PPG Arena Sees The Light
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
By Noelle Leavitt Riley | Published: March 15, 2017 | Venues Today
Branding for Pittsburgh Penguins’ PPG Arena almost complete with new signage
The visual communication piece of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ new naming rights deal at PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, is nearly complete with two of four new signs installed on the venue recently.
Last fall, the Penguins signed a 20-year naming rights agreement with PPG Paints for an undisclosed amount of money, offering a prime opportunity for Baltimore, Md.-based Gable — a provider of digital displays; audiovisual and media; signs and architectural elements and lighting solutions — to step in for a piece of the action.
“We started with them back in August or September when they had engaged with us to remove the existing Consol Energy sign,” said Matt Gable, executive vice president and COO of Gable. “They informed us who the new naming rights sponsor was going to be.”
PPG Paints has 15 stores in the Pittsburgh area and approached the Penguins about taking over the naming rights in the arena. Consol Energy agreed to step aside and let PPG Paints in.
“It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but it was an exciting time for us,” said Ross Miller, senior director of partnership marketing for the Penguins. “I think (PPG Paints) has really enjoyed the attention that partnership has provided them.”
The four signs, including labor and design, rings in at about a half a million dollars, Gable said.
The main sign on the front of the arena has been installed and it boasts RGB lighting modules that allow venue officials to change its colors. The front entrance at the arena is glass.
“One of the challenges we faced is the glass is dark during the day,” Miller said.
Therefore, having lighting that can stand out during the day and night was important to the franchise. Not only that, arena officials can change the color for holidays and such.
“We can turn it red, white and blue on the Fourth of July,” Miller said.
Gable had to go through a bidding process in order to create the PPG Paints sign, he said.
“We were awarded the project, and we’re really excited about it. We have a lot of signs that we’ve done for convention centers and other venues,” Gable said.
Essentially, when a new venue is built or naming right deals change, Gable sees business opportunities for his company that is currently in its 37 year of operation.
Much has changed since Gable opened its doors nearly four decades ago. It used to be that the company focused mainly on making signs, but as technology evolved, the enterprise now focuses mainly on LED lighting.
Converting to LED lights and signs typically saves companies between 85 to 90 percent on their electricity costs, Gable said.
“For the first 30 years, we were a traditional sign company,” Gable said, adding that now the company’s focus is based on “visual communications.”
“We (also) do white lights where we upgrade existing facility lighting, which results in substantial savings with LED,” Gable said.
Gable also has done lighting at the M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore., and the LED signage at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC.
The company also designed the massive LED screens at the Cobo Center in Detroit.
“We did the very large 30-ft.-by-160-ft. display on the front of the convention center that has completely transformed that building into a technology masterpiece,” Gable said.
For the PPG Paints Arena, each letter ranges in size from six feet to 10 feet high, he noted.
“Two signs are completely installed,” Gable said. “We’re waiting on some of the (Penguins) contractors to finish work before we install the other two."