Ben Kensell on what big screens will do for Hibs as he vows to 'get basics right'
Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell believes the installation of new big screens at Easter Road is just the latest step in the club’s drive to improve the matchday experience for supporters.
Fans will experience the new screens for the first time at today’s home match against St Mirren and Kensell is confident fans will be impressed.
"It’s been well known that Ron [Gordon, owner] wants to invest in the matchday experience and the big screens have certainly been something people have talked about along with the many initiatives we're trying to get off the ground here,” he told the Hibee Buzz show.
"We’re pleased to announce that the big screens will be in operation for the first time [against St Mirren] with a scoreboard connecting a repeater screen.
"It’s quite an impressive feat of design. Everyone in the ground should have a great view of what is on the screens, such as matchday footage, and replays and more.
"There’s also an emotive video that charts our history and will get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up.”
Kensell is eager to use the screens to help boost the club’s coffers as well as improving the matchday experience.
He continued: “It will also allow us commercially to have additional inventory that we can use to grow the club financially that we need to do to reinvest back into Easter Road, the Training Centre, fan engagement or even on the pitch so we can get a stronger team that can continue to challenge.
"It’s exciting, and there is a wow factor to it. I don’t think we should underestimate how forward-thinking and innovative and progressive this club is.
"This kind of thing is very rare in Scotland outside Celtic and Rangers. We’re breaking into that top two at the moment; we haven’t been out of it since the start of the season.
"Off the pitch we’re starting to break into it as well and that’s quite an impressive feat. I hope fans will enjoy it, I hope it enhances the matchday atmosphere, and like everyone else I thank the investment from our brilliant owner. We want that to continue on and off the pitch and I’m hearing very, very good noises that that will continue with a good return on an investment-based model."
The former Norwich City CEO admits that there is still work to be done on streamlining the matchday experience and revealed that he regularly takes on board fans' opinions.
"There’s commercial value but I’ve listened to the fans. We’ve got to get the basics right. We invested in brand new kiosks this year and our service levels are not there at the moment. The queues are too long. I’m absolutely privy to some of the things that we’re not getting right,” he added.
"We need to get the basics right as well as the razzle-dazzle of big screens.
"Ultimately what we’re trying to do is lift the whole entire experience of coming to Easter Road, make it a fan-first environment and listen to fans as to how we can improve and make that experience as good as it can be.”