Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

Client: Countdown Entertainment
Project type: Event
Services: Production management, rigging, lighting

Countdown Entertainment is the world’s only marketing consultancy exclusively focused on New York City’s Times Square. Representing the owners of 1 Times Square, Countdown Entertainment (and its President, Jeff Straus) partner with the Times Square Alliance to present the world’s largest annual holiday broadcast event.

Since 1995, John Trowbridge has been the production manager for the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Recently, we called and asked Jeff a few questions about why he goes with John and The Wolf Productions year after year.

He summed it up in four words: “Total faith and trust.”

What inspires you to say that?

“I know it’s going to get done right. John is a professional. I can turn the keys over and he will take care of the entire process. I have so many other things to worry about… with John there, I don’t even have to think about it. I know that he will not only coordinate with all of the technical people involved – but will even work with the world media that want to cover the event.”

Everybody talks about deadlines in this business.. but yours seems to be particularly important.

“The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop is the start of the New Year for the world. 1 million people come to Times Square to watch it. 1 billion people watch video of it around the world. The event is all about time. You can’t miss it, because you will never get a second chance. John is a problem-solver, a make-it-happen kind of guy. He’s made it work in every kind of weather, flawlessly. Ice storms…in 2001, we had to dig the ball out of a foot and a half of snow.”

It sounds like John is a pretty good guy to spend New Year’s with.

“Actually, John is talking with us throughout the year, taking care of us beyond just what is required. When we’re working on it throughout the year, I can pick up the phone and say “Can I do this? Can I do that?” When we set out to create the new ball in 2008, which was going to be twice as large and 10 times heavier, he was a great resource for me. When we came up with the idea to move the older ball and suspend it from the ground floor ceiling of Macy’s for the holidays, John was the one who figured out how to do it … and then just took care of it.”