IDEAS created, produced, and delivered a dramatically new kind of brand activation for the city of Houston with the development of two distinct immersive experiences downtown that were enjoyed throughout the 2017 Super Bowl 51 fan experience.
Houston LIVE! Was a celebration of all things Houston! It told the REAL story of Houston – shattering stereotypes and misperceptions – as it ignited enthusiasm for the future and inspired action and authentic conversation about what Houston truly is/has become as the nation’s 4th largest city. The main Show Pavilion was a 37,000 SF tented structure designed around 3 thematic “neighborhoods”: Energize, Inspire, and Celebrate and hosted more than 200,000 fans throughout the 10-day run taking over a public parking lot the size of an entire city block. Told through the stories of 20 forward-thinking and visionary corporate sponsors who joined together to weave a tale of Houston’s innovation, diversity, technology, artistry, and community pride – with opportunities radiating around the world in education, energy, healthcare, environmental stewardship and sustainability, human potential, commerce, and the arts.
The 10-day block party included performances by live entertainers, robots, and NFL cheerleaders of the home team Houston Texans. Open to the public, guests explored interactive media, live shows, hands-on exhibits, and VR experiences from Houston Super Bowl Host Committee sponsors including Chevron, Shell, Hess, Texas Medical Center, GE, Conoco, Haliburton, NFG, Accenture, Sysco, and others. Leveraging existing sponsor assets, IDEAS was able to craft together an integrated celebration of signature experiences that showcased the innovation and energy of Houston and its many diverse communities. This included live event support, stage management, and complete set-up and tear down services with event partner GES.
Future Flight was the centerpiece attraction on Discovery Green in downtown Houston – right in the middle of Super Bowl LIVE alongside the FOX Sports broadcast stage. In a partnership with NASA, Future Flight was the first of its kind experience combining virtual reality and physical ride technologies for a memorable and iconic “WOW!” only Houston (home of human space exploration with NASA’s Johnson Space Center) could offer. Each rider donned a VR headset before taking their seat below the onboard audio system to be transported into space on a personal guided journey to Mars. The ride started the ascent up the drop tower with liftoff on top of the most powerful rocket ever built at that time the Space Launch System – carrying the Orion spacecraft through Low Earth Orbit, past the Moon, and on to Mars. Once on Mars, the VR experience became very real as participants viewed the actual Martian surface using 360-degree images captured by NASA’s robotic rovers. The return was a timed, high-speed plummet back to Earth in 2-seconds with riders racing down toward the Gulf of Mexico to Houston and through the open roof of NRG Stadium, ending suspended over the 50-yard line at Super Bowl 51, just before kick-off! By all Fan, NFL, and Host Committee stakeholder accounts, this was truly the best Super Bowl Live fan experience ever.
Future flight also included exhibit space for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK, and Raytheon. Space exploration hardware on display around the Future Flight VR drop tower attraction included life-sized flight craft, orbital telescopes, surface exploration vehicles, advanced robotics, and various heavy lift systems and rocket engines. All embracing the entire Future Flight exhibition experience theme around NASA’s Journey To Mars multi-mission place for extending human space exploration out to Mars and beyond.