Digital Trophy Case

"The Big Picture"

Several years back I got a desperate call from a former high school teammate, “Did you hear about the picture?!?” He didn’t have to be more specific, “the picture” was a nearly life-size photo of my high school’s first state championship in 60 years. Our boy’s basketball team went 25-0 my sophomore year and won it all. The school and community were so proud they purchased a new trophy case to house all the glory – complete with the championship trophy, the cut-down net, and a ridiculously large photo of our team in the background.

“No, what happened?” I shot back.

“Someone found it in the school dumpster!”

How could a school discard something so sacred? Such a seminal moment, thrown out like yesterday’s news. But then he reminded me that the girl’s team won State more recently. Oh, yeah. Knowing that there wasn’t any more space, they would have had to take down that shrine to 1985 and make room for the girl’s achievement. Our Athletic Director had to make the call…

And so it goes for over 36,000+ AD’s in the U.S. who annually must make hard decisions on what goes up on the walls and in the trophy cases, and what must come down. The latter, relegated to the dusty archives of basements, storage closets, or given away at alumni tournaments. At one point my wife had to tell me to stop bringing random team trophies home on my annual trek to my alma mater.


The problem of a lack of space in high schools is not a new one, but in the year 2018, many public and private high schools now have well over 100 years of history. The average public school in the U.S. was built 62 years ago. That’s a lot of plaques, trophies, banners, and pictures to display. A lot.

The solutions thus far have been less than perfect. New banners that don’t quite match the old ones. Plaques stacked so high on the wall you can’t see the year or sport on it. Record boards with lettering a shade or two whiter than the rest, the font a bit smaller. And where do they put the band/speech/musical/academic honors?

Enter the digital age… Technology continues to play a role in schools across the globe. Athletic and Activity Directors have embraced it (see: scouting software, jumbotron scoreboards, and team mobile apps). The social media age has allowed schools and their students to tell their stories and instantly share them with their community and the world. High resolution photos and videos are transforming how we consume content on our laptops, tablets, and phones.


A while back we created an interactive digital experience for a high school hall of fame museum, run by former high school AD’s. As coaches and AD’s visited the museum, it became clear that they could use the same technology in their schools. A market clearly presented itself and Nanonation has jumped in with both feet. The Digital Trophy Case was created – an interactive touchscreen that highlights school accomplishments – engages students, alumni, parents, and visitors.

As an eighteen-year-old software company, Nanonation has been designing and developing public space digital experiences for retail (Nike, Harley Davidson, Famous Footwear, American Eagle, etc.), museums (Library of Congress, Joslyn Art Museum, Hershey’s, etc.), financial institutions, hospitality, education, and more. With nearly 50,000 units deployed across 30 countries - helping organizations manage, monitor, and measure content on screens is all we do.

So, when it came time to do the same for schools, we didn’t have to think about how we would support them once it was installed, we didn’t have to write new software, or hire new engineers to build it. We already had the infrastructure needed to sell and service this product.

As a former high school English teacher, football and basketball coach, every time I would enter an opposing school I would wonder: What’s their 100-meter dash record? How many state championships do they have? Who has been inducted in their Hall of Fame? What is the school “known for?” In so many schools you can see alumni of distinction, but there’s no way of knowing what’s distinct about them. And during those years I watched our AD struggle to find room for each season’s hardware, and what to do with the stuff that had to come down. That’s where the Digital Trophy Case comes in.

Solving problems and helping to tell your school’s story is what we’re all about. Each application is designed with your school’s colors, mascots, and background photos to help make your school spirit shine. Your Project Manager will guide you through the setup process and train you on how to begin entering your own content, once installed.

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When you win a championship, tell the story with photos, video, and newspaper clippings. When you have a record broken, celebrate with more than a name on a dusty plaque. When the debate team wins, create a gallery of photos and video. When a new class is inducted into your Hall of Fame, give them the recognition they deserve. And if you have your yearbooks digitized, Digital Trophy Case will allow you to display every page, from every year, in a searchable view.

“Nanonation's Digital Trophy Case is the perfect solution for every school that faces limited space in displaying honors of past and present students. It makes the honors come alive with photos and video”

— Darin Boysen, Executive Director, Nebraska Coaches Association.

Over the next weeks and months we will be posting case studies, blogs and social media content so you can get more familiar with the Digital Trophy Case, see how schools are using it, and provide you with all the information you will need to get one for your school. 

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