GPJ partners with the Cleveland Cavaliers to execute live production of largest championship celebration in NBA history and draws more than one million in attendance – with less than 72 hours to plan and produce.
On June 22, 2016, the City of Cleveland took center stage as an estimated 1.3 million attendees flocked to what is now known as the largest championship celebration in NBA history. But more importantly than shining the spotlight on the championship team, the event focused on honoring the City of Cleveland, which hadn’t won a major sports championship since 1964, and showing gratitude to the dedicated fans.
To do that, the Cleveland Cavaliers partnered with GPJ to design, produce, and execute a live production rally that entertained and celebrated the championship, with heartfelt speeches from the Mayor of Cleveland and hometown hero LeBron James, and a final confetti burst to solidify the momentous experience – all with less than 72 hours to plan, prepare and execute the rally.
The Cleveland Cavaliers gave GPJ and partners the official “green light” to begin planning on the night of the coveted championship win. It was clear from the start that strong partnerships would be crucial to the success of this large-scale event, especially since most venues and vendors in the city had already been secured for the upcoming Republican National Convention.
For the next 72 hours, the GPJ team worked relentlessly to secure stage equipment from out-of-state vendors located in Chicago, Michigan, Florida and New York – just to name a few. The GPJ team continued from there, ensuring all technology was set and fully prepped for show time, organizing crowd control measures, partnering with the City of Cleveland and Homeland Security to determine security plans to keep attendees and players safe.
The day of the celebration started bright and early at 4am, with crowds piling into the parade route and rally, in hopes of securing a preferred viewing spot. GPJ partnered with the City of Cleveland to allow onlookers to get as close to the action as possible, while keeping the safety of attendees and players a top priority.
The day after the celebration, the stage was cleared, equipment was loaded onto trucks, and confetti was swept. But the success of producing this full-scale live production event in just a matter of days demonstrated the true power of partnerships. It takes experienced, influential and agile organizations working together to pull resources from across the country to produce a show as vast and vibrant as this game-changing event.