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Volume 24 No. 134
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CFP Title Game Marks End Of Year-Long Process By Infinite Scale To Brand Event

Fans who descended on Atlanta for tonight’s CFP championship game probably have not given much thought to the branding of the event, but for Infinite Scale, the official Look and Décor Team for the CFP, this year’s version presented unique challenges. Salt Lake City-based Infinite Scale has worked on the look and feel of the championship since the event’s debut in '15 at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas, but this was the first year that it had to create CFP materials for a stadium that was still under construction. Infinite Scale Dir of Events Amy Lukas said, “That creates a lot of additional challenges. Even though we have solid plans, when we go into venues that already exist, we’re able to document them in detail to figure out how the plan is going to work. This year we could only move so far in development because we had to wait for construction to be completed.” Infinite Scale Creative Dir Cameron Smith added, “Luckily for us, part of our business is about event design, but the other part is about facility design, so we’re used to this world, where we’re looking at plans before something is in the ground.” With its 360-degree video board and digital integration throughout the facility, Mercedes-Benz Stadium also presented new opportunities. Lukas: “This year, we had a lot of extra collaboration with our digital partners to make sure we were using every bit of the technology available."

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: For an event as large as the CFP, staying on schedule is crucial. Planning for each year’s event begins almost as soon as the previous one ends. The CFP holds an initial meeting with all of its sub-consultants to evaluate the latest campaign, and there is collaboration with each of them over the course of 10-11 months to nail down the details of the next game. For Infinite Scale, even when everything goes right, the week before the game can be harried, because many of the design elements cannot be put into place until the final two teams are decided. Each year, Infinite Scale uses the previous year’s finalists to mock up materials for next year’s game. So for most of the year, design elements for tonight’s game were based on Clemson and Alabama, the two teams in the '17 championship. Smith: “Design and production files, the core system that isn’t team specific, started going out to our production partners to be queued into their work flow in early December.” When the four playoff teams were announced on Dec. 8, their colors and imagery started to replace the versions created with last year’s teams. “Then a lot of these files went out the door with two layers in them,” said Smith. “One for Oklahoma and Georgia, and one for Alabama and Clemson. And as soon as those games were over, and we got approval from the CFP, we give the green light to our production team and they strip away a layer and they go to print with the two finalists. Those pieces then get produced and start arriving on site basically within a few days.”

BY THE NUMBERS: The look for tonight’s game is integrated into 1,364 individual pieces of both static and digital applications. The design master plan includes nine official venues, two of which have building wraps: a 227-foot-tall wrap on the Westin Peachtree Plaza, and a 175-foot-tall wrap on the American Cancer Society Building, incorporating 131,277 square feet of material. Infinite Scale had two teams of 10 people installing material throughout the city this week, from the airport to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the surrounding area. CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock said, “Infinite Scale’s creative designs and products have enhanced the College Football Playoff branding in the city that hosts the national championship game.”

FIGHTING THE ELEMENTS: As she so often does, Mother Nature threw out one final challenge. The record cold weather that has gripped the East Coast in the last week caused a few problems for the installation teams. “On Thursday, we were starting to apply graphics to the exterior of Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” said Smith, “But not only was it cold, which people can deal with, but it was super windy. So we just grounded our lift guys.” Smith said it was “all hands on deck” inside the facility on Thursday so that the outside work could be done on Friday instead. Smith: “It’s a living thing, and when things go right, it’s great. But they don’t always go right. And when they go wrong, we make adjustments and shifts to ensure that we stay on time. It’s all the way up to game time. It’s not over Sunday night. It’s over when that ball gets kicked.”