Red Bull Flugtag / Kastner & Partners

Turning Data into Opinions, All in Real-time

 

In August 2015, Red Bull Flugtag touched down on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, drawing in over 90,000 spectators. Forty teams of inventors competed for glory with human-powered flying machines that they pushed off a 28-foot platform in an attempt to fly the furthest before crashing into the river below. Add a dash of crazy costumes and pre-flight dance routines and you have Flugtag!

 

Nifty created a real-time voting system for Red Bull Flugtag, tracking 40 team hashtags across Twitter and Instagram.

 


Nifty partnered with Kastner & Partners to bring innovation to audience voting for Red Bull Flugtag. In the past, a traditional SMS voting system was used allowing the audience to vote by text messages. Nifty’s CrowdPix platform shifted voting from SMS text-messages to hashtag mentions on Twitter and Instagram. Any mention of a team hashtag on either social network counted as a vote and that team’s score was updated in real-time on the People’s Choice Awards scoreboard.

 


Working with designs provided by Kastner & Partners, Nifty created three different scoreboard views that were used throughout the live broadcast. The primary view was the scoreboard showing the top 5 teams with the highest votes. The second view was an animated rotation of all 40 teams ranked by votes. The final view was automatically generated to display the winner of the People's Choice Award once voting ended. These views were easily controlled on the CrowdPix tablet, which we integrated into the broadcast control room.

 


Wifi connectivity is a common issue with large events and Red Bull Flugtag was no exception. Throughout the day the internet connection would sporadically drop and reconnect. We built our platform with this in mind. The hashtag processing happens in the cloud and the CrowdPix media player connects to the server and receives updates in real-time. This means that even if the connection is lost the scoreboard is still operational and votes are still counted.

 

 CrowdPix replaces the traditional SMS voting system providing a real-time feedback loop for audience votes. 


Red Bull Flugtag Portland 2015 was an amazing event with record-breaking attendance. Throughout the day our CrowdPix platform tracked thousands of votes and displayed the scoreboard seamlessly with the live broadcast. Working closely with the broadcast production team gave us insights on how to make our platform even better.

 

On the product road map we’ve added the feature to dynamically create OTS (over the shoulder) graphics and title cards for each team that can be composited with the live broadcast feed. This will show the audience the correct hashtag to use when voting for their favorite team. We are also adding traditional SMS messaging as an additional voting option for people who may not use social media. There is much in the works for CrowdPix and we look forward to working with you and seeing you at the next big event!