The latest landmark to debut in Las Vegas, Sphere features a fully-programmable digital exterior offering an ‘unparalleled canvas’ for artists, partners and brands to showcase content. Jenny Southan reports
Transforming the Las Vegas skyline on July 4, for the first time ever, Sphere’s 54,000 sqm Exosphere – sporting the largest LED screen on Earth – was completely illuminated
Described as a “next-generation entertainment medium”, the Exosphere can showcase a wide range of artistic and branded content that will be seen not only by guests at Sphere and the 40-plus million visitors to Las Vegas each year, but with the world via photos of it shared on social media.
The Exosphere consists of approximately 1.2 million LED “pucks”, spaced eight inches apart. Each puck contains 48 individual LED diodes, with each diode capable of displaying 256 million different colours – creating a vivid new landmark on the Las Vegas skyline.As part of a special show to celebrate the Fourth of July, the show started with a welcome – “Hello World” – and was followed by fireworks and stars and stripes animations, before transitioning through a wide array of visual content, from underwater scenes to performances to vividly-textured lunar surfaces.
Guy Barnett, senior vice-president of brand strategy and creative development, says: “The Exosphere is more than a screen or a billboard – it is living architecture, and unlike anything that exists anywhere in the world.
“Last night’s show provided a glimpse of the Exosphere’s captivating power, and the possibilities for artists, partners, and brands to create compelling and impactful stories to connect with audiences in new ways.”
David Hopkinson, president and chief operating officer for MSG Sports, which oversees global marketing and brand partnerships across Sphere Entertainment and the MSG family of companies, says: “Sphere’s Exosphere is a 360-degree canvas for brand storytelling that will be seen around the world, offering our partners an unparalleled opportunity to become part of the greatest show on Earth.
“There’s nothing comparable to the impact from displaying innovative brand and immersive content on the world’s largest video screen. The extraordinary experiences we can create are only limited by imagination, and we’re thrilled to finally share with the world the spectacular potential of the Exosphere.”The Sphere itself will function as an indoor venue for original “Sphere Experiences” from leading Hollywood directors; concerts and residencies from the world’s biggest artists; and premier marquee events. It will open in September 2023.
Later this year, the Exosphere will be prominently featured as part of Sphere’s opening in September with “U2: UV Achtung Baby Live” at Sphere, as well as during the first Sphere Experience, “Postcard from Earth” directed by Darren Aronofsky, in October.
In November, during the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, Sphere will have a prime position along the circuit to showcase the Exosphere to a global audience – in-person and on TV – as well as significant exposure through planned takeovers of the Exosphere for race-related content, activations and advertising.
Eventually, the Exosphere will display a wide range of artistic and branded content daily, from rituals such as sunrise and sunset, to impactful brand campaigns, to delightful moments running at set times.