Project Description

Arnold Sports Festival

About the Project

What began as a one-day professional bodybuilding competition in Columbus, Ohio, in 1989 has grown into the world’s largest multi-sport fitness festival, attracting an estimated 200,000 sports and fitness fans to the capital city. LIVE! has been the production partner for the Arnold Sports Festival for a large portion of its history—bringing our logistical and technical expertise to execute an engaging event that brings nearly $55 million dollars into the Columbus economy throughout the weekend.

Unique Opportunities

The rapid growth of the festival demanded equally paced growth from LIVE!, and to maintain the expert knowledge they looked to us for the totality of event production.

In an interconnected world, the Classic Production Communications team understood the need for an omni-channel delivery of content from the weekend.

The 2016 and 2018 Olympic games had a combined 14,000 athletes competing over 14 days, supported by a per-event staff of 51,000+ paid and volunteer employees. The Arnold weekend hosts 22,000 athletes contending over a three-day weekend. The Olympic employees aren’t broken down by role, so it’s hard to make a direct comparison, however it’s safe to say the nearly 100 LIVE! staff members working the event is a far cry from the army of Olympic staffers.


Remaining curious is why our partners value the alliance. The essence of our method is looking beyond the technical aspects of the event and discovering ways to enable our clients to provide unrivaled experiences by advancing their connection with the audience.

Our REVEAL process defines a roadmap for every event our teams produce—with this “big picture” look at the project we can discover interconnectivity that maximize our impact before, during, and after the event. As an example, our video and creative teams have collaborated on technical and creative methods to deliver captivating content to the in-house audience, as well as improving the experience for the growing streaming audience.

With our i2i: integrated and invested concept, we don’t join a project as a vendor, we integrate ourselves as a partner. We are committed and connected to every project on the deepest level. This provides our teams with the understanding to masterly produce events with methodical planning that optimizes our on-staff team that covers the diverse needs of this project.

Our promise of providing a highly trained technical staff and the latest audiovisual equipment is backed up by the experiences we provide for our clients and their audiences. Those experiences are built around the close collaboration under which every event is designed with our clients. This allows us to design events that adapt as the needs of our clients change.

We recognize our commitment to not only providing the best live events experience, but doing so safely and responsibly. As part of this social obligation, we looked at developments in audiovisual technology that provided the same level of quality, while also diminishing the environmental and budget impact of operation costs. The transition to LED-based lighting, LED video screens, and Energy Star-rated audio equipment reduced the client’s generator and fuel costs, as well as the overall impact of the festival.