SoFi Stadium's massive two-sided 4K high-resolution Infinity Screen by Samsung weighs in a 2.2 million pounds, covers 70,000 square feet of digital LED and has 268 speakers.

SoFi Stadium's massive two-sided 4K high-resolution Infinity Screen by Samsung weighs in a 2.2 million pounds, covers 70,000 square feet of digital LED and has 268 speakers.

Ultimately, when a sports team is judged on its wins or losses, the confirmation comes by what’s up on the scoreboard.
 
Troika Media Group might be able to say it uses similar criteria — the value of scoreboard watching — as it quantifies the success of the messaging muscle it has provided recently working for the National Football League’s Los Angeles Rams as well as for personal finance company SoFi Technologies with its connection to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.


The just-concluded Super Bowl LVI at the $5 billion state-of-art facility likely provided a “wow factor” for first-time visitors gazing up at what was hanging from the canopy roof of the stadium.


A massive two-sided 4K high-resolution Infinity Screen by Samsung weighs in a 2.2 million pounds, covering 70,000 square feet of digital LED and implementing 268 speakers. It has required some 80 producers, directors, camera operators and others to operate it.


Troika Media’s team has been tasked the last two years to work the Rams’ game-day operations by providing elements to best utilize a swirling canvas that is longer and wider than the football field below it. Those doing the job were up to the challenge.


“It can be an assault on all these senses — the scale is massive, the luminosity is crazy, so is the vibrancy and sound system,” said Gil Haslam, Troika’s executive creative director and two-time Sports Emmy Award winner, who has done brand imaging for clients such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the PGA Tour and the TV sports divisions at CBS, NBC and HBO.

 
“But it’s about achieving a balance. Storytelling is to inform and entertain and blend those two things,” he said. “We have to leverage this biggest piece of real estate to help the fans and the team and create a chorography of the show. Our job isn’t to distract but amplify and frame the game story as it is going on.”


In the two weeks leading up to and including the Super Bowl, NFL Productions took over the scoreboard elements as the video content providers. But when league officials were present at the NFC title game at SoFi Stadium — where the Rams outlasted San Francisco to advance to the Super Bowl — they were compelled to ask about licensing a repurposed video piece that Troika created from a song by Mexican-
American EDM artist Deorri. It was used as an energy-building piece for the Super Bowl in the fourth quarter to ignite a crowd that appeared filled far more with corporate sponsors, celebrities and VIPs than actual fans of the Rams or Cincinnati Bengals who got in buying a ticket.


Screen-to-screen approach

Troika Media Group has taken its integrated brand marketing approach on many sports-related ventures — including the NFL’s newly minted Las Vegas Raiders at their 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium, which has more traditional large video screens in the end zone and midfield. Troika’s clients have included all five major college conferences, including the Pac-12 Network; plus ESPN, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, League of Legends esports, the UFC and the National Women’s Soccer League expansion San Diego Wave Football Club, starting play this season.
 
Leading up to the NFL championship, Troika also did a campaign with the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission’s Super Bowl Host Committee. It created a logo and a 90-second film featuring rapper Snoop Dogg.


But Troika has also become specialized in a different types of entertainment delivery more commonly connected with a Gen Z demographic. It resonates where spectators might be as much viewing the contest as they are on their phones seeking information and social media exchanges as well as checking fantasy stats and, in some states, able to place sports wagers. From one screen to another, the information can flow fluidly. 


New income streams

In announcing its first-quarter report for fiscal year 2020, which showed a revenue increase of 102% to $8.3 million over the prior-year quarter, Troika chairman and Chief Executive Robert Machinist said, “TMG has positioned itself as a high-value partner that combines the power of creativity with the benefits of data and technology to create integrated solutions for clients across a range of industry sectors. … We believe there are significant new growth opportunities for TMG as clients are looking for innovative and integrated solutions that harness new technologies to grow their business.”

Another way to measure its growth occurred when Troika announced an IPO of more than 5 million shares on the Nasdaq listing last April. At that time, it also launched a division called Troika Labs as a way to create more data-driven content that included a campaign for a sports book app called PointsBet.

 
Troika also has been creating nonfungible tokens as part of launching a Bitcoin marketplace called Redeem.


It also has expanded to working with companies such as Yahoo Sports Book powered by BetMGM as more fans are gaining access to in-game prop betting.


“The main drive is being innovative at the core of every single thing we do,” said Aaron Sapiro, Troika senior account director, who once worked in UCLA’s athletic department as a development director. “Whether it’s NFTs or new ways to look at sports stats and information that we have been pushing the last 20 years, we’re willing to try and push clients in a new direction.”


In working for the SoFi brand as it is connected to the stadium, Troika created a Rube Goldberg concept that showed how customers can get help with saving, spending, earning, borrowing and investing beyond traditional measures. The concept worked so well on the SoFi scoreboard that it was converted into a 30-second national advertisement shown on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” telecast as well as shared on social media by the company.


More opportunities are on the horizon. The NBA’s Clippers are two years out from opening the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, just south of SoFi Stadium, and it will likely break new ground with scoreboard capabilities driven by the deep pockets of team owner and former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.


“We want to be involved in the biggest stories in sports no matter what they are,” said Sapiro. “We’re so fortunate that we’re here in Los Angeles and investment is being made in our backyard. As an L.A.-based company, we want to own L.A.100%, but we’ll chase the biggest stories in sports.” 

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