Cleveland Cavaliers' Interactive Timeout Court Projection

First NBA team to install permanent 3D projection and motion-tracking technology in their home arena, the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to raise the bar for in-game sports entertainment, delivering immersive, interactive court displays to delight fans. The December 1st home game against the L.A. Clippers showcased advanced new capabilities of the team’s groundbreaking technological investment.  Sponsored by Bud Light, the riveting, fan-favorite ‘Cavs Arcade’ featured the debut of classic Pong-style arcade game.

Demand for 3D image mapping in sports was sparked by a desire to keep fans engaged during timeouts and periods of in-game downtime.  The teams, owners and leagues had been searching for new creative concepts to enthrall and attract the next generation of media-savvy fans. Aware of the mounting need for in-game entertainment, renowned 3D projection engineers, Quince Imaging stepped up to adapt their technique from stage to arena.

The Cleveland Cavaliers initially contacted Quince Imaging in 2014 after catching wind that the established industry pioneer had introduced live-event projection capabilities into sports venues.  Utilizing a temporary solution, Quince and the Cavaliers teamed up to bring the NBA court to life with stunning 3D projections, commemorating the Big Z jersey retirement ceremony.  The landmark event instantly went viral, launched 3D projection mapping to the forefront of sports entertainment, and served as catalyst for the unprecedented new era of permanent sports projection system installation.  

Arena installation of specialized projectors for 3D image mapping require an entirely new protocol; a challenge Quince Imaging enthusiastically accepted.  To create an environment conducive to brilliant, permanent immersive displays, Quince meticulously constructed an all-encompassing methodology, allowing instantaneous communication, simultaneously between projectors and all in-arena digital signage.  The final concept, deployed first in the Quicken Loans arena, and numerous other NBA and NHL arenas shortly thereafter, resulted in a flawless system that delivers seamless, fan-captivating experiences season after season. 

Catapulting the success of the Cavaliers’ permanently installed projection system to even higher sophistication levels, discreet motion-tracking technology enabled the team to build real-time, interactive court projections. Upon activation, wearable motion-tracking sensors trace participants’ movement, synchronizing state-of-the-art media servers to deliver instant 3D compositing directly onto the surface of the court.  For the full-court, pong-inspired game, staged during a timeout, two fans were selected to compete against one another using motion-tracking paddles to pass the virtual ball back and forth.

In addition to keeping fans engaged during periods of in-game downtime, the court arcade games have significantly contributed to ROI of the projection system technology by creating an additional revenue stream in the form of sponsorship opportunities.  While interactive games take place, the featured sponsors’ logos are projected onto the court surface, directly immersing fans in the brand. In 2016 alone, ‘Cavs Arcade’ sponsorships attracted the attention of global brands including Bud Light , Beats by Dre and The Ohio Lottery.   

Staff/Design Team
Producer: Cleveland Cavaliers QTV Team
Game Designer: CJ Davis
Programmer: Eric Gazzillo
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