NHL Winter Classic 2023


Turner Sports

The NHL Winter Classic is an annual outdoor ice hockey game played during the National Hockey League's regular season on or around New Year's Day. For the 2023 game played at Fenway Park and aired on TNT, BigStar designed a show open celebrating the legendary venue and highlighting the excitement of the Winter Classic game.

NHL Winter Classic 2023


NHL Winter Classic 2023

NHL Winter Classic 2023

We worked with our friends at Turner Sports to design a show open for the big event. Partnering with Turner’s sports division has led to some of our most notable design work, including our award-winning Made for Madness promo spot.

The Green Monster is the nickname for Fenway’s legendary left field wall, and became the anchor of our open. The lore around the wall and the history behind the ballpark led to the concept of ‘If this wall could talk’, which gave us a strong direction to begin storytelling graphically.

We created an experience within the 3-minute show open using the Green Monster’s POV to establish the Winter Classic as another piece of Fenway’s history alongside the historic baseball games, legendary rock concerts and prominent celebrities the stadium has hosted. To establish this POV, we used CG to render a space behind the Green Monster and move through it while using that imagined corridor as a basis to project archival footage.

Behind the Wall Design versus Final

This ‘behind the wall’ concept really worked for us to create a narrative graphically and was something we leaned into strongly. Conner O’Brien designed the CG for behind the wall and rendered it in Arnold to achieve the photoreal look we were going for - something we're excited about doing more of in the future.

NHL Winter Classic 2023 (cont)

NHL Winter Classic 2023 (cont)

The NHL Classic always occurs around the first of the year, so we worked quickly to promptly deliver the spot before the end of the year. In addition to the CG elements, we treated archival footage with an interesting 2.5D technique to add dimension, and designed some really slick looking player composites. We tried out a few other elements, such as a 3D creeping ice growth around the stadium, that didn’t end up in the final edit.

The show open successfully establishes the Winter Classic as an event worthy of the iconic ballpark and manages to deliver a history of Fenway and the Green Monster while also hyping up excitement for the fan-favorite game. Thanks to our partners at Turner Sports for trusting us to design for this bucket list event and congratulations to the hometown Bruins for taking home this year’s win.

Props where props are due


  • Executive Creative Director
    Josh Norton
  • EVP, Executive Producer
    Carson Hood
  • Head of Production
    Virgil Conklin
  • Sr. Art Director
    Mark Thompson
  • Design Director
    Ross Henderson
  • 3D Design & Animation
    Brian Landisman, Conner O'Brien, Nick Woythaler
  • Animation
    Liu Chia-Lung, Carl Dempsey
  • Design
    Justin Nixon