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Drones Add Buzz to Events

Great Lakes Drone Co.’s Starlight Aerial Productions stages customized drone shows to light up the sky with your brand.

By Kathy Gibbons

If the NFL’s Detroit Lions can do it, you can, too. The football team was on a roll this past season and treated fans to a 13-minute drone show that featured 18 animations ranging from a lion eating the San Francisco 49ers’ logo to the “Detroit vs. Everybody” slogan. The extravaganza garnered international attention and buoyed the city’s already-high level of excitement.

The Detroit Lions treated fans to a drone show over the city.
The Detroit Lions treated fans to a drone show over the city. || Courtesy of Great Lakes Drone Co. and Starlight Aerial Productions

Great Lakes Drone Co.’s Starlight Aerial Productions staged the customized show using 400 preprogrammed drones to light up the sky. Owner and Flight Director Matt Quinn started the company as a side hustle back in 2016 but says it has quickly grown to be a full-time enterprise as drone shows are increasingly featured entertainment for festivals as well as other special events.

“We do a lot in the private sector,” Quinn explains. “We have several destination management company partners across the nation.” Quinn says Starlight did drone shows for awards banquets, conferences, and similar gatherings of professionals. Drones recognize sponsors by creating their logos in the air, or create buzz about a new product or brand through colors and lights.

“We make different images and brands and shapes in the sky,” Quinn says, “and the organic return on investment is on social media—people seeing it, pulling over on the side of the road, taking pictures—that stuff goes viral on its own. What better way to celebrate your brand than to throw your logo 400 feet up in the sky for everyone to see?”