The NFL brought the Super Bowl to the New York/New Jersey area for the first time this February, and Bud Light celebrated by opening the doors of its Bud Light Hotel in an unexpected location: the Hudson River. This year the world’s newest cruise ship—Norwegian’s Getaway—was transformed into the largest Bud Light Hotel in history.
While the cruise ship received a complete Bud Light rebranding, the biggest makeover took place outside the ship. In order to host the biggest parties in New York City, Bud Light Hotel expanded beyond the ship, taking over the entire Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, including the deck of the retired military ship and its pier.
“Quite simply, Anheuser Busch takes ‘over the top’ to a whole new level during major sporting events with the Bud Light Hotel concept,” said Gary Schellerer, VP of operations, Bloomingdale Signs by Tomorrow.
Typically, Bloomingdale Signs By Tomorrow flies in a team and re-brands everything into the Bud Light hotel. Once the parties are over, the team removes everything and returns the property back to the original hotel.
“Our job was to fully transform Pier 88 into the lobby of the Bud Light hotel. We wrapped practically everything outside of the ship with Bud branded graphics,” said Schellerer. “Across the street from Pier 88 was a concert hall situated within a tent where artists such as Foo Fighters and Imagine Dragons performed. Connecting the pier to the concert were fully branded walkway tents that allowed the attendees to easily get from their rooms to the party.”
While Schellerer and the SBT team has been working with the Bud Light hotel team for three years, because of the size of the event and the frigid temperatures in February, this hotel was their most challenging.
Schellerer flew out and attended two meetings in New York on the pier before the installation began. He said that being at the installation site with the entire team was a key factor in staying organized. “Being involved during the planning and designing stage also helped make difficult requests happen early in the process. We were able to present feasible options to satisfy the design objectives,” he said.
The team started to work on some of the elements a little more than a week before the installation began. Much of the project was printed just days before the installation. According to Schellerer, the installation proved to be the most challenging part of the project. They had a little over two days to fully transform the venue. Eight of SBT’s internal graphic installers were sent to NYC and they hired about six more from New York partners. “Even with a team of this size, our crew worked well into the night each day, finishing at about 2 am on the last night. In the end we invested over 700 man-hours into the installation and removal.”