Major League: Martin Brown

Aug 21, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The player: Martin Brown, video product marketing manager at Daktronics
The play: Mr. Brown has helped Daktronics become the preeminent high-definition scoreboard maker for Major League Baseball. The Brookings, S.D.-based company has made or is making the primary scoreboards at 18 of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums and has secondary displays for another five teams. Daktronics this year completed HD displays for the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field; next year it will make the scoreboards at New York’s new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, home of the Mets. In May, Daktronics said its sales for the year ended April 26 rose 15% to $500 million and would jump another 20% for the current fiscal year.
The pitch: With baseball teams replacing their displays every seven to 10 years, Daktronics, which made its first HD display for Coca-Cola in New York’s Times Square in 2004, expects to replace standard-definition displays with HD scoreboards at two to four baseball stadiums each year, in addition to stadiums for some college sports programs. The company uses 1-foot by 1-foot tiles to custom-build scoreboards that can be as large as 9,000 square feet and cost more than $20 million. “It’s only been within the last couple years that we’ve really seen HD blow up and expand heavily in the sports world,” said Mr. Brown, who estimated it takes about four months to build the typical display ordered for stadiums and said it can take as many as 10 people to operate the board. “The teams want to be able to say they’ve got the 720 pixels to give them a little more ammunition to go after the sponsors.”
Backstory: Mr. Brown, 39, began working for Daktronics about a decade ago after a couple of years in the financial sector at Green Tree Financial, which was later acquired by Conseco. Raised and based in Sioux Falls, S.D., Mr. Brown attended the University of South Dakota and the University of Sioux Falls.

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