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Daktronics beats own record for product orders in fiscal year

Daktronics is one of the leading video display vendors in the country, creating scoreboards, LED screens and other displays for colleges, high schools, professional sports teams, transportation agencies and more.

This year, the Brookings-based company broke its own record for product orders at $800 million for the 2022 fiscal year.

Most of the money from these orders comes from the Intuit Dome Halo Board that Daktronics will build for the NBA Los Angeles Clippers’ new Intuit Dome Arena. Daktronics will begin constructing the halo board later this year.

Reece Kurtenbach is president and CEO of Daktronics. He says the company was one of the first choices to build the display.

"Through a very intense process, we were selected to be the vendor," he said. "We were the choice of the Clippers for that facility."

The display will cover over 38,000 square feet with more than 233 million LEDs.

Daktronics has grown significantly since its beginning over 50 years ago. Two engineering professors at South Dakota State University started the company in 1968, creating electronic voting systems for the state.

Daktronics has expanded its production since then and now consists of six main buildings on its Brookings campus. The company also has factories in Sioux Falls and Redwood Falls, Minnesota, as well as globally in China and Ireland.

Kurtenbach says the record number of product orders was partially a result of increased demand from clients after the height of the pandemic.

"We’re working with them to balance expectations of what we could do for them in the near-term and how can we help them in the long-term with their facilities, as well," he said.

Like many manufacturers in the country, Daktronics has faced recent supply shortages.

The company has had to adapt in the last two years because of COVID-19. Many employees are now working remotely, and entire floors in some buildings now sit mostly empty.

Daktronics also faced shifting client needs because of the pandemic. Canceled live events affected some clients negatively while other clients, like high schools and smaller community businesses, continued to thrive through the pandemic.

“I think it’s true that the pandemic kind of picks and chooses how it impacted different areas, and we saw that in our businesses, as well," Kurtenbach said.

Looking ahead, Kurtenbach is optimistic about the future of Daktronics and continuing to increase its business based on the needs and wants of customers.

“People, just us out in the world, increasingly expect a digital experience," he said. "Something that is just sitting against the wall and doesn’t move or doesn’t change from day to day is less exciting to us, is less noticed by us."

The LA Clippers video board continues Daktronics’ success with sports venues. The company has displays in nearly 60 percent of all pro sports facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Jordan is a senior English and journalism major at SDSU in Brookings. She is from De Smet, South Dakota. She is based out of the Sioux Falls studio.