- Jamaal Walton, Associate Athletics Director for External Operations -
Old Hat is a first class company, they make sure to deliver what you asked for of them. They were great to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for top notch results.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
FACILITY GRAPHICS & DIGITAL LEADERBOARD
Old Hat transformed Charleston’s weight room into a fun and welcoming environment for all of their student athletes. The goal was to not only create an energetic space for the student-athletes to work out in, but to create a cool space for them to hang out in as well. Additionally, the intent was to develop the space to exceed those of its peers and even larger Power 5 schools it competes with from a recruiting standpoint.
Most weight rooms have “leaderboards” filled with names of athletes that lift the most, jump the highest, or run the fastest. While renovating their weight room, College of Charleston wanted a more modern approach to this long-standing tradition.
Multiple people were involved in the coordination of the remodel, so the project had to be handled in stages. Various complexities were realized as the project progressed, including the fact that the walls needed to be painted and dried for 30 days before graphics could be applied and that a drop ceiling proved challenging to install the jump stations on. Other challenges included coordinating details, schedules and timelines with the printer and installer at the University.
Additionally, the sports performance staff of CofC knew they wanted a typical “leaderboard”. What they didn’t want was the usual sports (men’s basketball in CofC’s case) taking up all of the board – they wanted a fair representation from each sport. They created the idea of a “Power Board” that used a specific formula to “weigh” each athlete’s marks on a level playing field.
Old Hat was charged with making the weight room a space the student-athletes would feel “at home” while working out and want to spend more time in. To do this, graphics were designed to apply to all of the teams that use the space for training. Secondly, Charleston wanted to create a leaderboard in the weight room to track strength and conditioning success from the student-athletes across all sports. To do this, Old Hat used a formula devised by the Charleston training staff that weighed performance against various factors, including gender, weight, and height, then post the performance in real-time using Google Data Studio.
The staff originally suggested using a PowerPoint document to rotate through the best performances. This PPT would be updated and then shared to a screen. Rather than take this “old school” approach, Old Hat staff suggested using Google Data Studio (free to use) to allow for an easier, more customizable solution for displaying the information to their weight room monitors.
Old Hat used Charleston logos in various applications throughout the space and added imagery and quotes on the walls. Logos and graphics were also applied to the columns in the weight room that were left blank before. From the ceiling, Charleston wanted to hang banners that were intended to measure vertical jump and incorporate a competitive “touch”.
For the digital leaderboard, Old Hat developed a series of Google Sheets that allowed scores to be input by the staff. The scores were based on a formula that the sports performance staff devised, taking into consideration various factors of the student-athlete, including gender, weight, age, and of course their results (times, marks, etc.). Old Hat then used Google Data Studio to calculate the scores, and post them to monitors inside the weight room. These monitors were no different than a television that they would use elsewhere within their facility.
Data is power, and by harnessing this power, CofC has created a unique way to measure the success their teams have in the weight room. The staff can review a specific team’s improvement or a specific athlete, either with a data table or any number of graphs. This representation of the data, again managed through Google Data Studios, provides the coaches, teams, and athletes a different way to experience their performances and success.
The completion of the weight room and digital leaderboard was a clear step up from how the space looked previously, bringing athletes together and getting them more engaged. It’s now a more useable space lending it to a place for them all to hang out and intermingle.