Event TV: How NFL UK transformed The Shard with Innovision

Event spoke to NFL UK and agency Innovision about the idea behind the eye-catching Super Bowl 50 stunt at The Shard on last Monday night (1 February).

The stunt saw The Shard transformed into the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy
The stunt saw The Shard transformed into the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy

The activity, which saw the building morph into the Vince Lombardi trophy, was designed to celebrate the launch of Super Bowl week in the UK, ahead of the final on Sunday (7 February).

Sarah Swanson, head of marketing at NFL UK, explained three key factors drove the company’s decision to execute the stunt.

"We wanted to do something that was worthy of the scope and scale of the Super Bowl 50, and to celebrate the Super Bowl in a way that was authentic to the UK.

"We also wanted to promote the 50 Golden Tickets offer, where the NFL will be handing out prizes until Sunday (7 February)."

Swanson explains that in fact two agencies pitched the idea to turn The Shard into an American football. "We didn’t realise it [The Shard] looks like the trophy, and thought – we have to do that.

"We liked the way that Innovision said they would create it," she adds.  

NFL UK won’t be hosting any other events this week, however Swanson says it has partnered with Gridiron magazine for a Super Bowl party on Sunday. She adds it is not their event. 

The technical aspect

Andrew Douglass, founder and chief executive at Innovision, explains the agency was tasked with creating an 'iconically London' media moment to generate excitement around the Super Bowl final. 

"Given The Shard’s striking resemblance to the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy and its iconic status as London’s tallest building, we came up with the idea of creating a one-of-a-kind media projection stunt, which would transform The Shard into the SB50 trophy," he says.

"As a result of our trusted relationship with The Shard, we were able to deliver successfully against the brief, whilst at the same time upholding the brand integrity of this iconic London landmark."

He delves into how the Innovision team employed the technique of forced perspective. "[It] allows you to create an optical illusion by restricting the field of view and then adjusting the size of the objects to give the impression of greater distance.

"The projection site was situated on the North Bank of the River Thames, where we captured the footage for NFL UK to push out via broadcast, web and social."

He added that a 90-second cut was first unveiled at a VIP reception within The Shard on Monday night (1 February), which the NFL UK hosted for invited media, sponsors and partners.

Innovision handled the end-to-end project management and production of the stunt, including the creative direction, oversight and management of all animated content and the sourcing of The Shard venue.

The agency also oversaw the technical management of the projection site set-up on the North Bank, as well as the live running on the night.

Agency Really Creative Media filmed the stunt itself, handled all post production, and made the content for a social media package for NFL UK. It also handled the legalising of the stunt for broadcast. 

More: In pictures: NFL on Regent Street event takes over London

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