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Detroit's skyline gets vinyl wrapping

Detroit's skyline gets vinyl wrapping

The signature element of Detroit’s skyline — the Renaissance Center — is adorned with a massive GMC advertising wrap for the Detroit Lions’ appearance on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast Sept. 8.

The graphic work, which includes the truck brand logo atop the network’s game logo, was done last week by Rochester Hills-based i.M. Branded, which is co-owned by Roger Penske’s Bloomfield Hills-based Penske Automotive Group.

GMC is the official truck of the National Football League, and the intent of doing the massive wrap is to get the brand in front of the “Monday Night Football” audience — the games averaged 13.6 million viewers last season — when ESPN does secondary shots of the city outside Ford Field during the game.

i.M. Branded, a dba for Automotive Media LLC, designs, manufactures and installs custom vinyl graphic wraps and images for buildings and vehicles. Since 2010, it has had a millwork unit that does the internal build-outs of auto dealerships (fixtures, desks, etc.).

The wrap is approximately 280 feet tall and 125 wide, and is a perforated vinyl window film applied to the exterior of glass that allows people inside the building to still see through the windows, said i.M. Branded President and founder Jim Whitehead. The film is similar to looking through a screen door.

The RenCen wrap was designed and printed, over about 50 hours nonstop, on the firm’s 2,400-pound HP Latex 850 printer, a $250,000 machine that uses eco-friendly ink, he said. This is the largest wrap to ever adorn the RenCen, Whitehead said, larger than a wrap on the central tower for the Super Bowl and baseball’s All-Star game.

It took five i.M. Branded staffers a week to install the wrap, which will be lit at night this weekend and during the game, and will remain up through September.

While Whitehead didn’t disclose a cost, he said large building wraps begin at $100,000 and can top out at “multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

GMC is the client on the wrap project, he said.

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