PixelFLEX Celebrates a History of Excellence at Stanford Home of Champions
With more than a century of excellence filled with many talented players, coaches, and champions, Stanford Athletics is heralded as one of the most successful NCAA athletic programs. Wanting to find a way to celebrate this rich history, the program recently unveiled the new 18,000-square foot Home of Champions. Designed to be a constantly-evolving guest experience, the university enlisted the assistance of the Nashville-based experiential design and consulting firm Advent to create an interactive and cutting-edge showcase using FLEXLite NXG 3.9mm LED video from PixelFLEX.
"When first speaking with the University about the new Home of Champions, they really wanted the space to be a centralized showcase for Stanford Athletics, and to be an instigator for their brand highlighting what makes them truly unique," says Drew Bryant, design principal, Advent. "Originally, the space was a basketball gym located in the middle of an office building that housed the Athletic offices, so they asked us to completely reimagine what the space could be. Since this is a program that is continuing to evolve with multiple successful teams, we knew we needed to give them the flexibility to showcase their story in a relevant and dynamic environment."
Using front-serviceable video panels, plus seamless right-angle corner capabilities, FLEXLite NXG from PixelFLEX is one of the highest resolution LED video displays on the market today, the company says. Available in 2.6mm - 6.25mm pitch options, plus a 6.25mm full outdoor IP65 version as well, the FLEXLite NXG 500mm x 500mm video tiles are calibrated directly out of the box to ensure color and brightness
Bryant continues, "When looking at the technology available, we knew one of the primary capabilities of the LED display was that it needed to have the ability to curve due to how it would be mounted on the wall. We also needed it to be capable of displaying high-resolution imagery, plus it needed to work with our proprietary backend display and CMS system, and PixelFLEX really did a great job of working with us to identify the ideal technology solution."
As the renovation got underway, the design team began to look at how the LED video system would be mounted in the space. Using a custom framing system connected directly to the building's sub-structure which cantilevers off the existing floor plates above, the team was able to quickly complete the installation only ten days into the one-month schedule.
"To get the LED video system installed into the space, each FLEXLite NXG cabinet is fastened to ¾" plywood which is then affixed to the steel work that is behind the visible wall," explains John Downie, VP of Digital Experience, Advent. "Since we were in San Francisco, we also had to be very aware of the building codes as it relates to earthquake protection to make sure the LED video will remain in place should any movement occur.
With the LED video now mounted securely to the wall, Downie and team got to work configuring the control system that would bring the experience to life through the seamless integration PixelFLEX and Advent technologies.
"For control, the board presents as three different surfaces due to the horizontal layout and each board is then wired back via a CAT6 cable run to the server room which is only a couple hundred feet away," continues Downie. "We then have three PixelFLEX sending units connected to a PC system running our software that binds all the elements together into one continuous display. This allows us to run our application seamlessly across the three displays as one colorful and dynamic canvas."
Ready to now program the content that would achieve the visually-engaging, guest experience, the FLEXLite NXG LED display would be relied upon to set the tone of the environment. Using a combination of video highlights, accolades, and an historical timeline, Advent developed a flexible series of templates, so the display was not only exciting, but customizable and easily updatable as well.
"It's a very rich and diverse LED display that binds all the static and physical elements of the space together into one dynamic focal point," says Downie. "The football coach can come in and show football content, the cross-country coach can show cross-country content, and then they can create messages for the public, students, or donors. It really achieves all the elements we were looking for today, but then it also allows us to keep the space fresh for future generations of Stanford athletes and fans."
"When we first saw the imagery coming across the display, it was a great experience to see how the LED video manipulated the ambiance of the room in a beautiful fashion," adds Bryant. "It was very dramatic for all of us because at times, the FLEXLite NXG imagery can be subtle and provide a low-key ambiance, but then there are times when a coach can play a hype video with great audio to really get the heart of a high-profile recruit pounding."
Opened to the public in September 2017, the new Stanford Home of Champions now houses over 40 displays which highlight the story behind a tradition of excellence in an interactive and engaging environment. More than just a museum, the team at Advent stands proud of the design behind the experience, and they are continuing to implement LED video into more of their innovative designs.
"It really is amazing how LED video allows your space to be dynamic and flexible while creating very impressionable moments, and the value of those moments can go much further than you could with a static display," admits Bryant. "The ability to customize information can be so powerful. If you have the right story, set up at the right time, then whoever is in the space has the ability to create the display that will best fit their needs for a much greater impact."
"Since we are also based in Nashville, we've had the opportunity to work with PixelFLEX on a few projects now," concludes Downie. "It's very convenient to have a partner we can visit in their facility to test a few different solutions, and they always provide us with great engineering insight and technical expertise to design the exact LED system we need."