How Did Dwyane Wade Do That?

For his birthday party, the NBA star turned the 130-foot Venetian Lady into art.

Social media is buzzing today about NBA player Dwyane Wade, who celebrated his 32nd birthday this past weekend aboard the 130-foot Venetian Lady in South Florida. The Miami Heat star managed to turn the yacht into a floating piece of artwork from superstructure to waterline — and inside, too.

“We’ve done this in the past, just not on such a large scale,” said Mike Simpson, owner of Biscayne Lady Yacht Charters, which operates_ Venetian Lady_ for weddings and event charters out of Miami. “It pushed the limit on what I’ve seen done on any yacht.”

Simpson worked with Bruno Dede, the owner of Metro Signs Inc. in Hollywood, Florida, whose Metro Wrapz division created and installed the graphics on the yacht's exterior and interior. Dede says his company wraps many things, including lots of cars, and has done yachts before, but never one as big as Venetian Lady. That's true inside and out, since the yacht's 8-foot ceilings are what attract many basketball players in the first place.

Both Simpson and Dede say Wade’s event charter was put together quickly, with the graphics moving from conception through design to installation inside of a week. The actual installation process took 10 people 24 work hours to complete, Dede says. His company creates the wrapping material in-house, then affixes it to the yacht using a 3M film whose edges are sealed, keeping it attached even while the yacht is under way yet still making it removable with about a day’s work by a half-dozen people. According to Dede, the process leaves no lasting effects on the yacht’s exterior paint job.

Wade got the idea for the black-and-white design from a display that was on the side of a building during a recent Miami-wide art event, Simpson says. That image was brought to Dede’s team, which turned it into the indoor and outdoor designs that ended up all over the yacht as well as on a custom jacket that Wade had designed elsewhere so that his personal attire would match the evening’s graphic theme.

“We specialize in doing amazing things in a short period of time,” Dede said, adding that the price for his firm’s work varies depending on what clients want. For something like Wade’s concept, he said, “It’s not cheap.”

The price for the wrap job was in addition to the charter fee for Venetian Lady, which Simpson says usually books at $150 to $200 a head for a 100-person event.

“That’s everything that people get for a basic charter for four hours,” he said. “This was not basic.”