastructure.

The Results

Elevating school pride and student-athlete performance

The Samsung digital displays have played a pivotal role in revolutionizing sports engagement across the middle schools. Offering an immersive and interactive experience for fans, scores, achievements and local sponsors are showcased to help create an engaging atmosphere. This not only elevates the fan experience but also instills a sense of pride and recognition among the student-athletes.

Potential revenue from selling advertising on the digital displays can offer athletics departments a welcomed financial boost, too. “Using the SVLE software, ADs are excited about opportunities to possibly generate some revenue to support their program,” Zimmerman explains.

The versatility of the screens extends far beyond the sports arena. They serve as a powerful communication tool, allowing for the effective output of information throughout the school day. Teachers can leverage the screens during physical education classes, enhancing the learning experience for students. The displays have become a medium for curricular needs, announcements and event promotions, providing a multifaceted platform for engagement.

“It shows an investment in our programs and validates the experiences of our students. It makes them feel that the district values their participation and is willing to invest in enhancing their experiences.”
— Chad Zimmerman, District Activity Director for Millard Public Schools

The impact on students has been profound, generating a sense of value and recognition for their achievements. The ability to showcase content beyond scores, including images and announcements, via the easy-to-operate software has empowered students to create content and engage with the technology.

“It really adds value from a programming lens because it gives kids who maybe aren’t involved in the sport an opportunity to produce content. The students are really excited because our gyms are used for much more than athletics. The ability to potentially use the displays in a show choir event, a music event or in an honors night setting will showcase kids in programming,” Zimmerman enthuses.

Principals have reported positive feedback regarding the effectiveness of the screens during parent-teacher conferences, events and announcements. The ability to use the screens for non-athletic purposes, such as promoting academic achievements or upcoming events, has added value to the school community.

The community response has been overwhelmingly positive. The Samsung displays have become a symbol of the district’s progress and commitment to providing a cutting-edge and dynamic educational environment. Parents attending sports events, conferences and other school activities have expressed appreciation for the enhanced engagement and communication facilitated by the displays.

The tech transformation has not only elevated the sports experience but has also contributed to a more vibrant and connected school community. The Samsung digital displays have successfully bridged the gap between technology and education, creating an immersive and dynamic atmosphere that resonates with students, teachers and the broader community.

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