Fresh From The Field — Spark 5G Race Zone by Shine

8 months ago by

“The modern America’s Cup yacht has more in common with a Formula 1 race car than the boats of 100 years ago. With virtual modelling, composite materials and hydraulic systems that would look at home on an aircraft, these boats literally fly, reaching speeds approaching 50 knots.”

Spark set Shine a challenge, to showcase the technology enabling the racing and amplify their partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand during the defense of the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada here in Auckland. This Fresh from the Field spotlights Shine’s innovative response.


The Brief

As a sponsor of Emirates Team New Zealand, Spark wanted to inspire and excite the public about the 36th America’s Cup here in Auckland. Educating them about the ways that technology has revolutionised the boats and shining a light on STEM subjects, to inspire a new generation of kids while also giving Aucklanders a preview of the 5G network soon to launch in the region.

The Design Response

The Spark 5G Race Zone concept was born out of this challenge; an immersive interactive event space inside the Emirates Team New Zealand base showcasing a convergence of sailing and technology.

Race Zone was going to give the public a chance to get hands-on with tech the team used like never before, while also becoming a platform for a school’s program promoting STEM education.

Shine developed a vision for the space with world-leading partners, New York-based Executive Producer Adam Jenkins and Executive Creative Director Mick McConnell.  Then, to bring it to life Shine partnered with local production companies Spur, Satellite Media, Perceptual Engineering and BuildMedia. Each was charged with realising aspects of the Race Zone experience, but unified by a clear narrative and design direction.

Seven unique zones were concepted, each an example of ways that Spark 5G was used in the team’s boat development, training or race preparations. From the Wind Tunnel that allows people to walk through and interact with a real-time wind model visualisation, to an immersive 360 experience riding along on a Te Aihe test run, to piloting the actual simulator that Emirates Team New Zealand uses, never before has the public had the chance to get so involved in the technology that goes into contesting the America’s Cup.

Throughout it all, we worked and co-developed the experiences with Emirates Team New Zealand to make them as authentic as possible, without giving away any team secrets!

The development process took over 14 months, not helped by a couple of lockdowns, but regardless the space progressed, with each partner developing their component and overseen by a dedicated Shine team who unified the vision, ensuring it not only brought the Spark 5G story to life, but engaged and enthralled the guests.

With the Cup just a few months away, the Spark 5G Race Zone has gone live to an excited audience. Within days eager crowds have pre-booked the next month’s tickets, and with the Cup hype about to begin we can only imagine even more people will want to get involved in the ultimate 5G America’s Cup experience, where the fans do the racing.

The Spark 5G Race Zone is a free event for the public based down in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter inside Emirates Team New Zealand Base. Due to popularity, booking is essential

The Collaborators

  • Executive Producer – Adam Jenkins
  • Executive Creative Director (NY) – Mick McConnell
  • Chief Creative Director – Rich Maddocks
  • Head of Design – Danny Carlsen
  • Lead Creative – Mike Ramsay
  • Designers – Adeline Marteil, James O’Connor
  • Build Partner – Spur
  • Experience Delivery Partners – Satellite, Perceptual Engineering, Buildmedia
  • Lighting Design – Novii
  • General Manager – Annabelle Pitkin
  • Senior Business Director – Kate Gilmour
  • Photography – Jono Parker, Steven Boniface




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