LA Vinyl

A big-ticket event like the NBA All-Star Game requires graphics that wow.

Advertisers need to create a slam dunk effect to stand out during a hot-ticket event like the 2018 NBA All-Star Game held in Los Angeles. The big game brought in 17,000 spectators (and more than seven million TV viewers), plus celebrities both on and off the court. The winning graphic decision? Giant vinyl window wraps plastered to the side of prominent buildings around the Staples Center.

To get the Nike and Jordan brand images in front of the large audience, CR&A Custom was tapped to install the massive wraps. Launched more than 25 years ago as a printer of custom apparel for use in films, CR&A has since morphed into a full-service wide-format digital print production and visual display company. The LA-based firm often works on large-scale projects in their own backyard, including jobs for the JW Marriott – where some of the Nike graphics were installed. 

wide format superwideUsing its HP Latex 3300, CR&A printed 43,000 square feet of graphics featuring Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook and the iconic Jumpman Jordan logo onto 3M Controltac IJ160 removable vinyl and 3M Scotchcal 8170-P40 perforated window film, which meet the city’s strict requirements. A partner print shop in Phoenix, BPGraphics, used HP Latex 3600 printers to output additional building wraps with Contra Vision 30-percent perforated window film that appeared on the hotel’s façade.
CR&A installed all 100,000-plus square feet of vinyl graphics. CR&A and BPGraphics were able to maintain color consistency for the client between their two shops by both using HP Latex machines with the same ink sets, says Masoud Rad, CR&A COO.   

The individual graphics on the five buildings ranged in size from 4500 to 22,000 square feet. With the project in pieces for each individual window glass – the mullions weren’t wrapped – the challenge was keeping everything organized during installation. “What was very important was proper labeling so our crew could install the right panel on the right window,” Rad adds. “When you blow up an image to 150 feet wide, it’s hard to tell what is the top or bottom of each panel, especially when you are 400 feet up in the air on a swing stage, so the logistics are crucial.”

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CR&A had less than four weeks to survey, create templates, print, and install the entire job with no margin for error, Rad says. Creating an accurate survey was critical. Only four out of eleven walls or elevations had previously been wrapped and not all of the windows were a uniform size. To conduct the survey and install the graphics within a brief period of time – while being mindful that some of the windows looked into occupied hotel rooms – the company decided to rig swing-stage scaffolding on each elevation. Wind speeds were constantly monitored and the team had to halt installation for two days due to high winds.  

Because of the scope of the project, CR&A used all 16 of their full-time installers to remove pre-existing images and get the new graphics up within a two-week time frame. Removal of the All-Star project began the day after the final game ended.

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