Nov 3, 2013

Gameday #3: A great opening video produced by the Vancouver Canucks.

Just published the newest edition of GAMEDAY, my email newsletter about great sports creative. This edition is about a great opening video produced by the Vancouver Canucks that captures the team's new personality under head coach John Tortorella. You can read it and subscribe here...

Oct 8, 2013

Cool pre-game lighting at Chicago Blackhawks home opener

The Chicago Blackhawks produced a great pre-game show as part of the Stanley Cup banner raising on opening night last week.

The full-ice video projection was produced by Dangers Inc. out of Montreal, who worked with the Blackhawks in-house team to put together the moving video and graphics. Every member of the audience is wearing a remote-operated LED wristband called a Xyloband. Coldplay used these on their most recent tour. As you can see in the video they were able to program each section to flash little pins of light.

Nice job AJ & crew in Chicago to create a high-impact show and make the audience the "stars".


Aug 30, 2013

PHOTO: Michael Jackson drops the puck at a Canucks game in 1984

Wow. Vancouver gets all the big names for the puck drop, don't they? Wasn't the Queen there a few years ago?

Jul 31, 2013

Baseball organist Nancy Faust is now available in bobblehead format

This is pretty cool. It's a bobblehead honouring Nancy Faust, former organist for the Chicago White Sox.  She plays the organ occasionally for the Kane County Cougars (Chicago Cubs affiliate), who are giving these bobbleheads on Sunday, August 11.

See also: Detroit Red Wings PA Announcer Budd Lynch Bobblehead

Jul 23, 2013

What a video scoreboard promotion looks like in Japan: "Home Run Cam"

Check out this really fun video from the Orix Buffaloes, a pro baseball team in Japan. I think it is called "Home Run Cam". It was one of the entries in this year's Golden Matrix Awards.

Jun 7, 2013

A brief history of Whoomp! (There It Is) on its 20th anniversary

One of the most popular and most annoying sports anthems turns twenty this year. Happy Birthday Whoomp!

Here's the backstory on the song from

Steve Rolln was on the line with his man DC the Brain Supreme. DC had been talking to three strippers—Cinnamon, Chocolate, and Dark-N-Lovely—who’d just gotten back from Miami and had told DC, who was a strip-club DJ, about a chant that had gone viral in the South Florida clubs: “Whoomp! There it is.” It was difficult to decipher at first; the refrain was so guttural, so dirty. Was it “whoop” or “whoops” or “woot”? No, no, no. It was whoomp, a bit of ingenious, onomatopoeic strip-club slang to which someone had appended the phrase “there it is.” A woman takes it all off, and—Whoomp! There it is. DC was on it. He wanted to take those four words, wrap a beat around them, and make a song. A party song. The party song.
Since Steve and DC released it 20 years ago, “Whoomp! (There It Is)” has made a bigger impact than even the two dreamers could have imagined. The song, which is not much more than a gussied-up strip-club mantra, was certified four times platinum in the United States, generated millions of dollars in sales and royalties, and ranks among the country’s most commercially successful singles of all time. It reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 1993 end-of-the-year chart (and was in the top 50 in ’94). In the annals of American pop music sales, “Whoomp!” sits right alongside singles by icons like Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson. And, even today, “Whoomp!” still gets airtime on the radio, at sports venues, in television commercials, and on movie soundtracks. In two decades it’s gone from bona fide hit to kitsch to generational touchstone. Put another way, “Whoomp!” has matured and grown by means of reminding a whole bunch of thirty- and fortysomethings of their immaturity, of all the fun they used to have before jobs and kids and marriages and mortgages.

Read the full article...

Jun 6, 2013

What the organ (and organist) looks like at Centre Bell in Montreal

From Ottawa CBC reporter Stu Mills' Twitter feed in the playoffs:

Apr 25, 2013

VIDEO: Sens fans wish Cora McKenna a happy 100th birthday

A fun moment from a recent Sens game. Sens fan Cora McKenna was celebrating her 100th birthday. Sparty delivered a cake and 20,000 Sens fans in Scotiabank Place watched in suspense to see if she'd blow out the candle.

Mar 30, 2013

RIP Carolina Hurricanes "Dancin' Granny"

Continuing on our senior citizen theme this week...

