Elon University / Today at Elon / Jacob LaPlante ’17 reflects on behind-the-scenes Super Bowl experience


As one particular of the guide designers on NBC’s on-air graphic design group, LaPlante designed and up-to-date graphics for Super Bowl LVI and its tens of millions of viewers.

As an undergraduate learning cinema and television arts, Jacob LaPlante ‘17 aspired to a person working day do the job at NBC. Practically 5 decades afterwards, his new assignment with NBC Sporting activities Group experienced him producing graphics for one particular of the most-considered sporting activities of the year – Super Bowl LVI.

LaPlante credits his on-campus expertise with university student media and Elon Athletics for his prosperous transition to his roles with NBC Athletics Group.

LaPlante built a name for himself at Elon extended before he landed a total-time position with NBC in slide 2018. As an Elon undergraduate, he labored intently with a staff of college students to generate the branding for Elon News Network and developed graphics deals for Phoenix All-Access and Phoenix Eyesight. If a graphic ran in the McEwen studios or an Elon athletic party, LaPlante possible had a hand in its creation.

LaPlante credits his fingers-on, on-campus practical experience for making ready him for his latest posture. The College of Communications pushes learners to obstacle themselves. For LaPlante, the enthusiasm worked. He explained his on-campus encounter instilled each skill and self esteem.

Professors like Max Negin and Loaded Landesberg, alongside with other Elon college customers, helped LaPlante develop the skillset and knowledge essential to be profitable in the work market place next graduation.

“I never imagined I’d be in these footwear so early in my occupation – it was a aspiration when I was at Elon,” LaPlante mentioned. “Elon and other folks alongside the way served condition my occupation from graduation to what it is now.”

Major a team of eight, LaPlante collaborated with his art director to develop a polished remaining products for the Rams-Bengals championship game. LaPlante labored mainly on redesigning the existing graphics package and implementing new and ground breaking graphic elements into NBC’s telecast. He oversaw the development of a new score bug, as nicely as the insert bundle and other visible elements. While his design and style procedure for the Super Bowl was complex and multifaceted, he credits his team’s cooperative perspective for generating potent, original tips.

LaPlante claimed he is grateful for the classes he’s realized and the experience and teaching he has acquired. In the end, his team’s perform was noticed by 112 million viewers, a amount LaPlante stated was really hard to comprehend.

“I’m so lucky to perform with the legitimate ‘best in the business’… and to be thrown into a part like this was unimaginable for me – even just a couple many years back,” LaPlante explained.

LaPlante observed his part transition leading up to the Super Bowl. At first, his do the job centered on the score bug – the on-screen graphic shown at the leading or bottom of the television monitor through a broadcast of a sporting function. But he later on jumped into a leadership posture for his 8-man or woman crew.

The procedure of redesigning the rating bug started off almost quickly soon after Super Bowl LV past spring. LaPlante and his artwork director zagged against the standard lengthy, skinny bar at the base of the screen, opting for a layout that would include immediately digestible information and facts.

The crew requested by itself issues like, “How can we push the score bug’s potential to tell the story of the sport?” Then they collectively redesigned the rating bug from the ground up. The sleek final structure has functionalities for not only the Tremendous Bowl, but also the impending year of “Sunday Night Soccer.”

“It does not genuinely strike you when you’re likely by the layout course of action … that our work will be seen by that volume of folks, and I really do not imagine it has definitely established in nonetheless. It’s an knowledge that I’ll hardly ever fail to remember,” LaPlante explained.

LaPlante reported the greatest problem was getting buy-in from the program’s producers and executives, because the graphic features participate in this kind of a considerable purpose in the broadcast.

The complete style and design method at NBC received shifted around many situations owing to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Game titles and 2022 Beijing Olympics demanding operate all through the same time body. The frantic calendar year for NBC Sporting activities Group, LaPlante and his staff has lastly occur to an close, at minimum for a couple months.

LaPlante and his workforce now have the sizable process of transitioning the artwork and movement principle to suit the “Sunday Evening Football” narrative. The new Super Bowl graphics offers have a very long everyday living ahead of them, and are expected to run on the upcoming three seasons of “Sunday Evening Soccer.”

Emmanuel Morgan ’19, who has worked with The New York Moments due to the fact spring 2021, also attended Tremendous Bowl LVI. Photograph courtesy of Morgan

In virtually five a long time with NBC, the Elon alumnus has designed for two Olympics, a Planet Cup and now a Super Bowl, among other sports activities. With a second to replicate, LaPlante mentioned he views his time at Elon as influential in his achievements with NBC and his function planning for this year’s Tremendous Bowl.

“I’m amazingly grateful and appreciative of anything Elon offered more than my four decades there – and I just can’t wait around to see what latest and foreseeable future college students will generate and learn heading forward,” LaPlante explained.

LaPlante wasn’t the only Elon connection to Tremendous Bowl LVI. Amid the alumni operating the event ended up Emmanuel Morgan ’19, a sports activities reporter for The New York Periods, and Colton Cadarette, a VIP operations and event manager with Dapper Labs and a previous functions coordinator with the NFL. Morgan released several bylines at the activity, such as “The Bengals drop brief of a fairy tale ending, but nevertheless impress.

Also, Reagan Palombo ’24, a sport management major, attended the game as section of her internship with the Los Angeles Rams. Palombo worked with the NFL business through the drop and the 2021 season.

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