Peterborough Petes scores new digital scoreboard

From left: Morgan Smith, Keith Edwards, Tim Monk, and Marty Dolson stand together in front of the new digital scoreboard at the PMC. Photos courtesy Marty Dolson

By Marty Dolson

The perception that partnerships between businesses concede or reduce the bottom line has never been accurate. In today’s competitive market, strategic partnerships increase the bottom line. Ultimately, a partnership of two companies within the same industry expands the experience and knowledge for the customer.

Each partner has strengths and weaknesses—nobody does everything well—and when partners share responsibilities and resources, it creates shared success for the client. 

Every project has its challenges, whether it be in the supply chain, labour force, or equipment. These challenges can have a higher value with less burden when shared. The sign industry has many companies operating at a high level, and for decades, has always utilized installation, service, fabrication, and manufacturing partners.

Signarama Peterborough has been sharing services within the Signarama brand for decades to expand the services to all its locations who can then offer greater capabilities to the client base they are serving.

An elite industry partnership was recently celebrated when Signarama Peterborough and Media Resources teamed up to provide the Peterborough Petes hockey club, a team in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), with a new state-of-the-art digital video scoreboard. The proposal showcased the strengths of both companies, and the cost-effective methodology led to the successful award of this project.


Removing the old scoreboard from the PMC.

The project

The proposal included the removal of the existing scoreboard and operating system, the supply and installation of a four-sided digital scoreboard with four 1.8 m x 4 m (6 ft. x 13 ft.) digital displays at 3.9 mm (0.15 in.) resolution and a 13.7-m (45-ft) circular ring below the scoreboard, also at 3.9 mm (0.15 in.). This is the highest resolution on the market today and was coupled with a dynamic gameday entertainment system. The entire package was created to facilitate the marketing vision of the Peterborough Petes hockey club, as well as creating excitement in the building for fan experience, along with local business advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

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Marty Dolson, VP of operations/business development at Signarama Peterborough, and Tim Monk, senior account executive at Media Resources, spearheaded the project for their respective teams, working directly with Peterborough Petes’ director of hockey operations, Burton Lee, and marketing director, Eric Ebenbauer.

From the initial proposal and negotiation stage, through the budgeting, procurement, fabrication, and installation stages, the three teams worked in harmony during all stages of the project.

Upon contract award, it was apparent timelines were critical to hockey operations, the launch of the 2021-22 OHL season, and ongoing contract commitments at the Peterborough Memorial Centre (PMC). There were engineering requirements to make significant reinforcements to the building’s structural steel roof members. Engineers from VB&S Engineering in London, Ont., were engaged to perform weight load calculations on the supporting beams and prepare the scope of work required. While manufacturing of the digital display modules and game-day entertainment operating system was underway at Media Resources, Signarama’s production manager, Dave Cartier, designed and engineered the receiving structure for the modules and the lifting points that attach the scoreboard to a fully automated hoisting system, which was procured by Jaimar Winches from Woodstock, Ont.

The structural platform was mounted in the ceiling, and the winch assembled on site in a maintenance and operational friendly mechanical catwalk area. Signarama’s field installation team did all the heavy lifting and prepared the facility with the steel beam reinforcements, cable pulleys, and winch installations, working closely with Peterborough Welding Services’ Paul Walker, who provided all the certified welding.

The PMC facility staff, headed up by Jeremy Giles and Paul Wannamaker, were also instrumental by providing access, staff, and additional support co-ordinating the tight schedule. Tom Elliot, president of Kawartha Metals and a long-standing Petes’ sponsor and season ticket holder, procured and supplied Signarama with all the steel and aluminum products for the project.

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It took three weeks to install the automated hoisting system, and roof truss structural reinforcing was performed using locally provided high-reach, heavy-lift equipment from local business partner Rapid Lift, owned and operated by Chuck White. White, president of the Peterborough and District Construction Association, and Signarama have partnered on many projects over the past 15 years.

The electrical requirements were prepared and completed by Sean Gilbert of SGP Electrical, Signarama’s local contractor of choice. New electrical services to the scoreboard and operation of the hoisting system were also completed. The lifting equipment was removed from the building and the ice went in for ongoing commitments to local clubs and minor hockey.

Completion of all preliminary structural and mechanical requirements was achieved in just 18 days by a total of seven different companies partnered as one uniform group.

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