When people band together to achieve an ambitious goal, it can heighten everyone’s sense of camaraderie. That’s what happened in Seattle in the lead-up to the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win in 2014.
The Seahawks often hailed “the 12th man”—their fans—for their support. And the fans kept responding.
For example, a group of particularly dedicated fans working in a Seattle skyscraper joined forces on an outlandish project.
Many of the 3,500 tenants in the 42-story tower—the Russell Investments Center—collaborated to create a beaming number 12 on the west exterior of the building. After much effort, they finalized the massive design spanning 18 floors.
Participants within the skyscraper devised a way to position the shades on 418 windows to make the “12” glow in the dark. Meticulously coordinating their efforts, they used an Excel spreadsheet so that the “12” would match the Seahawks’ actual font.
After teams shut every blind on the west side of the building, designated employees opened their shades. Another team member ventured across town to a house with a perfect view of the tower, and he asked the homeowner for permission to let him snap photos of the building and send them to planners inside the tower.
Through this process, the fans kept making improvements to execute better. If only one window shade was set incorrectly, it would throw off the whole project.
By the time the playoffs began, they had pulled it off. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, the Russell crew had it down to a science. Using blue dots to mark those windows that they needed to close, it took them only 45 minutes to unveil the “12” every night.
— Adapted from “How did they make that giant 12? Teamwork,” Marc Stiles, Puget Sound Business Journal.