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AVoIP Case Study: Virtual Ball Drop in Times Square

Watch Tiger Party's Rafale Chang do Covid-safe signage synchronization

While Times Square may have been nearly empty on New Year’s Eve for the first time since 1907, an estimated one billion people worldwide watched the 2021 ball drop and countdown.

For the 11th year in a row, The Tiger Party, the signage solution provider and Times Square billboard technical consultant, was in charge of supervising the famed countdown clock, which was synchronized live on three of Times Square’s most iconic billboards and then transmitted worldwide.

In addition to performers and frontline workers and their families, The Tiger Party production team, led by CEO and co-founder Rafale Chang, was among the limited number of people permitted into Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

For this year’s unprecedented event, Chang faced challenges from sharing scenes of a largely deserted Times Square to revealing creating sync on multiple billboard—all while meeting COVID-19 safety guidelines. For the first time this year, the production team had to work entirely outdoors, which required all signals to be transmitted through radio instead of optical fiber (as optical fiber is only available indoors).The Tiger Party team also started running pressure tests and rehearsals two weeks earlier than past years to ensure the countdown clock and synchronization worked precisely.

“This year’s New Year’s Eve was unlike any we will likely see in our lifetimes,” said Chang. “To create the excitement of past celebrations, it was critical that the countdown clock worked seamlessly and perfectly while still meeting all of the COVID-19 safety guidelines.”

The Tiger Party creates viral interactive and experiential campaigns for leading brands like Pepsi and Disney and manages several of Times Square’s biggest billboards including the ABC Supersign, the Disney Spectacular sign, and the American Eagle sign.

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