Air Jordan’s New Toronto Store Creates a Dynamic Retail Experience with AV and Digital Signage by Advanced

Advanced installed a sophisticated multi-zone audio system and a dazzling showcase of projection and displays.

Toronto’s new Air Jordan location on Yonge street is more than just a store: it’s an experience. That was the goal when designing the three-level retail space equipped with an underground kids-only concourse, an industrial-designed retail level, and an upper athletic training facility. In order to immerse guests on every floor, Nike hired local AV integrator and digital signage specialist Advanced in partnership with an experiential design firm to build and install an engaging AV system including multi-room audio, displays, projectors, and control automation.

“We were brought in to enhance and define the store’s unique spaces with audio visual technology,” explained Advanced Executive Vice President Mark McPherson. “Our early conversations regarding the project were all geared to the user experience, and Air Jordan understands that AV can significantly contribute to the look and feel that a store conveys in any given area. With audio, video, displays, and more, we were able to create nuanced and carefully distinguished spaces on each floor that truly transform this traditional brick-and-mortar store into an engaging customer experience.”

During the building process in early 2017, the store’s biggest AV priority was music. Air Jordan wanted to incorporate a multi-room audio system that would be flexible depending on the space, yet extremely easy-to-use for the store’s staff. That’s why Advanced built the entire system around a Crestron multi-room audio controller, powered by 22 QSC AD-S12 and 18 QSC AD-S12-SW-B wall mounted speakers hung with custom-built mounts in the building’s columns, and 11 QSC AD-6PT ceiling speakers. For easy control of the system, Advanced installed an Apple iPad Mini equipped with Spotify and a custom-designed graphical user interface so that staffers can easily change the song or volume.

“The main retail level and the kids-only concourse share an audio zone because they play the same ambient music at a low level that pretty much operates as pleasant background noise,” explained Advanced Senior Project Manager Scott Wouters. “We also added in some unique zones that are accessible to staffers if needed. For future parties and events, we integrated a DJ input behind one of the main level’s columns. We also built two separate zones for the Jordan Standard games located on third floor.”

The third floor, named Center 23, acts as a full-service training facility complete with a gym, locker room, and two Jordan Standard games–  interactive display-based grid tests that measure each player’s agility level compared to Michael Jordan’s. All visitors can participate for free, and be put to the test with a range of speed, endurance and agility tasks.

“In order to distinguish the two game grids’ audio from the rest of the training facility area, we integrated a pair of QSC speakers that sends audio directly into the ear of the participant,” Wouters continued. “We designed drop-down speakers at the corner of the grid and targeted them directly to the center, which removes the entire floor’s background music as if the user were wearing noise-cancelling headphones. You can hear the Jordan Standard, and only the Jordan Standard, when you’re engaging with it, and that audio does not disturb the rest of the floor either.” 

Each Jordan Standard grid features a fine pixel pitch SiliconCore LED videowall and has its own audio zone, easily controlled with one Apple iPad Mini, mounted into an adjacent wall. Advanced was also responsible for each Jordan Standard’s video processing, fed from an XBOX Kinect video signal managed by PCs in the central rack room, and then split into two for each LED display. “The video feed of the game was created using a custom content resolution and then fed to each wall,” said Advanced Director of Design Engineering Ibrahim Saad. “Due to the customized high-resolution content, our team had to work closely with the display and processor manufactures to configure the system and deliver an impressive and eye-catching image.”

Complementing the store’s unique audio system, Advanced was also tasked with building a visual projector-based system to contribute to the aesthetic of the main level retail space. In collaboration with an experiential design firm, Advanced turned four of the space’s eight-foot tall windows into digital canvases by installing perforated projection film screens – which allow natural light to come through –  on each, with four custom-mounted Panasonic 8500 Lumens 1-Chip DLP projectors in portrait format. Starting at sunset, the store will exhibit a display of motion projection images and video on the windows facing Yonge Street in Toronto.

“We did pixel-mapping to separate the images to each window, and integrated a dedicated BrightSign player to send content to each projector,” Saad said. “We also included a 17” KVM monitor in the equipment rack so that users can actually see what the content will look like before it’s sent out. The projectors and the BrightSign media players are integrated directly into the store-wide Crestron control system so that, if need be, staffers can very easily turn it on or off and change the content.”

According to McPherson, the new Air Jordan store has certainly generated a lot of buzz and has patrons coming back again and again for the experience. “Our focus was to provide technology solutions that really helped connect with customers and the end result seemed to truly turn heads during the opening,” he said. “We’re thrilled to contribute to Air Jordan’s immersive Toronto store, which strives to go above and beyond what’s expected of a brick-and-mortar retailer.” 

For hi-res images, click here.