Olympic Stadium Wrap: Collaboration, Part I

The Olympic stadium looks stunning, doesn’t it? Members of the Rainier team had the Opening Ceremonies streaming (on silent!) as we worked Friday afternoon – we’re keeping an eye on our wrap as we move forward on our current projects. It’s truly gratifying to see the results of a project that’s been over a year in the making.

Rainier’s been part of this project from the very beginning – starting all the way from when The Dow Chemical Company was starting to consider putting in a bid to wrap the stadium during the open tender process.

In February 2011, when Dow first expressed interest in trying to wrap the stadium as part of their Olympic sponsorship, a mutual friend (who had worked with us for the 2002 Salt Lake City Games) suggested Dow consult with Bruce Dickinson, our VP of Sales.

Fun Fact:
This is actually Rainier’s 3rd Olympics – (just like London!)
Read about Rainier’s projects in Salt Lake City and Vancouver here.

We got the call because we have experience with Olympic venues (we did projects in Salt Lake City and Vancouver) and we regularly work on sports stadiums across the USA – and we’ve worked with fabric since our start in 1896. (That’s 116 years of experience!) Dow’s initial conversation with Rainier was mostly about feasibility of such a big project – with such special constraints. Was it possible? Could it be done? What would it take to wrap a stadium of this size? What would that process look like? And could it be done using polyethylene materials, so that the process and materials would be sustainable, and so that the results could be repurposed?

Rainier said yes. Yes, it can be done. The question then was how? We suggested Dow go to The Cooley Group to find a fabric that would work. And then that was the team: Dow, Rainier, and Cooley. Three companies highly invested in sustainable materials and processes. Dow, whose team is all over the world. Cooley, in Rhode Island and South Carolina. Rainier, based in Seattle, WA.

Dow submitted their bid in April 2011, and by May, Rainier had a contract to print, cut, and sew the panels for the wrap. Cooley would engineer and produce the fabric.

And then the question was – “how do we take what’s essentially a very cool picture and make it into a reality in less than a year?” And that deadline of one year – that wasn’t exactly negotiable. The challenge was on.

photo credit: thestarphoenix.com