Before AKA Creative Group could commence constructing the set for the Pac-12 Networks studio, it needed to know just how it would transport it from its shop in Toronto to San Francisco. So the company built a replica of the passenger elevator it would have to load the parts into at the networks' office building.
"We had to make sure it fits," AKA Creative Group President Andrew Kinsella said. "If it didn't fit, we didn't want to take a chainsaw to it."
AKA ultimately built the set in 197 component parts, and they all fit into the elevator successfully last week when the final product was sent to the networks' headquarters. It took four days to assemble, and the set is now ready for business as the launch of the networks is less than a month away.
"It was basically like a big Lego set," Kinsella said.
The erection of the set is yet another major landmark as the networks get closer and closer to hitting the airwaves. The set features two podiums and an area for couches, and is designed in a way that makes for anchors, hosts and analysts to be mobile in a relaxed environment.
"We know our programming is going to grow and there is going to be a lot more to do down the road, so we allowed flexibility for the anchors to get up and be relaxed and walk around the environment," Pac-12 Enterprises Creative Director David Rickles said. "It all feels seamlessly connected. Our specific brand terminology is the idea of connections. That sort of felt like a nice balance."
Like most things with the networks, an aggressive timeline was set to get the set finalized. The networks started seeking proposals in early April and chose AKA on May 1. Construction began a few weeks later.
One of the reasons the networks chose AKA is it produced a set for TVA Sports, a Canadian sports network, in 100 days.
"We’ve managed to get things done with a quick timeline in the past so we were comfortable we could do it," Kinsella said. "That was one of the first things they asked, if we could get it done in time. I told them not to worry, we’d do it."