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        Crestron Tech in the New York Giants Draft Room
        The New York Giants turned to Crestron for a state-of-the-art room for their football operations — and beyond
        April 16

        When Joe Schoen, current general manager of the New York Giants, first arrived at the team’s HQ in 2021, the draft room was decidedly … analog.

        “We were using magnets,” recalls Ty Siam, the team’s director of football data and innovation. Decision-makers were rearranging magnetic tiles on a board during the course of the annual NFL Draft to track player availability. “We had fairly limited technology with maybe an 85-inch TV and a couple of supporting screens around the room,” Siam says.

        Schoen and his staff decided there was a very efficient way to modernize their draft-day — and even day-to-day — processes: Update that room. “One of his primary initiatives when he came in was to not only get a digital draft board, but to try to really influence the power of technology and information and its accessibility by redesigning and remodeling that board,” says Siam.

        With their new draft room, the New York Giants evolved from a system of magnets, printouts, and manual updates to a true, tech-driven command center.

        A Team with a Rich History

        A cornerstone franchise of the National Football League, the New York Giants were one of five teams that joined the league in 1925. The Giants have won eight championships: 1927, 1934, 1938, 1956, 1986, 1990, 2007, and 2011. After twice winning two titles in five years, the Giants are the only NFL franchise with Super Bowl victories in four consecutive decades. The names associated with the Giants are a “who’s who” of greats on both sides of the ball, from mid-20th century stars like Y.A. Tittle and Frank Gifford to more recent players such as quarterbacks Phil Simms and Eli Manning, and fearsome defenders such as Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan. Coaches Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin led the franchise to two Super Bowl victories each.

        That history is not lost on Schoen. He remembers his formative years as a kid in Indiana, watching the team win Super Bowls under Coach Parcells from afar. “We're actually celebrating our 100th season this year. When you think of all the Giants greats over the years, playing in one of the greatest cities in the world — put all that together, and it means a lot.”

        They’re also synonymous with the NFL’s trajectory of success and innovation. They were (barely) on the losing end of what came to be known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” the 1958 NFL Championship between the Giants and the Baltimore Colts. The game, which was televised nationally on NBC, was the first NFL matchup to be decided in “sudden death” overtime — and is widely regarded as the beginning of the league’s present-day popularity.

        With that popularity comes a demand for state-of-the-art facilities, an ever-increasing focus on analytics, and a need to implement technology that can help a team move ever closer to hoisting the championship trophy in front of millions of TV viewers.

        The Technology at the Giants’ Facilities

        Crestron solutions can be found throughout the team’s HQ, including the draft room, meeting rooms, press rooms, and other spaces, with solutions such as:

        • Crestron Control, using Crestron Virtual Control (VC-4)
        • Crestron Wall Mount Touch Screens
        • Crestron Tabletop Touch Screens
        • Crestron FlipTop™ Cable Management System with Crestron cables and connectors
        • DM NVX® AV-over-IP
        • Crestron X-Series Amplifiers
        • Saros® Low-Profile Speakers
        • Digital Graphics Engines

        Finding the Firm

        Schoen realized that a properly outfitted draft room could improve efficiency on draft days — and beyond. “The draft gets a lot of notoriety for the three-day window that it is, but the draft is really a nine-month process of acquiring info and strategizing around the landscape of the draft class as a whole,” says Siam. Scouts are on the road collecting data on players. That data is then aggregated by staff at the Giants training center, along with any other third-party party knowledge the team can learn about a player. “Leading up to the draft, the amount of information we’re able to get on these prospects is enormous,” says GM Joe Schoen. “Our scouts do a fabulous job talking to coaches, training staff, strength and conditioning staffs at universities, while also watching film on prospects. You bring it all together from a holistic view.”

        “We will have meetings in December and February and all of April to get ready for those three days that the draft is running,” says Siam. To be able to access all of that data as the picks come and go — at a moment’s notice — while staying completely current on who’s available helps a team immensely.

        “We did some research on similar rooms around the league — and really other industries as well,” says Siam. The team looked at solutions like command centers, talked to various integration firms, and gathered as much info as they could on the solution that would work for the team.

        “The integrator we used was a group out of Baltimore called Image Engineering, and they were unbelievable,” says Siam. The firm laid out good, better, and best options for the room, and buy-in from upper management meant that they could specify a battery of best-in-class options, including control, AV, and videoconferencing solutions from Crestron.

        Draft Day Efficiency

        Scouting for players, gathering info on prospects — it’s a year-round process. “We wanted to give our decision makers a place that has all of the information at their fingertips,” says Siam.

        In Siam’s estimation, however, there’s one aspect of the room that makes an immediate — and profound — impact. Gathering all the available info on a particular available draftee has become much more streamlined — the team can call up all the data they need at once. “If there are 500 players available, and we’re saving two to three minutes per player on simply calling up data, imagine how much more efficient that process has now become,” says Siam.

        “The speed of the system is of utmost importance — and the reliability of it on draft days is very important,” says Schoen. The Crestron Control screens at a user’s disposal allow decision-makers to call up anything they need on players or picks, from numbers to film. “With just the touch of the screen from the Crestron pad, we can select anything we need; we can program it in there to go on whatever screen we want.”

        “If we want to see a player’s stats, their medical history, the draft board — it's just amazing how it works,” he adds. Call up a player, and the info is there automatically. Pick that player, and stats and data can shift from screen to screen without a prompt. Everything happens in precisely the way that the Giants specified. “The speed and reliability of this system is uncanny,” says Schoen.

        The integration team raised the floor of the draft room by six inches to run cabling under the floor, connecting 42 different screens on three walls of the space.

        The FaceTime Factor

        Schoen and the rest of the staff asked for another feature — the ability to video call a prospect in the moment he’d been selected by the team. When they first used the feature, it was fairly deep in the draft — round five or six, as Schoen recalls — as the earlier rounds saw the Giants with multiple picks and little time to spare.

        Imagine a player in the later rounds getting the word — face to face with the staff — that he’s now realized his goal of playing on Sundays, and the impact is apparent. “We had all the coaches and the scouting staffs in there, the prospects are with their family — it’s just a really cool moment to capture a young man achieving his dream of playing in the NFL,” says Schoen.

        “It’s been really satisfying seeing Crestron implement the technology and systems to bring the room to life,” says Schoen. And the room is used for much more than the three days of the annual draft. “The efficiency of our meetings when we're leading up to draft day, what we can do, and how we could customize it to exactly our need — I would put this space up against any of the other 31 teams in the league. The look, the speed, the efficiency, the reliability, and the technology have made things simple for us.”

        Ty Siam points to a promo video that illustrates just how popular the room’s become among the Giants’ decision-makers: “There’s a clip of Joe saying, ‘If there was a bathroom in here, we'd never have to leave.’"

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