SAP's HANA software is used by the NHL to power all of their statistics across the league through an incredible robust and responsive database. To highlight the way their deep statistical database powers the players and teams across the league, they wanted to deliver a fan experience that brought them closer to the data connected to their favorite players.
The result was the vision of an interactive locker room touch wall that would allow fans to get an exclusive chance to explore their favorite players' gear and unlock statistical insights layered into premium locker room photographs.
Our team set out to design, architect and capture authentic player gear and locker room assets that we could augment with high tech animation, wrapped in a lightweight Unity application that would run on massive touchwalls at two of the NHL's most popular arenas.
A custom UI toolkit was artfully designed to integrate the SAP brand and still be able to work with the iconic but disparate colors of the New York Rangers and the San Jose Sharks. A system of icons utilized a shared visual language, inspired by data and animated to be fluid and powerful without distracting from the player jerseys or lockers.
Multiple data types were accounted for including pure stats, larger player cards, video clips, still photos and unique insights dissected by the NHL stats team and behind the scenes fun-facts shared by the teams themselves. All of the UI had to be clear and understandable at a glance so that fans could quickly choose a hotspot and understand whether they'd be activating video, text or photos.
Rounds of UX followed clear use paths that were then put into practice with the required UI to make sure navigation was effortless and enjoyable. An alluring idle state and CTAs were designed to grab the attention of users as they passed through the arena.
Real Time Data
Taking advantage of a small offseason window allowed us to use the actual equipment bags for each player and stage the lockers with their personal equipment and amenities. Understandably the teams' equipment managers were anxious about our team misplacing even the smallest item of player gear, so we devised an efficient and detailed assembly line to move gear together from staging area to locker, keeping a close eye on everything we touched.
With Adidas taking over the NHL jersey sponsorship for the upcoming season, none of the final player jerseys were available yet. We had to work with blank jerseys, attaching the numbers and nameplates ourselves including the addition of the official NHL stickers and labels to the helmets for each player.
Our crew dove in and was able to move through the day efficiently capturing multiple exposures of each players locker. We had a workstation on site to test our rough composites to guarantee all of the lockers would line up seamlessly in the final interactive display.
Back at the studio, our artists carefully retouched the locker photos, applying the final details to help the screen elements stand out in the crowded concourse. This included mixing different exposures, cleaning up any digital artifacts, color correction, adjusting final assets and applying a subtle lens correction effect to help each locker room line up seamlessly with any locker placed next to it.
After defining a template for proper color, each player locker was standardized and prepared to pass onto our animators and developers to continue the process of designing the lockers with hotspots, animated statistics and creating transitions between each player's locker for inclusion in all four screens of the touchwall.
Getting the interactive experience ready for the start of the season included on-site installations at Madison Square Garden and the SAP Arena. Stress testing and final touchups allowed us to identify any remaining bugs, tweak copy and make any last minute adjustments to the oversized touchscreen before the puck dropped.
Soft-launches for pre-season games gave us further insight into the fan response to the experience and we were able to watch people enjoy the activation and see the joy on their faces as they took endless photos posing next to their favorite players locker or tapped the gear to trigger surprising hotspot content.
Statistics are updated before each game and our team monitors the installation remotely to ensure consistent uptime and a smooth performance of each set of screens at every home game for both teams.
Each screen was installed in the home rinks of the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers before the season began. Fans were delighted to find these enhanced interactive experiences in the concourse and the opportunity interact with a larger than life version of their team's actual locker room.
Engagement at each game continues to bloom as fans find new statistics to explore and flock to the wall as the perfect photo opportunity. At the end of our installation we added a visible #SAPsports hashtag to the board to help fans tag their social posts online which has lead to an bonus lift in social awareness and increased engagement with the SAP Sports brand platforms.
- 35kTotal Interactions
- 190Interactive Hotspots
- 36Lockers Photographed