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Crestron Electronics, Inc.

Crestron offers the only complete end-to-end solution with a complete line of hardware and software. Crestron not only connects and controls devices; we integrate and automate all the building systems to provide a connected experience. We deliver integrated solutions for audio, video, IP, lighting and climate control making wiring and installations easier and promoting system integrity.

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The SAROS IC6VLPT-W-T-EACH+ is a 2-way in-ceiling speaker featuring a 6.5 in. woofer and wide dispersion, horn loaded 1 in. dome tweeter. Its low profile enclosure allows for installation in ceiling s
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How They Did It: Integrating an NFL Draft Room
Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2024
How They Did It: Integrating an NFL Draft Room

Image Engineering designed a Crestron-driven marvel for the New York Giants

May 7, 2024 - The New York Giants have made their picks.

Although the 2024 NFL draft is a wrap, the room where all the Giants’ decisions were made, with its 42 screens controlled by a best-in-class solution driven by Crestron, will hardly go dark. One of the most critical elements of the room is its flexibility as a meeting space: It’s a multi-purpose room tailored for the franchise’s most high-impact meetings. That’s why the “draft room” has a raised floor — all the cabling runs beneath that surface so that the room’s modular furnishing and tabletop control screens can be moved into any configuration a meeting might demand.

And that raised floor was just one of the challenging aspects of the installation. “Obviously, you’ve got to consider more than putting different pieces of content in different places,” notes Ian Bottiglieri, VP of operations for Image Engineering, the firm that handled integrating the room. “We met with the facilities guys to understand the infrastructure: What are we looking at from an IT network? What are we looking at for power? What are we looking at for HVAC?” The latter was extremely important: The room was previously outfitted with little more than whiteboards, and now it’s packed with electronics. “The heat load became massive,” says Bottiglieri.

Naturally, nothing was insurmountable for the Image Engineering team. This wasn’t, as the saying goes, their first rodeo.

The Sporting Life

“Our company is 27 years old, and we started with live event and game day presentations,” says Bottiglieri. The company’s core competency began with coordinating player introductions: lighting, special effects, pyrotechnics, and the AV elements of displaying the name, position, and likeness of an NFL starter, complete with special effects. As this aspect of the entertainment package progressed, more audiovisual and lighting elements came into play. “We were asked for things such as LED video or projection in stadium hallways during intros, for example,” says Bottiglieri.

Given Image Engineering’s long-standing relationship with the Baltimore Ravens on the field, it wasn’t long before the Ravens expanded their scope into their offices. “They’d seen what we could do on the field and decided they wanted us to handle some behind-the-scenes projects,” says Bottiglieri. In 2016, Image Engineering renovated a video editing suite for the team, and two years later, they were tasked with bringing the Ravens’ draft room up to date.

The traditional system for draft rooms employed by many NFL teams (Giants and Ravens included) until recently consisted of moving magnets around whiteboards. A label with a player’s name and position was attached to the magnet, and that’s how franchises tracked picks as the process unfolded. Stats, scouting reports, and other data were handled in a similarly analog fashion — with binders full of notes and so on.

A Room for All Users

What was needed was a system that could display picks in real-time and allow the key decision-makers to see all the relevant data on a player, from scouting reports to game film — in an instant. “We had done a room for the Ravens, and a few years later, the Giants decided they needed an upgrade, too,” says Bottiglieri. Conversations began with the Giants’ front office, with input from everyone from Giants’ General Manager Joe Schoen to Ty Siam, the team’s director of football data and innovation. While the team needed a space perfectly suited to the unique demands of draft days, it had to be flexible enough to handle a wide variety of use cases. “This is where we bring value as a boutique AV integrator: These really complex, special use case rooms,” says Bottiglieri.

Image Engineering’s quarter century of experience working with NFL teams was a big plus during the discovery process. “We have a vast understanding of what the teams are looking for, what coaches are looking for, what scouts are looking for, and what the team’s video editing pros might need,” says Bottiglieri. A room such as the Giants’ draft room serves many users for many functions, and all those variables need to be taken into account. “Coaches and scouts typically prefer an approachable and user-friendly experience, so they need configurations and controls that can be set up and run immediately,” he adds.

“We have to approach these projects by understanding: One, how can we structure it in a ‘simple mode’ so that if Coach wants to come in and run the room on his own, he can do that — but then the second piece is: How do we give Ty all the tools that he needs to drive this thing like a Ferrari?”

 

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