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Troika Design Creates HD Graphics for ESPN's Sportscenter

(June 15, 2004)

Strategic design and creative production company Troika Design Group recently produced groundbreaking High-Definition SportsCenter graphics for sports news giant ESPN. The new look premiered on June 7 as part of ESPN's first telecast from its new state-of-the-art Digital Center in Bristol, Conn.

Troika worked closely with ESPN to understand the complex creative and forward-thinking technological needs of the project.  Under the creative direction of Troika co-founder Mark Bohman and lead designer Gil Haslam, the Hollywood- based team also produced complete design overhauls for many of the show's recurring franchises including Breakdown, Did You Know?, Sunday Conversation, and Top Ten.

The theme behind each element of Troika's redesign is "Revolution" - an idea represented by a massive turbine machine created from segmented cylinders.  "The turbine's revolution symbolizes 360-degree sports coverage and the exciting range of action seen on the show," Haslam explained. The metallic turbine counter rotates in a futuristic 3D space that takes viewers from team to player logos, sports highlights and into the SportsCenter set.

Featured at the core is a powerful red sphere, part of SportsCenter's highly recognized logo.  Powering the turbine, the sphere races from one side to other, creating thermal color shifts and energy as it rushes through.  Cylinders spin at various speeds, sometimes slower with a cool blue cast, other times extremely fast with hot amber colors, many times changing and ramping-up over a few frames.  "This contrast represents the tension and dynamics of sports and the range of emotions an athlete or fan experiences, from power to agility, to anticipation and exhilaration," Bohman added.

"The opportunity to create this package for SportsCenter is a professional highlight, and the chance to work in true 720p HD was the icing on the cake," Bohman said.  "These new parameters challenged us to revisit conventional design and motion options that simply defy the capabilities of NTSC. Down-conversions and center extractions for standard def still needed to be factored in, but we were able to push through to a new frontier in sports packaging."

"As a total package, we feel the work is progressive, amazingly detailed... and adds function to the show," Bohman concluded.  "Also, we're especially proud that the show's franchises are now connected to the overall concept and tone of the package."

Troika's delivery of elements such as logo animations, transitions, and graphic treatments for teases, bumpers, and promos were accompanied with detailed usage guidelines. Delivery was supported with implementation meetings conducted onsite to varied groups at ESPN, detailing the significance of the concept and branding principles to allow for future growth of the package while maintaining a high level of consistency.

In addition to Mark Bohman and Gil Haslam, the team for Troika Design Group included producer Kristen Olsen, executive producer Chuck Carey, designer George Malanche, animators Marco Bacich and Nick DiNapoli from Drive Studio, editor Joe Botana, design assistant Rajni Gadhvi, and animator Cory Strassburger.

About Troika Design Group
Troika is a multidisciplinary, award-winning design company in Hollywood consisting of more than 20 designers, producers, animators, editors and conceptual thinkers who specialize in network branding, promotional and advertising campaigns and show packaging.  Established in the spring of 2001 by industry leaders Dan Pappalardo, Mark Bohman and Chuck Carey, Troika has emerged as one of the premier providers of strategic design and creative production for television. Troika works closely with television and cable networks including ABC, E! Entertainment, UPN, Food Network, ESPN, Comedy Central, HGTV, Fine Living, Style and VH1.  For more information, please visit or call Brett Ashy at 323-965-1650.

About ESPN
ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multi-national, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 40 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks and syndication), ESPN Radio,, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN Broadband, ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV.  Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

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Related Keywords:Troika Design Group , High-Definition SportsCenter graphics

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