Chicago, 1997. The Michael Jordan era is in full flow as the most successful player in the history of basketball steers the Chicago Bulls to a fifth NBA title (they would win a record-breaking sixth title the following year, with MJ once again leading the charge). It was around this time that one of the soon-to-be founders of TGI (Transport Graphics Incorporated) was pondering new ways to expand his printing business.
A goods truck passing by the office proved to be the catalyst for a successful partnership with 3M – devising removable films which could be printed and installed on trucks, containers and loading areas throughout the United States. But TGI would take the process to another level altogether.
As anyone who has achieved success in business will tell you – a great idea is only half the battle. Making it happen is just as important as the initial creative spark.
Pat Vendrely, one of the founders of TGI in 1997, had spent a decade working with the US Soccer federation, and was quick to recognize the huge commercial potential of repeating the trick in the sporting world. Advertising in sports arenas had traditionally taken the form of painted boards – this was an opportunity too good to miss.
TGI can rightfully claim to be the first company to print and install removable 3M films in prime sightlines alongside the field of play. Starting with indoor soccer, TGI rolled out the idea to ice hockey and then to all manner of sports and venues. As the first producers and providers of digitally-printed field advertising systems, TGI revolutionized commercial opportunities in the sporting arena.
Rusty Lawrence, an expert in the field of premium events, completed the TGI executive board when he joined the company in 2005. Since then, TGI have gone from strength to strength, building a global network of relationships with many of the world's leading sports organizations, clubs and brands. TGI products now grace countless arenas around the globe, in full view of the thousands watching in stadiums and millions more watching on screen.
For a number of years, TGI worked together with FIFA on in-stadium advertising for several World Cup tournaments. TGI have guided numerous partners through the transition from static to rotational advertising in countless sporting locations. More recently, TGI have developed digital LED system solutions - deployed for the very first time on a major stage at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. TGI were not only the first to deploy this advanced technology in a sporting context, they continue to occupy pole position in the race for digital systems development in the sports world.
TGI are always ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying and appraising innovations and future trends. Today, TGI and their partner networks are the key providers of fully operative virtual perimeter technology in football for broadcasting purposes, delivering global commercial revenues.
TGI’s activities don’t stop there. Having established themselves as market leaders and indefatigable developers in the field of digital hardware, TGI have made it their mission to engage directly with sports rights holders and brands, helping them to understand their relationship with fans in order to activate and monetize their digital potential. TGI’s comprehensive service covers product development, customization and placement, allied to expert guidance through the digital transformation process. TGI take care of the entire match-day process, designing, preparing and running all systems from only one software management platform. TGI have all the necessary skills to unlock the full potential of deeper fan relationships – from motivation to monetization, from engagement to commitment.
Renowned throughout the USA as a major player in stadium branding, TGI have also expanded successfully into Europe and are now into the third consecutive 3-year-deal with UEFA. The prestigious UEFA Champions League and the Europa League continue to enjoy the benefits of working with TGI for their digital advertising requirements.
The beauty of the TGI approach is that it can be applied to any situation in which a brand seeks to engage with its fans or customer base – energize and monetize!
In France, TGI have rolled out an unprecedented number of LED systems for the French Rugby League in 2017 – 30 stadiums equipped in just two months, underlining TGI’s impressive logistical capabilities.
Sports may offer the most striking example of the TGI effect, but TGI strategies and products can be implemented in any number of situations, there are no limits to where this journey can lead!
TGI - creating the future of event experiences. Today. Personally. Globally.
Pat Vendrely, Founder & President
Rusty Lawrence, CEO