The Fabric of Business

Bluemedia dresses up the Phoenix area for the Big Game.

When Super Bowl XLII (given the NFL’s czar-like control over the use of the name of its championship game, I hope I’m allowed to call it by its proper moniker) took place in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, eyes weren’t constantly focused on the riveting, on-the-field action that kept the game’s outcome in suspense until the final seconds. Also, they observed how Tempe, AZ-based bluemedia developed an exhaustive package of approximately 1,000 banners, whose sizes spanned from 3 x 5 ft. to 36 x 132 ft. and handled duties that varied from identifying entryways to bedecking celebrity soirees.

Any event that attracts 71,000 spectators, nearly 5,000 media members and 98 million TV viewers worldwide carries rigid requirements and deadlines. Bluemedia’s Jared Smith said, “Installing graphics for 19 events that occur on the same day requires a feat of time and resource management. There’s no room to bump a delivery time by even an hour, and there’s the constant challenge of coordinating lifts and outside-rigging vendors, bringing in the precise amount and type of materials, accessing secured or blocked areas and streets, managing installations at events 40 miles apart and adapting to ever-changing weather conditions during installations.”

Bluemedia output the myriad graphics, depending on the graphics’ size, with its Mimaki four, JV3-160 SPs, HPScitex XL Jet 3 and HP TurboJet 8300 on Ultraflex and Mayler media. For pieces too large to sprawl over the shop floor, fabricators used a Miller Weldmaster to heat-seam rolled-up media sections together.

Installation required a fleet of scissor lifts, knuckle boom trucks and scores of scaffolding platforms. The projects’ diversity dictated an equally broad spectrum of fastening solutions:

• For repeated-use backdrops, bluemedia employed an Octanorm (Lithia Springs, GA) display-support system.

• Soft-sided graphics mounted to the stadium structure required heavy-duty cable and pole rigging.

• Interior banners entailed Velcro® and gel theater tape.

• Mesh-fence installations required zip ties and brass grommets.

• Façade coverings mandated bolt-and-washer hardware.

• Lightpole applications needed aluminum pole brackets and hemmed pockets.

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