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Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze: Inside the hologram moment

Story by Gabby Hajduk

Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft has been poised to be a monumental moment for the Chicago Bears since the draft order was set.

With the No. 1 and No. 9 overall picks, the team was committed to providing the newest members of the NFL's charter franchise with an unforgettable experience.

Less than 60 minutes after receiving their life-changing phone calls in Detroit from general manager Ryan Poles, quarterback Caleb Williams and receiver Rome Odunze were able to be in two places at once.

The Bears worked with Proto, a holographic experience vendor, to first beam Williams live from Detroit into the Miller Lite Draft Party at Soldier Field Thursday night and give him a glimpse into his new fanbase and home stadium. Williams talked with the voice of the Bears, Jeff Joniak, provided a message to the fans on site and heard their support firsthand.

"For that to be my first experience, to be hologrammed — that's my first time being hologrammed — into Soldier Field, it makes me more excited to get out there, be out there," Williams told "All the love and support I saw through the cameras here — all of y'all there supporting and cheering, I'm excited. I know y'all are excited. Let's do it."

About an hour later, Odunze received the same experience, allowing both draft picks to be immersed into the City of Chicago and its loyal fanbase from 280 miles away.

"That was awesome," Odunze said afterwards. "I've never been hologrammed before so that was a unique experience. Now I'm excited to get my actual two feet down there in Soldier Field."

At the Draft Party, both Williams and Odunze were beamed into a life-sized holographic box on stage, allowing fans to see a live view of each player.

Here is how fans viewed the hologram at Soldier Field.


At the draft, the set-up was a basic white backdrop, one camera for the player to look into and two screens – one reflecting Joniak and the holographic box for the player to see how he appeared on stage, and the other showing the large crowd of fans celebrating.

Here is a behind-the-scenes view of what Williams' and Odunze's experience in Detroit looked like.


The hologram interaction provided a once-in-a-lifetime moment for both the draft picks and the fans in attendance Thursday night.

"With all the excitement around the Chicago Bears right now, innovation remains at the center of every conversation," Bears director of digital media Pooja Van Dyke said. "It's integral to elevating the fan experience — everything from ticket sales, personalized memories, food and beverage and more. Giving Caleb and Rome a slice of our loyal fanbase by beaming them into Soldier Field during their first moments as Chicago Bears speaks volumes to how we, as a club, will always prioritize best-in-class moments and memories for not just our fans, but our players as well."

Various media outlets and fans on social media praised the innovative experience.

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