Dancin’ Granny, a fan favorite at Canes games, dies 
Joyce Johnston had a shy streak that seemed to magically disappear whenever the JumboTron camera found her in the stands of Carolina Hurricanes games.
The white-haired, small-town woman, born 85 years ago in Turtle Creek, W. Va., would rise from her seat when the song “Low” by rapper Flo Rida boomed through the hockey arena and delighted her adoring fans with a few slick dance moves. 
Her high energy and exuberance moved the crowd, and, according to her family, the woman who became widely known as the Hurricanes Dancin’ Granny was just as moved by her many fans. 
On Wednesday, Johnston died from complications of a fall. Alzheimer’s disease and aches and pains had kept her away from hockey games in recent years. 
Read more here from

Mar 29, 2013

And the crowd goes wild for a 95-year-old Sens fan

There have been plenty of fun fan moments this year at Scotiabank Place. One of my favourites happened earlier this month when we welcome 95-year-old Isobel Gallipeau to the game. It was easily the loudest ovation of the night. The Ottawa Citizen has a story here with some background on Gallipeau and her experience at the Sens game.

Feb 24, 2013

Those video scoreboards just keep getting bigger

Here's a round-up for my Wednesday morning class of some of the latest and greatest video scoreboards in North America.

The Tampa Bay Lightning introduced a massive 28'x50' centrehung video scoreboard this season. (Not that their old one was small -- it was already one of the biggest in the league at 16'x28'.) The sides facing the end zones are a narrow 28'x20'. It's a Daktronics board.  The shot above is a mock-up. Here's a video showing the scoreboard in action.

Quite a similar design in Houston at the Toyota Center where the Rockets play.  This one is 25'x58' feet, so just a bit bigger than the one in Tampa Bay. It's a Panasonic board and they claim it's the "largest combined viewing area of any indoor center-hung scoreboard currently used in the U.S." Here's more about the installation. And here's a video. (Look at all those stats!)

Meanwhile in the MLB, the Seattle Mariners claim that they will have the biggest scoreboard in baseball this year.  56.7' x 201.5 feet wide.  That's as wide as an NHL rink. "The viewing area will be equal to about 2,182 42-inch flat screen TVs." It's being made by Panasonic.

An article on the Mariners web site also offers these stats on other large video displays in MLB:
Comparison to MLB Video Screens
Safeco Field, Seattle Mariners: 56.7' x 201.5' - 11,425 sq. ft.
Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals: 105 x 84' - 8,820 sq. ft.
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Phillies: 76' x 97' - 7,372 sq. ft.
Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros: 124' x 54' - 6,696 sq. ft.
Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers: 94' x 65' - 6,110 sq. ft.
Bonus stat (Cowboys Stadium, Ft. Worth, Texas: 160' x 72' - 11,520 sq. ft.)

Reliant Stadium (home of the Houston Texans) will lay claim to the widest scoreboard in pro sports, when they unveil a board measuring 52.49'x277.17'. They're hoping it will help them win a bid to host the Super Bowl.  Manufactured by Mitsubishi.

I don't know the source of this infographic or how accurate it is but it's a decent visual to compare the different stadiums.

What other big scoreboards are being installed this year?

Feb 17, 2013

Bill Veeck's 1964 vision of "The Perfect Ballpark"

This was posted earlier today on J.W. Cannon's Twitter feed. He says it's from a 1964 edition of Popular Science. 

"How Bill Veeck Would Build The Perfect Ball Park".
Foam cushion seats! A retractable dome! Giant scoreboard and tv screen!

(Click for full size.)

Feb 16, 2013

Today in disgusting stadium food: Chocolate-bacon milkshake

Seen on Darren Rovell's twitter feed:

Feb 15, 2013

Great mascot photo featuring Harvey the Hound (Calgary Flames)

From the Twitter feed of @Kristin_Hallett:

Vancouver Canucks ask fans to help them choose a new entrance song

I'm not a fan of some of the songs they've shortlisted (can we please move on from Welcome to the Jungle?!), but the execution here is good: "Project NU2".
  • The House that Heaven Built – Japandroids
  • We Are – Static in the Stars
  • Burn it to the Ground – Nickelback
  • Welcome to the Jungle – Guns & Roses
  • A Warrior’s Call – Volbeat
  • Stockholm – DJ MEG

"A few weeks ago we launched Project NU2, the official Vancouver Canucks hunt for a new entrance song. We laid out criteria for what the team is looking for in a fresh tune and then opened the floor to you, our beloved fans. 
We received 2,853 submissions and the range of music was phenomenal; from The Who, Sam Roberts, April Wine and Toby Mac to Queen, The Hives, The Wallflowers and the Cobra Skulls, there was something for everyone – and yet the debate rages on. 
After carefully sifting through the results (well, not me personally, I’d play Foo Fighters every game as the intro, goal song and between periods!) we’ve gathered the top six songs, as determined by you, and we’re putting it to another vote."

(Thanks CC for the pointer.)