Local company is creating Final Four video bliss with 8,000 square feet of LED screens
by Cheryl Hall
(Dallas Morning News – March 29)
On Wednesday, Chris Curtis stood on the floor of AT&T Stadium and watched as his team tested large-scale LED video boards before they were hoisted into place beneath Jerrytron.
The screens will play a major role in the Final Four tournament. The teams and people on the floor and in the first 22 rows can’t see Jerrytron. So GoVision created a giant mini-me — no apologies for the oxymoron.
“It looks so tiny under Jerrytron,” says Curtis, the 52-year-old CEO of Argyle-based GoVision. “We put this same configuration in other arenas and it looks huge. It’s about the same size as the screens in American Airlines Center.”
The four-board setup was used in a dry run at the NCAA regionals here last March and is now ready for the real deal.
“Our permanent board does dwarf it considerably,” says Brett Daniels, a spokesman for the Dallas Cowboys. “But to those fans sitting down close to the action court-side — particularly for the coaches and the teams on the bench — it’s valuable to be able to keep up with the scores, stats and game clocks.”
The screens suspended over center court, LED ribbon signs under the scorer’s table, shot clocks and a fleet of video boards outside the stadium for the Tip-off Tailgate Party are just a few of GoVision’s assignments at eight venues around Dallas-Fort Worth during the Final Four.
“Our gee-whiz is we’ll have about 8,000 square feet of LED screen — more than 11.5 million pixels — hanging around town next weekend,” Curtis says. “Ten years ago, that much temporary screen didn’t exist in the country.”
The 12-year-old company is a high-impact player in the portable big-screen world, despite its relatively small size.
Leading into the Final Four, GoVision provided video boards and production services at the NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich., the NFL’s Super Bowl Tailgate in New Jersey, outside the New Orleans Arena at the NBA All-Star Game and earlier rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
“We worked with three of the four major sports in a month’s time,” says Curtis, who owns GoVision with a small group of investors. “That helped bring in more than $1 million. That’s normal. But this thing is about to explode. March will be the best month that we’ve ever had, followed by April, which will be even bigger. We’re on trajectory to have about 50 percent growth over 2013, with sales approaching $15 million.”
GoVision is also providing screens and production services for the three-day March Madness Music Festival, which is being headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean at Reunion Park.
GoVision’s relationship with the music festival, put on by the NCAA and Turner Live Events, began as a small gig in 2008.
“It started as a big block party,” says Curtis. “Kid Rock was the headliner. A little-known star, Taylor Swift, was the warm-up. Now it’s the centerpiece of the Final Four. You don’t see Bruce Springsteen for free very often.”
Each day is being sponsored by a different NCAA corporate partner — AT&T on Friday, Coca-Cola on Saturday and Capital One on Sunday.
“We’ve really upped our game,” Curtis says. “We staff it 24/7. The production side of that is huge for us.”
All told, there will be 55 GoVisioneers working the local events.
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