Projection mapping is a rich new technology being used by top college basketball programs to get the fans fired up before the game. The tech used high-definition projectors to layer extremely creative designs on top of one another. The effect looks like alligators crawling out of the half-court circle, the floor dropping away with incredible 3D graphics or digital logos and mascots flying across the court.
The University of Florida wanted to do something spectacular to kick off a basketball game against their SEC rival Kentucky Wildcats. Before the teams took the court for the February game, the Athletic Association teamed with ON Services to debut a custom pregame on-court projection show that left fans abuzz.
The video, one of the first applications of lifelike “organic” animation using 3-D projection mapping technology, brought the swamp to life on the basketball court.
The court projection video lasted just 65 seconds prior to player introductions, but less than 48 hours after the game, the video already had 600,000 views on Facebook and 1,500 retweets on Twitter. Within 24 hours following the activation at the game, Florida’s assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions had heard from a half-dozen of her peers at other universities. By the next day, she had taken nearly 20 calls from other collegiate marketers.
The University of Purdue celebrated Mackey Arena's 50th anniversary by projecting video onto the 94 by 50-foot basketball court. The “oohs” and aahs” of the crowd sweep over the stadium as the floor drops away and a giant train flies across the court.
Using state-of-the-art projection products, ON Services designed and produced this extraordinary live event experience.
College basketball is not the only league using this technology. The NBA is also getting in on the action. It’s very likely we will see projection mapping become more popular in the next few years.