One of the top companies in big digital canvas creative, San Francisco’s Obscura Digital, has been acquired by the sports and entertainment firm The Madison Square Garden Company.
Obscura will become part of MSG Ventures, MSG’s technology group. “MSG is committed to building on its incredible legacy of delivering unforgettable experiences by anticipating and embracing how live entertainment will be experienced in the future,” says David Dibble, CEO of MSG Ventures. “Obscura’s expertise will enable us to immediately begin to integrate the cutting-edge possibilities of immersive technology across MSG’s current portfolio of live offerings, as well as its new endeavors.”
Obscura is already working with MSG on its production of the 2017 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes. This season’s version includes a massive projection-mapping job on the arches inside of Radio City Music Hall, as well as one of the world’s largest 8K LED screens.
“We are thrilled to join The Madison Square Garden Company family as part of MSG Ventures,” says Obscura CEO Chris Lejeune. “MSG is a world leader in live experiences, with some of the most renowned sports and entertainment brands, and iconic venues that attract millions of guests each year. As part of MSG, we’ll be able to work on a much bigger scale, reach larger audiences, and fulfill our vision to create the future of entertainment.”
Founded in 2000, Obscura has been behind a long list of iconic jobs, many of them large scale projection mapping efforts on surfaces like the Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. That’s also Obscura doing the creative on that crazy LED video wall in the lobby of one of the two main Salesforce buildings in San Francisco (the one with the waterfall and Pacman game) .
The Madison Square Garden Company has numerous major venues, including Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA); two development league teams — the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and one of the leading North American esports organizations, Counter Logic Gaming.
No deal terms were announced.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.