The recent ESPN Upfront event took place at Nokia Theater in the heart of the theatre district in New York City (NYC) and it was the first time NYC-based creative marketing and communications agency Broadstreet incorporated Analog Way products into an event. Upfronts are a spring tradition where network and cable broadcasters preview their upcoming programming to advertisers and with marketers looking to commit almost $9 billion USD there’s a lot at stake, so creating a powerful communication message is crucial.
Mark Baltazar, managing partner at Broadstreet, talks about the ESPN Upfront event, explaining, “ESPN recognized that we understood their objective and the challenges of this specialized audience. Broadstreet created an immersive experience through creative storytelling that incorporated and wove both live and multimedia elements to deliver their message in ways that were engaging and brand specific.”
ESPN is a premier multiplatform brand with multiple broadcast channels, a magazine, several websites, mobile phone content, restaurants, and sports complexes. Their primary communication objective was to demonstrate to their audience of advertisers how their brands could flow across the various ESPN media platforms and content programs. Essentially, the creative team wanted to surround the audience in ESPN and they created the theme “ESPN on Broadway,” a fast-paced pop musical that took a fictional brand across all these different platforms: web, TV, mobile, etc.
“From a media standpoint our objective was to create a seamless flow of content around multiple sources around the room creating a 360° environment,” Baltazar says. “We worked with LMG on many projects and they recommended we run 7 different sources of content we produced on 7 separate screens and blend them together so the audience was basically surrounded by a soft edge. ” There were multi-sources in the room with video that went 360° around the room and multi sync video. “We had video sources running and they all had to be sent together—we didn’t send multi-sources to a single screen,” he adds. “We basically set up different screens, but they moved all the time so they had to be coordinated. We never had a big screen—these were all smaller screens and monitors.”
AV gear included 2 Analog Way Di-VentiXTM Switchers, a TripliXTM controller for edge blending, and 6 other Di-VentiXTM equipped with the Show ManagerTM software were used for switching operations.Baltazar concludes, “This powerful digital technology enabled us to tell the story of ESPN in a unique way this audience had never experienced and in doing so, ESPN was able to create a breakthrough with certain advertisers with whom they had never been able to have a meaningful conversation with.”