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Creating the Ultimate NFL Experience in Times Square

Thinkwell Group tapped our Media & Technology division to help them create a premium immersive experience for NFL fans at Discovery Place in Times Square. A first-of-its-kind interactive and immersive attraction, the NFL Experience brings fans closer than ever to the sport and their favorite teams. Multiple interactive technologies were used to create two separate experiences. Suit Up puts you in the uniform of your favorite NFL team, while Quarterback Challenge tests your throwing skills to see how you stack up against your favorite quarterback.


The Challenge

The biggest challenge we faced with this project was determining how to precisely track a live football thrown by a guest toward a running virtual receiver on a virtual field on a screen in front of the participant. Aligning the arc and speed of the ball with the position of the receiver was a huge challenge, one that we ultimately solved by using conveyor belt tracking and building a set of frames that the ball would have to be thrown through.


Our strategy was to leverage the most advanced technology available, alongside custom software and content to create a rich, engaging fan experience while remaining authentic to the brand aesthetics of the NFL. Each interactive required the hardware and equipment to be seamlessly integrated into the environment, and durable enough to stand up to heavy use and flying footballs!

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Working from a design narrative provided by Thinkwell, Bridgewater developed the technology and sourced and specified all the equipment needed for the two interactives. Our team also created all the digital content, soundscapes, and coordinated lighting effects. Finally, we designed the technology to integrate seamlessly into the environment so it would be invisible to guests.

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We produced and installed the elements of both immersive experiences and designed our show control systems to fully integrate with other experiences in the space. In fact, we had to create a second, temporary shop in NYC to ensure we’d have the necessary equipment and supplies on hand since getting specialized equipment into bustling Times Square is no easy task!

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