When our good friends at Initials got in touch for us to work on a job for Pepsi with them we couldn’t wait to start work. They wanted to create an immersive experience at the Champion’s League Fan Zone in Cardiff. This of course would involve football, and with many jobs which we produce for Initials, some Creative Technology.

What We Did

The idea was to create two immersive football-inspired games in which guests could take part. These would be adapted using Creative Technology to further the experience for the guests. The games would be situated inside a structure, which we also designed and built.

Pepsi Max UEFA Champions League Cardiff 2017 Pop up exterior

Football Tables

Pepsi Max UEFA Champions League Cardiff 2017 Custom tech Table football table

One of the many challenges was to enhance the standard table football experience to allow people to have a short game with high impact, featuring an automatic scoring system, a lighting display, and sound effects.

Having dismantled and completely rebuilt the football tables in polished acrylic and stainless steel, we installed laser beam break devices into the mouths of the goals to trigger a custom-designed and programmed circuit that charts the scores on large LED displays, mounted underneath the new acrylic pitch.

When someone reaches a predetermined score, the same circuit sends triggers to the venue lighting and sound control producing a venue-wide lighting and sound sequence.

Football Contest

Pepsi Max UEFA Champions League Cardiff 2017 Moving football net wall with sensors

On the other side of the space was the main experiential attraction – a football contest where teams competed against each other to hit targets on a double-sided video wall. Once a team hit the target, the entire video wall tracked away from them and toward the opposite team.

Kicking footballs at a video wall isn’t advisable!  So we used a colour web system stretched between two taught clear PVC screens inside a truss frame to produce the targets and allow the teams to see each other through the wall.

The screen frame was suspended from beam crawling dollies on heavy steel beams in the roof.  Every time a team scored, the control system activated the motors and the screen moved, also sending trigger signals to the lighting and sound systems and the video servers to produce an array of lighting, sound, and video effects.  At the end of the game, the motors reset to the start position and the game began again.

All designed, created, and tested in-house here at PDS.


One of the main challenges that came with this job was the gale force winds on the day of the build. This immediately adds difficulty to the job at hand, and even more so when you are building such a large structure. Thankfully due to careful planning and consideration we were able to complete the build and the event was able to go ahead as planned.