Merging Physical and Digital for Nasdaq's Upgraded Global HQ
As Nasdaq relocates its global headquarters to Times Square, it has embarked on a large-scale expansion of its iconic MarketSite building at this storied location. As part of this initiative, Nasdaq submitted an open brief for a partner to re-envision the physical and digital experiences within MarketSite from beginning to end, for visitors and employees alike.
Home to a range of events from initial public offerings to broadcasted bell ceremonies to financial analyst days, MarketSite needed to embody Nasdaq’s dynamic business and its new brand, “Rewrite Tomorrow.” In addition, we were required to accommodate the needs of over 20,000 combined annual visitors and employees. Since the brief spanned ideation to execution, we not only needed to craft the vision for the holistic experience but also to design and develop it for ongoing operation by Nasdaq’s marketing and event management teams.
Our experiential activations at MarketSite are linked by a singular creative aim: to exemplify Nasdaq’s leadership as a technology company committed to “Rewriting Tomorrow” and to making the capital markets universally accessible.
The experience also flexes across distinct visitor journeys: IPOs, pitches, and everyday engagements such as leadership conferences. These journeys span external and internal audiences, including IPO partners, political and business leaders, and Nasdaq's employees. Our digital and physical activations meet specific experience objectives of the visitor journeys—all while educating audiences about Nasdaq.
The MarketSite experience combines form and function through industrial and digital design, content, and technology. Connected activations express Nasdaq’s leadership and incorporate visitors into the space, placing everyone at the epicenter of capital markets. For example, media walls visualize market data and Nasdaq’s global activity; bar walls feature live streams and city views of visitors’ headquarters; and event scripts help staff introduce the space.
In collaboration with architecture firm, Design Republic, we designed MarketSite to host multiple simultaneous events or a single event of up to 400 people. All visitors encounter digital wayfinding, large media screens, an innovation reel, LED pillars, and a buzzing bar area and terrace overlooking Times Square.
The activations reflect Nasdaq’s visual identity—and seamlessly merge it with the identities of its visiting partners. This flexible system ensures the space is always evolving, never static. The front-end design also adapts Code and Theory’s global site redesign of nasdaq.com for use across large breakpoints and broadcast-friendly screens.
The design system leverages rich content such as dynamic agendas, bell countdowns, trade activity, event livestreams, and market data visualizations. Powered by our Drupal CMS, the content library can be programmed across our digital experiences based on event needs, ensuring the overall experience tells a connected story as visitors transition between floors.
Four factors govern the success of MarketSite: growing Nasdaq’s listings; heightening awareness of its diversified business; generating stronger brand affinity; and operationalizing the space to support events at scale.
Launched in April 2019, the space is already proving its value in numbers. Nasdaq has closed a large IPO, adding to its roster of impressive listings. The business has brought in major events ahead of schedule, operationalizing the space to support over double the visitor capacity. And Nasdaq is hosting industry events, providing opportunities to evangelize the brand and grow awareness of its role in driving our global economy.
It is clear the new space will boost the Nasdaq business through promotion and brand awareness, but more importantly it represents the business’ overriding commitment to its partners and visitors. To quote our Nasdaq client: “We closed the deal that night and it was only because of the experience that the new space provides to our partners.”