Planar Displays Featured in New Flagship Cubs Retail Store
When the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series, defeating the Cleveland Indians in a thrilling seven-game series, it marked their first championship since 1908, putting to rest the longest world championship drought in North American professional sports history. After the victory, Cubs gear started flying from the shelves—fans couldn't get enough merchandise to show support for their team and favorite players.
Now, when fans come to Wrigley Field they can purchase Cubs memorabilia at a new flagship Cubs store located in a newly-built plaza just outside the stadium. Finished just in time for the 2017 home opener, the 8,400-square-foot retail space features traditional Cubs merchandise, autographed balls and jerseys, and upscale apparel. Additionally, to elevate the guest experience at the store, design-build firm Dimensional Innovations designed and integrated video displays from Planar.
One of the installations is a Clarity® Matrix® LCD Video Wall System (MX55HDX) in a 4x4 configuration. Installed on a radius wall over a staircase, the video wall is a prominent feature of the entire store.
"With that installation, the Cubs' top priority was an ultrathin bezel," said Curtis Walker, technology director of Dimensional Innovations. "That's what made the Clarity Matrix video wall so appealing."
Indeed, when tiled together to form a video wall, the extreme narrow bezel of Clarity Matrix offers a tiled bezel width of just 1.7mm, enabling a near seamless array and outstanding tiled visual performance. Also featuring 800 nits brightness, LED backlight technology and Full-HD resolution per display, the Clarity Matrix video wall provides a high-impact viewing experience—ideal for live game feeds, which are displayed on the video wall during both home and away games.
"The video wall can definitely attract a big crowd when games are shown," said store director Jackie Boehm. "The clarity of the video wall is impressive and it's also very easy to use."
Augmented-Reality Photo Booth
The Cubs wanted to provide fans and visitors with a unique, interactive experience at the store, so they collaborated with Dimensional Innovations to create an augmented-reality green screen featuring a Planar® UltraRes™ Series 86-inch 4K LCD display. Designed and built by Dimensional Innovations, the green screen offers fans the opportunity to create high resolution pictures of themselves placed into famous Wrigley Field scenes such as inside the Wrigley Field scoreboard, behind home plate or in the ivy of the outfield wall.
With superior performance, Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160) and exceptional 4K clarity, the Planar UltraRes Series is an ideal application for the augmented reality photo booth, enabling for stunning, interactive images. A 22-inch Planar® LA Series touch screen display is embedded in a kiosk next to the photo booth makes it easy for fans to e-mail photos to themselves. "Over 2400 images were processed the first week of operation and we're currently tracking to send over 20,000 photos this season," said Walker.
The retail store also features a second Planar UltraRes Series 75-inch 4K LCD display that is used for digital signage within the store.
Ensuring for a Successful Integration
The installation of the 4x4 Clarity Matrix video wall presented a challenge due to a difficult mounting location (on a radius wall over a staircase that leads to the store's second floor) as well as a very tight timeline to finish by opening day. But according to Walker, these integration challenges were overcome thanks to and Planar's installation specialists, who came out to Chicago to help see the project through.
"Planar's representatives were very helpful," Walker said. "I think that's the number one aspect that helped make this installation a success. The longevity of the displays combined with the company's reputation for service and support were big selling points with our client."