Updated: Feb 18
February 4th & 5th
On my latest adventures, I wasn't doing exactly much capturing. I received a call from RCX Sports who is the leader in youth sporting experiences and direct partner of professional leagues and organizations for a crazy project that involved no filming. In fact, the NFL & Nerf were curious if they can incorporate a drone drop for their activation during the NFL Flag Football Tournament during Pro Bowl weekend in Las Vegas. Stay, check in and see how our weekend went below.
“I'm sorry, the NFL & NERF like the maker of toys NERF?" I asked. "Yes Sir," confirmed Jimmeh. I was ecstatic! Just like a kid on Christmas morning! These are the calls entrepreneurs, like myself dream of! - Gio E.
Each job seems to be pushing the boundaries in their own way. This next job was absolutely crazy and I thank Scott the brand manager of Nerf and Jimmeh from RCX Sports for being the true creatives they are to come up with the question, " Can we get a drone to drop a football safely for the kids?" This time we put a refreshing twist to the simple game of, "Catch!"
Story time! It was just 4 days into the new year when i received an inquiry on my site from Jimmeh the project director for RCX Sports. On the Call Jimmeh explained how this project is actually a collaboration between the NFL & Nerf on behalf of RCX Sport and they were wondering if their idea could come to life. "I'm sorry, the NFL & NERF like the maker of toys NERF?" I asked. "Yes Sir," confirmed Jimmeh. I was ecstatic! Just like a kid on Christmas morning! These are the calls entrepreneurs, like myself dream of! Long story short, I had about a week to create a way to drop a football. Fast forward a week. I present the drone and drop mechanism in an email hoping it meets their expectations and immediately we jumped on a zoom call with the whole team who had all their questions ready to fire away. I enjoyed answering all the questions and concerns the team had! After making sure this was a possible and a safe activity to incorporate into their activation, NERF gave me the green light! It was time to book the flights to Vegas! We were just 2 weeks away!
“Down went the drone and my confidence with it. Back to the drawing board I went.”
About a week away from the Pro Bowl Tournament I start checking out the weather in Las Vegas to see what conditions we would be flying in. The app showed 17 MPH with gust up to 25 MPH. Flying in this weather is challenging enough with out a football strapped to the drone. Living in Florida we get this weather all the time on the coast. Welp, no time like the present, I thought to myself. I packed up everything and went off for more testing. Here I am ready and confident, taking off the drone just a few feet from the ground. When I released the football, the net holding the football grabbed momentum from the wind and swung up into the propellers of the drone! Down went the drone and my confidence with it. Back to the drawing board I went. I ultimately had to create something to hold the football that had some weight yet some aero dynamic to let the wind pass though. After a couple trips to the local sporting good store, borrowing a football from dad and much tinkering with the drone we were ready for another test. This time with a weighed net and weighted release handles. I take off the drone again and holding my breath, I counted down in my head. 3, 2, 1. The net released and stayed down thanks to the weight It worked repeatedly like a charm! The drones and I were ready for Vegas!
When I arrived I was received with open hands by RCX sports and NERF eagerly waiting to see the drone in action. After a few test runs we were ready for the kids! The second the Drone went up with the football, that was it! The entire park rushed over to the NERF activation to check it out! After the first couple people tried, the line started to form and the kids were anxiously excited for their turn at the football drone drop! We had kids of all ages attending this event so we made sure to give a fair chance to all the ages. I would drop the NERF ball 50 ft for the little ones, 80 ft for the pre teens and 100+ ft for the teens. The kids were explosive with energy when they would either catch or drop the ball. They would cheer and awww louder than the parents at the football game happening 20 yards away! Every time I would start to take off the drone you just hear kids from the line screaming, "higher, higher!' The higher I went the more eyes the field got. While many kids caught the ball, one kid caught the ball from an impressive 135 ft in the air! Thats 14 stories! Overall I had an amazing time putting on the best activation for NERF over Pro Bowl weekend for over 2400 kids! Thank you to #RCXSports, #NERF & the #NFL for creating these wonderful opportunities for our future generation.