Canadian broadcasters draw inspiration from Islamic art, host country for World Cup open

Bell Media, which has the TV broadcast rights to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Canada, has taken cues from the host country’s design culture to create an impressive open that is used on both TSN and CTV.

Drawing on the tournament’s Middle Eastern setting, the open starts with a row of dramatic Islamic arches as a light gold soccer ball rolls toward the viewer.

This then switches to a view of a circular element on the floor of the 3D space ringed by gold diamonds, rub-el-hizbs (the “Islamic star”) and quatrefoils in various sizes, set against off-white stone.

This creates a highly textural scene with concentric rings that are a nod to both the notion of the circle and rings, which has significance in many religions, as well as, more abstractly, the shape of a football (North American soccer ball) or the globe.

The circular look then animates with a ring-like segment rotating while the center circle seemingly slides down and forward while the World Cup trophy rises up from the center of a flower-like layout depicting the flags and symbols of participating nations and clubs. Each one is placed on a unique polygon with two triangular tips on either end, another shape inspired by Islamic art and architecture. 

Meanwhile, the layout is ringed with stone-like textures, interlocking circles and small golden balls.

After a highly detailed side view of the trophy with screened windows and club symbols visible in the background, another interlocking rotation effect is used to transition to a different circular view with some of the same elements seen previously, but with some new ones added in, including intricate florals and square diamond patterns added — and a raspberry-magenta color scheme (which happens to look a lot like Pantone’s 2023 color of the year).

There is then a series of football club logos, with some depicted as circular seals hitting a sandy surface. Others seemingly rise out of the sand by magic, with highly detailed particle animation effects.


Others are shown on colorful wall-like backgrounds or as if mounted on a surface accented with rich geometric patterns. 

The golden football from earlier in the sequence returns, rolling by a gold screened panel that leads to a gallery-like series of player imagery and a quick video clip before ending at the words “FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” which is set in Friz Quadrata (aka the “Law & Order font”), which was presumably selected for its bold, regal and chiseled feel.

The entire sequence, meanwhile, has a blend of Middle Eastern-inspired music that blends majestic swells with quicker, snappier bits as well as natural sound blended in.

Project Credits

  • Client: Bell Media
  • Agency: In-house
  • Creative Director, Design: Stephen Gilmore
  • Associate Creative Director: Matt Mamic
  • Motion Designer: Henry Tao
  • Sound Design: Michael Banani