One of the earliest spring events to kick off Chicago’s hosting of the official 2015 NFL Draft was the installation of the 32 NFL team helmets at Pioneer Court along North Michigan Avenue. The exhibit was part of a promotion by Pepsi in which the company gave away free tickets to the NFL Draft event, held at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University.
Pepsi contacted Chicago Scenic after being referred by JC Decaux which has used Chicago Scenic to manage a number of bus shelter promotions, including a recent one featuring DSW’s pink high heel shoes (Studio News, Spring 2014).
Gary Heitz, Chicago Scenic’s Project Director, immediately contacted fiberglass specialist FAST Corporation of Sparta, WI to get the helmet mold started since the project was on a fast track. Once the mold was made and the helmets were cast, FAST transported them to Chicago Scenic’s Goose Island facility. In the meantime, Chicago Scenic had each team’s helmet decals sized and printed to fit each 3-foot-diameter helmet.
When the helmets arrived, Chicago Scenic’s crew applied the graphics and then connected the helmets to concrete bases. “We designed and had custom bases manufactured and used a secure attachment method to ensure that the helmets couldn’t be tipped over or broken off at the base,” Heitz said.
The next step involved transporting the helmets and bases – each weighing 1,100 pounds – to Pioneer Court for installation on Easter Sunday evening. While on display, the helmets were a popular photo opportunity for football fans of all ages.
Chicago Scenic removed the helmets after the NFL Draft - but look for them to make another appearance next winter…exact location tbd.