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Community: All-Star Graphic - Behind the Scenes

by Doug Warf / Carolina Hurricanes
The RBC Plaza window treatment finished a little earlier than we expected when workers were able to apply the final pieces on Thursday afternoon. When dealing with a project like this, I don’t think any of us ever thought that the installation would seemingly be the easiest process. 

Doug Warf
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The behind-the-scenes work for this project started just after the end of the regular season and has been full tilt for the last month. We had hoped to have the logo at the April announcement, but due to the quick turnaround for both the league and the team, it was not a feasible option. Once we realized it would be almost three months before we received the logo, we wanted to make sure we did something “big” to unveil it…something bigger than we would have been able to do on two weeks notice. 

The original idea was to have a banner that could be “unfurled” or “unveiled”. We had a good spot at the top of RBC Plaza to attach the banner but could not create a tie off for the bottom end as the building is mainly glass and small metallic dividers (I learned the term “mullions” through this project…very hard to say without breaking into a deep southern drawl). 

When seeing the finished project, it is easy to overlook all of the people who had to approve of the idea before it could start. 

First, RBC Bank and Highwoods Properties had to say that the idea was a possibility. We then had to get approval from the city. Once the city had approved the idea, Highwoods had to float the concept to the three companies whose windows would be covered. The RBC Plaza condo homeowners had to approve of the installation process and of course, the NHL had to approve of the overall look of the graphic. 

All the while, we were shopping the idea out to companies who could complete a project of this magnitude on a very quick turnaround. 

Needless to say, the project “died on the table” once and had many crippling injuries along the way. However, in the end, it was the cooperation of many and the teamwork of two local sign companies that brought the project to life. 

Rodney Carter and his team at “The Wrap Source” in Smithfield worked through the night to make sure the 5,000 square feet of material was printed and ready in time. In our first meeting with Rodney at the RBC Plaza he looked off the 23rd floor balcony and joked that was a little higher than an extension ladder could reach. To get the project completed, Rodney teamed with Eric Neal and Speedy Neal signs to install the graphic. 

Eric and his group had the job of putting the puzzle together at over 200 feet in the air. There were several constraints (weather, blocking off the sidewalk, etc.) that caused Eric and his group to work through the night Wednesday to finish by Thursday without risking the project being incomplete for Raleigh Wide Open 5.

It is total opinion, but I think the graphic looks much better in person than it does in photograph. Hopefully you get a chance to come down to Raleigh Wide Open 5 and check it out so you can make your own call.

Other “interesting/lesser known facts”

  • The graphic will remain on the RBC Plaza through All-Star Weekend and will be removed on Feb. 1.

  • The material used is the same used to wrap buses. Rodney and his crew also produced the photos used in downtown storefronts during the ’06 Cup Final

  • The project was not finalized until Friday night at 10 p.m. (thanks to Canes graphics dept. for their patience)…so I might have been the only one sweating at Monday’s press conference for a reason other than heat

  •  All four player photos are from game action in the final two weeks of the 09-10 season.   We had to change our original Ovechkin photo because the original we used was from the start of the season when sported a darker visor.

  • Staal is the only one of the four who has a puck (Crosby is actually sans stick…but a good high res photo). 

  • Though the tie-off for the scaffolding was off the top of the RBC Plaza, the scaffolding was “entered” at ground level

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