Super League Grand Final 2020
27th November 2020
To deliver a show that would still excite players and fans at home, living up to the 25 years of Super League history, even behind closed doors.
The Betfred Super League Grand Final is always one of our biggest and most complex shows of the year, with a pitch-wide banner parade, live band performance from the stands, an extensive SFX overlay and a large spot lit post-match stage celebration for the champions.
Our brief this year was to deliver a show that would still deliver the theatre of the Grand Final, excite players, and the all important fans watching at home whilst celebrating 25 years of Super League history, behind closed doors.
With the challenges we all faced due to the global pandemic, we knew we needed to dare to propose something innovative and memorable. Super League’s vision was right there with ours, allowing us to deliver something really special. Because of a conflict of dates, Old Trafford was not available and the Grand Final had to find a new home, for the first time in its history. KCOM Stadium, in Hull, was selected in no small part due to the stadium’s state of the art technical infrastructure, giving us the opportunity to get truly creative and present all elements of the game in a new and innovative way.
Our response was built around delivering a TV spectacle on a stadium scale, focusing all our innovation and ‘toys’ in the TV arc and working closely with the host broadcaster to ensure maximum exposure. A large scale projection screen was built in the East Stand and brought to life during our pre-match show and also on the post-match trophy celebrations. Emotive and exciting video content was created by Super League’s in-house content team for the large format screen and we incorporated 24 Mythos lighting fixtures, 4 high powered lasers and 15 flame units to complete the show. During the match, the projection screens were covered in bespoke seating bay banners, which needed to be deployed in less than 2 minutes and then retracted in a similar time-frame on the final whistle. Our team of well-drilled crew needed to develop a reveal system to achieve this task!
The Opening VT celebrated 25 years of the Super League, which then seamlessly led into a spot lit Laura Wright giving a stirring and emotional performance of Jerusalem to the backdrop of fans from past Grand Finals displayed on the projection screen. Our athlete tunnel was enhanced with more theatrical lighting and haze, creating a dramatic spectacle as Wigan Warriors and St Helens entered the Stadium.
To celebrate St Helen’s hard fought victory, we produced a trophy presentation set that could quickly and easily be positioned on pitch, whilst adhering to the events COVID safety guidelines. The trophy presentation was enhanced with the return of the projection screen, lighting, lasers and SFX, ending in a spectacular pyrotechnic display from the roof of the KCOM Stadium.
Overall, it was a hugely successful delivery of Sport Presentation behind closed doors, with positive feedback all around. As event professionals, we often find ourselves sitting in the production office after a show, scrolling through social media to get an insight into how our work has been perceived by our main audience – the fans at home. After the Betfred Super League Grand Final, it was a joy to read comments such as “its been a great spectacle so far and the match hasn’t started yet”, “Stadium looks brilliant” or as the Guardian on-line described ‘The best effort I’ve seen at some pre-match snazz, pizazz and jizz jazz!”.
“I thought all the pre-match entertainment was fantastic, the team walk out and trophy lift also looked amazing on TV. It really felt like a very special night despite no crowd, well done to all involved.”
June Fairhurst, Sky Sports Producer (Rugby League)
Super League Grand Final 2020