Fox Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LIV included a new graphics package with an emphasis on stats and an illustrated twist.
Powered by Vizrt and Ventuz and created by Drive Studio, the graphics include player illustrations instead of photographic headshots along with typography inspired by each team’s logo typeface.
Sports Video Group, who spoke with Fox’s Zac Fields about the look, notes that an illustrator was hired to create roughly 15 player illustrations per team.
The score bar, known as the “Fox Box,” also saw an update with clean lines and large text, adding fly outs for stats after each play.
While most online reactions were positive of the new “Fox Box,” the illustrations and touchdown graphics didn’t fare as well on social media.
One viewer noted, “the Super Bowl is not the time to test your new score graphics.” While the network surely tested the graphics, the question stands: Why introduce a new graphics package to the public during the biggest game of the year?
However, this has been the norm for the networks covering the Super Bowl for various cycles, such as in 2018 when NBC Sports used new graphics for the big game. Those later went on to become the network’s primary NFL design.
The illustrations were a unique shift that added some personality and a larger-than-life feeling on-air. Drive Studio notes the design “was inspired by a youthful, video game-like simplicity, with heroic treatment of the players.”
The design also appears to be optimized for both larger screen sizes, such as 4K televisions, and social media. Through the large attention-grabbing animations and pops of color, such as the touchdown graphic, fans will immediately know to pay attention.
Overall, the style is a bold rethinking of Fox’s NFL design package, which was updated less than six months ago
At the start of the 2019-2020 season.
The new motion and insert graphics will return next season and be featured in the XFL’s inaugural season, which begins next week on a variety of broadcast partners including Fox Sports. This look is expected to remain an NFL-only package for Fox, much as ESPN and NBC both have packages exclusive to football coverage.