For decades, AFL teams have been running through single-use banners as they enter the field at the start of the game.
With sustainability being a growing focus for organizations and a desire to improve the spectacle of the AFL, alternatives to single-use banners for home games became a must-have.
The West Coast Eagles approached Giant Inflatables to explore the possibility of creating a reusable inflatable entry tunnel that could be deployed for the team to run through at the start of home games. As all AFL games are televised live, it was of utmost importance that the inflatable could deploy and pack away in minutes to not impact strict scheduling. Additionally, the inflatable represented the Eagles’ brand identity and provided a unique spectacle as the players entered the field.
The West Coast Eagles entry tunnel was delivered to the club in 2018 to use at home games in Perth. Staff members can set up the inflatable entry tunnel safely in minutes. Once all team members are on the playing field, the tunnel can be deflated quickly through rapid deflation zips spread around the inflatable. After deflation, the tunnel is moved off the ground and stored until the next home game.
The giant inflatable entry tunnel, combined with lights, sound and pyrotechnics, turned the game’s entry phase into an event on its own, drawing the crowd to the game earlier to see the team enter the field.
Many design iterations were considered throughout the collaborative design process before a 10m long supercell tunnel with an integrated three-dimensional logo was determined to be the perfect solution.
Early designs included a simple entry arch and more complex structures with multiple three-dimensional logos were added.
The final design was a perfect balance of complexity and functionality, maximizing brand identity while creating a fantastic spectacle while still being easy to manage during set up and pack down.
The West Coast Eagles were thrilled with the final product. The team’s entrance into the field became an event in and of itself. It has become a fan favourite at all home games.
The initial investment into an inflatable entrance tunnel quickly paid for itself when considering the savings achieved by not needing to purchase a new single-use entry banner for each event.
From an environmental perspective, the inflatable tunnel eliminates the need for single-use materials and is a net benefit for landfills.
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