Going to Great Heights for Adidas
Sep 21, 2012
Standing on top of an empty parking garage at the Westfield Mall in Stratford, London about fifteen months ago, I would have never guessed the magnificent Olympic journey that lay ahead. One thing I knew for sure is that this journey would showcase, and perhaps test, all of our skills.
As my co-worker, Richard McDermott and I stood at the site, we clearly understood why this location had been chosen by adidas for their 2012 Olympic media lounge. The Olympic Park lay before us, shiny and new, still in the building process, but inspiring nonetheless.
With the assistance of designers from the U.S. and our local team in the U.K., we reviewed design proposals and studied the logistics. Ultimately, GES was chosen because we demonstrated that adidas could take a “blank canvas” 100 feet in the air and go “all in” to create a brand statement while hosting all of their hospitality and media events during the Games.
With plans finalized the real challenge began. Everything from negotiating access permissions to approvals from local building authorities and railways tested our creativity in every way.
Here are three ways we stayed creative and productive under an immense amount of pressure:
1. Get off auto pilot: Don’t settle into a rigid pattern. It’s easy to use your tried-and-true rules, checklists and formulas. Think outside of the box!
2. Focus on what’s most important: Tackle the big issues first. That’s where the real results come from.
3. Take Calculated Risks: Always be safe and smart, but take the extra step to push the boundaries of what you think is possible.
After we managed through the initial hurdles, our run got a little more difficult. We needed to lift steel structural elements to the roof using a mobile crane tower, but due to the railway restrictions, had to do it while trains weren’t running. This meant working from 1 a.m. until about 5 a.m.
All the interior design elements were driven into the parking structure and moved in a 40’ truck that fit into the area (which instead of taking one trip took a few). As the games drew near, and a security shield went up around the park vehicle access was restricted. Our team hand carried each remaining item to finish our strenuous race to the finish.
The building opened a week before the Games with adidas hosting their pre-Games media events. The tidal wave of sporting superstars began to flood through the doors including David Beckham and gold medal winner Jessica Ennis to name a few. Of course, dismantling is still going on, but this unique project has taught me so much. A great team effort not only comes from the creativity of a sales pitch, but the daily creativity it takes to solve each and every challenge that came our way.
Did you get a chance to be involved in the 2012 Games? Share your experiences with our fans on Facebook!
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By: David Humphreys← Back