SMT/IDS Gives Tech Boost to New York City Marathon

SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology) and SMT/IDS (Information and Display Systems), a division of SMT, partnered with IMG Productions and New York Road Runners (NYRR) to provide broadcast solutions and course-wide high-definition video display productions for Sunday’s 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, transforming the race experience for fans and runners alike.

SMT_Black_H2New this year to the marathon were SMT/IDS’ timing interfacing system and video display productions, including pre-race information content available on 20 touchscreen kiosks at the Javits Center and content-rich, real-time race day presentations set up at the start line, on course and at the finish line.

SMT/IDS received the chip times from the nearly 50,000 runners at every mile split and every five kilometers to populate a dozen jumbo video displays throughout the course that also included statistical data on runners, including number of miles run, steps taken and calories burned.

The video displays featured live leaderboards, broadcast and social media feeds, sponsor messages and NYRR public service messages. These displays were located in each of the four runner villages at the start line, one each in the fan zones in the Brooklyn and Manhattan areas of the course, and three displays near the finish line in Central Park. A large ribbon board installed below the photo bridge just beyond the finish line displayed runner clocks for each of the waves.
The Data Hub video display, located inside the Pavilion hospitality venue, featured a color-coded “heat map” that showed the density of the pack during the race, in addition to leaderboards, social media and broadcast feeds and sponsor messaging.

Athletes picking up bibs at the race’s Health and Fitness Expo were able to check course maps, transportation information and find the location of hydration stations, entertainment stations and volunteer stations on 20 kiosks that also displayed real-time social media feeds and New York Road Runner videos. These displays were moved to the VIP hospitality locations on Marathon Sunday.

“Our goal at SMT/IDS was to help NYRR make this year’s TCS New York City Marathon the world’s most technologically advanced race,” said Jessica Schacht, Senior Business Development Manager for SMT/IDS. “With our productions showing historical data, live leaderboards, social media feeds, runner stats and the density map, we are proud to put the TCS New York City Marathon at the forefront of technology.”

Since 2009, SMT has provided broadcast solutions for IMG Productions, producers of the last 15 marathons. Fans watching the broadcasts were able to follow featured athletes via SMT’s ISO Track system, which identifies and tracks runners with an on-screen pointer graphic. SMT also displayed elite runners and featured celebrities on a Google map as they ran past New York City’s most famous landmarks.

SMT’s “Common Man Crawl” ticker displayed every participant’s name as they crossed the finish line. The ticker also featured live fan tweets via SMT’s DMX social media publisher. Additionally, SMT’s talent prompters delivered historical and relevant data to ESPN’s commentators.

The marathon was aired nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes+, locally on WABC in New York, and streamed at or on the WatchESPN app.
SMT has renewed its contract with IMG to provide broadcast solutions through the 2017 marathon. This year, SMT/IDS began a four-year agreement with NYRR to provide on-site production technology services on behalf of the TCS New York Marathon.

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