The 2007 NBA Finals
For nearly two decades, the NBA has relied on VStar to produce some of its most critical, high profile fan experiences. Since 1995, VStar has designed and fabricated events and activities for NBA Jam Session, the league’s 500,000 square foot, weeklong All-Star fan extravaganza. In 2007, league officials wanted to create a high-visibility icon to represent the league Championship Series, so they turned to the ultimate prize sought by every NBA player: The Larry O’Brien Trophy, awarded annually to the NBA Champions. Our task was to create two enormous, 45-foot precise scale replicas of the trophy that would have major impact for both onsite fans and millions of TV viewers. The project’s logistical challenges were compounded by the fact that the locations for the Championship Series would not be determined until the completion of the Semi-Finals.
VStar project managers took detailed surveys of eight potential game locations to confirm the available space, anchor points and power sources that would be needed for installation. Meanwhile, the engineering and design work began, using a scale model to determine the exact dimensions, surface area and weight of the giant trophy replicas. Our engineers designed a foundation and framework for the trophies to withstand 70 MPH winds. We used a box truss tower as the trophy inner “backbone,” adding steel framing covered with metallic tinted panels, all capped off by a 16-foot inflatable basketball. To complement each trophy, we designed, produced and installed brilliant oversized graphics that were customized to fit the exteriors of the respective arenas. Along with millions of NBA fans, we watched the Championship Series games on TV, and the minute the Cavs beat the Pistons and the Spurs eliminated the Jazz, we picked up the phone and sent our trucks to Cleveland and San Antonio. 48 hours later, the trophies were in place – and the Finals were on!