NFL DEBUTS REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY SETTING NEW STANDARD FOR LIVE EVENTS
Feb 3. (MIAMI) – More than 100 million people around the world who tuned into Super Bowl LIV last night witnessed a seven-minute, multi-camera mixed reality presentation when the NFL unveiled the “NFL 100 All-Time Team” during pre-game festivities on FOX. The Famous Group (TFG) teamed with the National Football League and NFL Films to accomplish the ambitious project, marking the longest, most sophisticated and most-viewed mixed reality presentation in television broadcast history.
“It is always an honor to partner with the NFL and we are very excited to be working with NFL Director of Event Presentation and Content Tim Tubito and his team on our 15th Super Bowl,” said TFG Executive Vice President Andrew Isaacson. “Over the years we’ve provided a number of creative content solutions both for the in-stadium show and for the worldwide broadcast. This year is special as we are using mixed reality to tell the story of the top 100 players and 10 coaches to ever play the game.”
"The Famous Group helped enhance the celebration of the NFL’s All-Time Team," said Tubito. "The presentation provided a unique experience for our fans in the stadium and on TV around the world. It was fitting that we celebrated the first 100 years of the league with technology that will be part of the NFL’s next 100."
TFG previously introduced a small dose of mixed reality to football fans when a giant CGI raven invaded Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium during a Thursday Night Football broadcast. The cameras panned to the sky, catching the black bird swoop into and around the stadium, leaving “fans, and anyone who saw the video on social media, in awe.” (Shanna McCarriston, CBSsports.com)
Mixed reality is the process of tracking computer-generated digital objects in a physical environment through a live camera feed, placing digital objects in a physical space. In combination with accurate camera tracking and matching the physical lighting, this sells the illusion that digital objects or characters are inside the real-world environment. Achieving the end result is an extremely long, technical and complex process, requiring specialized creative, software, and hardware.
“The ‘NFL 100 All-Time Team’ presentation was such an elaborate operation because we had to showcase all of these legends in such a short time span,” said TFG Executive Creative Director and Partner Greg Harvey. “We didn’t have the ability or the time to move in elaborate sets or props and then remove them before kickoff, so mixed reality allowed us to extend a virtual set around this entire experience. It’s a powerful storytelling device.”
“Our goal is to enhance what the game experience is all about, and mixed reality is the cutting-edge technology that will provide the next platform for connecting with fans and creating new revenue streams,” said TFG Partner Jon Slusser. “This isn’t an evolution of technology, it’s a revolution of technology, and the creative applications that mixed reality will make available are going to blow people away.”
The “NFL 100 All-Time Team” mixed reality presentation was a massive undertaking that required more than six months of preparation and a team of more than 40 people primarily based at TFG’s Culver City, Calif. headquarters.
“It takes a village as they say,” said Isaacson, “and that village consists of some unbelievable partners like FOX Sports, Quince Imaging, The Future Group, 740 Sound, True Point Laser Scanning and Epic Games who all brought a tremendous amount of knowledge to the project.”
“I believe in the future you won’t see a live event without mixed reality components,” said TFG Creative Director, Hemu Karadkar. “We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this tech’s capabilities.”
About The Famous Group
The Famous Group (TFG) is a full-service fan experience company located in Culver City, Calif. For more than 20 years, TFG has helped the biggest brands, venues and events in the world connect with fans through creating immersive fan experiences utilizing award-winning creative, rock-solid production and proprietary technology. TFG has delivered on the biggest stages for Fortune 500 brands, professional sports teams and events, Esports, concerts, festivals and retail environments. The company has serviced 15 Super Bowls and clients like Nike, the NFL Draft, Live Nation, the NBA finals, Ubisoft, NCAA Final Four, Pepsi, NHL All-Star Weekend, AT&T and more than 90 professional sports teams and venues.