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On the Hardwood: Portland Trail Blazers Manage LED Displays at Moda Center To Educate, Entertain Fans on League Pass

19/02/2021

On the Hardwood: Portland Trail Blazers Manage LED Displays at Moda Center To Educate, Entertain Fans on League Pass Content features historical players, throwback games By Kristian Hernandez, Associate Editor

Friday, February 19, 2021 - 1:13 pm

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The doldrums of 2020 may be in the past, but 2021 is still presenting challenges to in-venue production teams. Now out of the Orlando bubble, NBA organizations are hosting games in their home arenas and navigating the continuing difficulties of the pandemic. Like SVG's At the Ballpark and On the Gridiron series, On the Hardwood will take a look the hardships, creative ideas, and teamwork of NBA franchises.

Since opening in 1995, Moda Center has become one of the toughest, loudest buildings to play in as a visiting team. In 2021, seats remain empty, lacking 19,000 screaming Portland Trail Blazers fans. The venue's videoboard has become the production team's canvas and is populated with a wide range of content for national and international fans watching home games via NBA League Pass.

On League Pass, fans get to go inside the arena and see what's happening during a timeout or commercial break, says Todd Bosma, director, game operations and events, Portland Trail Blazers. Sometimes, the videos that we're producing and showing on the videoboard will also get picked up on League Pass.

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Global Audience: Videoboard Is Path to the Past on NBA League Pass League Pass, the NBA's direct-to-consumer streaming platform, is used by a massive number of fans within the U.S. and selected countries around the globe. On any given night, fans can experience the in-venue flair of each franchise and see the similarities and differences of a production. From lifelong Blazers fans to first-timers tuning into a contest at Moda Center, the production crew is pumping out facts and historical lessons for all viewers.

Willen Sin produces fake crowd noise at Trail Blazers games.

We're showing a lot of throwback games and historical players on the videoboard, notes Bosma. This is an opportunity for us to educate Trail Blazers fans or other fans throughout the country and the world about some of our players.

Besides these flashbacks, the production team is showcasing the athletic abilities of some of the Trail Blazers players, such as five-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard and 2016 NBA Most Improved Player CJ McCollum. The content includes features that show off player personalities, as well as top plays from around the league.

During timeouts, we're presenting a lot of highlight videos, he says. Damian Lillard is in the top 10 in scoring and assists, so we're continuing to promote him for the All-Star Game since it's topical right now. We want to make sure that they're feeling the love from us.

Warmup Soundtrack: Players Pick the Music Prior to Tipoff Athletes are inherently creatures of habit. They believe in superstitions that others would deem ludicrous. One of these quirks is the playing of certain songs during warmups. Since the stands are empty, they have full control of what is heard through the speakers. For added personalization, each player gets to choose three songs on the 60- to 90-minute playlist.

Jusuf Nurki has Bosnian music, so, during layup lines, Carmelo Anthony always looks up at our DJ and tries to change the music, says Bosma. It's always fun to see what they choose.

Todd Bosma (foreground) oversees the production from Zone B, which is located above the lower bowl.

It's one of the first occasions since high school or college when they have complete control over the arena's music. One audio deployment that they're welcoming is the use of fake crowd noise. Bosma; Manager, Game Operations and Events, Willen Sin; and other members of the staff are tasked with replicating the passion usually heard during a normal game at the Moda Center. The NBA bubble in Orlando, which the Trail Blazers participated in, was a small and controllable environment. Back home, the 785,000 sq.-ft. building presents a more difficult auditory challenge.

The bubble was a small venue that didn't have a huge open space behind the baskets, so the production team pumped in crowd noise to create that feel, Bosma explains. Now, in this huge building, we're figuring out how to make it feel a little bit more intimate.

Logistical Labyrinth: Operations Develops Full-Scale Safety Plan In the Pacific Northwest, the Trail Blazers in-venue team is dealing with a unique set of operational restrictions. In the bowels of the edifice, the team (technical director, director, two EVS operators, a still-graphics operator, and motion-graphics operator) is no
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2021/02/19/on-the-hardwood-portland-trail-...
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