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Wrapping Up a New World Record

National Print Group Creates the Largest Building Wrap Ever

NBA

NBA

NBA

 

 

They say everything is bigger in Texas. So when it came time for Dallas to host the February 2010 National Basketball Association All-Star Game, officials knew they wanted to pull out all the stops and showcase what their city was truly made of.

The publicity that comes with such a large-scale project is considerable, but so is the risk. The project involved building wraps that included skyscrapers and two hotels. Given the tight timeframe, organizers knew that they needed to work with experienced professionals, and selected The National Print Group of Chattanooga, Tennessee. “We’re known as the ones who do the big projects,” said Doug Newson, President of National Print Group. “Dialogues started up. We were asked, ‘Would it be possible to get a team together to print and install and get it done?’ I said we could do it.”

Newson contacted Jodi Sawyer, a member of Spencer, MA-based FLEXcon’s Product Branding Business Team. She said that both National and FLEXcon were ready for the challenge. “Dallas always does things big,” Sawyer said, adding that this project was no exception. “It included the Bank of America Plaza, the Hyatt Hotel, and the Renaissance Hotel. These applications were tremendous in scope and size.” So tremendous, in fact, that the wrap on the Bank of America attracted the attention of the Guinness Book of World Records. The 53,000 square-foot graphic, which measured 105 feet by 505 feet, will be included in the next edition as the largest graphic ever installed on a building. Even that is only a fraction of the more than 120,000 square feet of total graphics that National produced for the event.

Full Court Press

The path to this super-sized success was not always an easy one. Although the design of the graphics and the selection of the buildings were relatively straightforward, there were other areas that were problematic. Specifically, Newson said that there were significant challenges in the area of permitting. Coordinating efforts with the Dallas Mayor’s office, National was able to shrink the permitting schedule and get the paperwork in place for the February 2010 event.

“It included the Bank of America Plaza, the Hyatt Hotel, and the Renaissance Hotel. These applications were tremendous in scope and size.”
Jodi Sawyer,
FLEXcon’s Product Branding
Business Team Member

After getting authorization to move forward, organizers discovered that the project faced an unanticipated funding challenge. “In years past, they had a primary sponsor, but the economy was challenging, so the primary sponsor had backed out late in the game,” Newson said. The Dallas Mavericks decided to take the lead, putting together a funding mechanism with the NBA to make this spectacular graphic display happen. Newson said there were a lot of people committed to making sure this project was as spectacular as possible. “We opened a dialogue with the Dallas Mavericks and the NBA,” he said. “Mark Cuban, who owns the Mavericks, said, ‘If this is going to be in Dallas, it’s going to be bigger than anything anyone has ever done.’”

The Maverick’s organization and the NBA found funding, and the project got back on track. Design work was transferred to National, which utilized two HP Scietex XL 1500 printers that had been modified to meet the company’s particular printing needs. In addition, National employed specially formulated inks that had been developed to their strict specifications, as well as custom substrates developed in conjunction with FLEXcon. “They wanted to use a product they were comfortable with,” Sawyer said of National’s decision to use a custom version of FLEXcon® seeTHRU-sign®.

Of course, a project of this magnitude required an extraordinary amount of substrate. “We were able to supply the material in 1,000 foot rolls, which was a big factor in terms of the quick turnaround,” Sawyer said. “We always keep special stock inventory, but this was well beyond that.”

Weather or Not

With funding in place and graphics in hand, National was ready to begin the installation process, but the installation crew soon discovered it was not going to be easy. The weather shifted from wind to rain to snow. “January is a crapshoot in Dallas in terms of the weather,” Newson said. “We had hoped to be able to get them installed quickly, but it took almost a month. You can’t install the window perforated film when there’s moisture. Mother Nature really created some challenges for us in terms of timelines.”

But National, which prides itself in offering total turnkey solutions, succeeded, much to the excitement of everyone involved.

 “They were phenomenal graphics,” Newson said. “Nothing this size has ever been done. It was the largest single pressure-sensitive graphic installed on a building. We’re thrilled with the exposure it brought to the city of Dallas, the Mavericks, and the NBA. It was on magazine covers, newspaper, television, and radio; pictures of it were all over the place. The exposure that it got was just tremendous for all of us.” Sawyer concurred. She noted that during the final approach of her flight to Dallas to see the applications, she caught a glimpse of several of the building wraps from her window.

The NBA and Dallas Mavericks were pleased, as well as the team at National. “We’re very excited about what the future might hold for us and for FLEXcon,” Newson said. “We’ve been thrilled with our relationship with FLEXcon for the past several years and with the performance of their products. FLEXcon has been a great partner.”

Other sporting events took notice of the eye-catching work, and Newson said National is now in active discussions with other teams, sports, and venues about doing large scale graphics for upcoming events. Who knows, maybe the next world record is just around the corner.

We’re very excited about what the future might hold for us and for FLEXcon, we’ve been thrilled with our relationship with FLEXcon for the past several years and with the performance of their products. FLEXcon has been a great partner.

– Doug Newson, President of National Print Group