Undefined Creative Produces Motion Graphics Packages for 2017 NHL Awards, Expansion Draft

Undefined Creative (UC) was tapped by LA-based event company Dempsey Productions to conceive and produce two extensive motion graphics packages for the 2017 NHL Awards and Expansion Draft presented by T-Mobile. Televised live in the United States on NBCSN and in Canada on Sportsnet, this event celebrated the NHL’s top talent from the 2016-17 season and revealed the initial roster of the League’s 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights.

With a keen eye for live-event graphics and a rich history working with the NHL on numerous other projects (including its Dempsey-produced THE NHL100 Gala at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on January 27, 2017), UC was the natural choice to brand the show, which required a number of graphic deliverables.

The creative agency’s pitch was a departure from the glossy, super-polished 3D look typical of awards shows. Instead, UC went with a cleaner, more modern 2D look that would set the awards apart from anything done in the past. The goal was to really do a 180 from the event’s 2016 approach and incorporate more of the contemporary design from the SAP campaign UC had developed for the NHL. The campaign’s animations have been a part of the show since 2014, so the aesthetic was already a hit with the event.

The 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft project called for two distinct Awards looks, with all elements produced in multiple colors, and three distinct Expansion Draft looks. With a project of that scale, the biggest challenge was time, as UC had roughly one month from concept approval to final delivery. The list of deliverables was also entirely dependent on the design of the physical set, and – as with any show of this scale – there were many moving parts and layers of approvals.

Most elements needed complex versioning to account for color variations and specs for on-stage screens, ribbon board and broadcast. To make the deadlines, UC had to simply jump in and start designing before any actual details and specs were known.

UC produced and delivered two motion graphics packages totaling more than 200 different broadcast and live deliverables. There were five unique house looks (three of which were created in five different color variations), with elements ranging from logo animations and award/winner intro slates to the Expansion Draft roster board and specialty loops (team logo scroll, trophy scroll). All elements were delivered in multiple formats for the following screens: main/center, arms, header, ground and ribbon boards.

Producer: Amy Johnson
Producer: Kathryn Rickey
Producer: Leslie Vincent

Undefined Creative
Creative Director: Maria Rapetskaya
Executive Producer: Cathy Humphrey
Lead Animator: Stephen McNally
Animator: Don Murphy

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