Making Highlights Your Own

In the early days of social media, you would never see highlights on Twitter. The internet was the wild, wild west and so many clung to control. Thankfully, we have come a long way. Leagues and broadcast partners have loosened the reigns on rights at various different levels. If you scroll through Twitter during a live game you’re guaranteed to highlight after highlight and big plays. 

But sometimes with highlights, it feels like a sea of sameness. Leagues share them. Teams share them. Broadcast partners share them. Even fans share them. So many people have access to highlights that they aren’t original anymore.

The more access to highlights is a good thing for everyone, but it brings up an interesting point for teams. How can highlights and big-play moments become more their own? Here’s why this thinking is important:

Adds to the second screen.

Making highlights and game coverage more original adds to the second screen experience. It takes what was seen in broadcast and puts a fresh spin on it. And even if the fan isn’t watching on TV, the original spin probably has just as much value – if not more – than a straight-up broadcast highlight because it’s different, unique, entertaining and/or adds a POV.

Separates from the crowd.

As mentioned above, there are already a host of others who are going to share straight up highlights no matter what. Being able to push out something original from a big moment helps separate your content from the rest. And, content that is engaging and ownable is what all teams should strive for.

Pushes creativity.

Sports are unpredictable, but they are also very cyclical. It can be easy to get in the same routine from a coverage standpoint. If you make it a priority as a team to start creating more original content, it will push your creativity. You’ll search for new angles. You’ll catch candid/interesting moments. You’ll come up with new and amazing creative executions. Essentially, this type of thinking will help your team raise the bar.


Gives moments more legs.

I understand there are moments where it makes sense to share a clip of a straight highlight. It’s the fastest and easiest way to share in the moment. Additionally, certain leagues have restrictions where teams can’t share original footage in-game (or the amount is limited). Understanding that not every team can share original content during games, there’s still value in making them original as an opportunity to give the moment more legs. 

Depending on the situation and the rules, teams can share the broadcast footage in the moment and then layer on original content later. For example, share the straight highlight in-game, then follow up the next morning with your more original content play. This way you extend the moment in a fresh and original way. 

And if rules are no issue, then the hardest part with original content in game is determining the need for immediacy and figuring out the workflow. Turning around content quickly is no easy feat, so it’s a balancing act of understanding what needs to be pushed out now, what can be pushed out later and where we can share a straight highlight but then put a spin on it later.

So, how we can take highlights and make them more original or extend the moment of the big play? Below are a few creative executions + styles for that have caught my eye.

Note: The first bucket is something for in-game, while the others are probably ideas for extending the moment/play and giving it more legs given the product time.


FYOF: Film your own footage.

Filming your own footage is a great way to get game highlights that are different from the broadcast. Teams that hire videographers not only get great angles on big moments, but they are also able to get all the moments in between. From the celebrations to the fans often captures the essence of the atmosphere and a moment in a special way.  Below are some examples:

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Big-time mood 👨‍🍳

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If you’re looking for more examples, here’s a great thread on Twitter that has a ton of them. I wish I could include them all on the blog because there’s a ton of inspiration here. 

Add some flair.

It’s amazing how far the industry has come in terms of creativity and talent. With every new scroll through Twitter, I find a new and eye-catching creative execution that I haven’t see or thought of before. If you’re looking to extend a moment, graphics and strong editing can play a huge role in making highlights original. Don’t be afraid to try new things and add some flair.

Below are a few examples of unique creative executions that add some flair to highlights. Some of these were shared during the offseason and/or more as game previews, but I think the executions would also work really well as an extension of a big moment. Whether it’s a recap or a fun execution, there are so many creative ways you can give big plays and wins legs:

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See you soon. 👑 // #MixtapeMondays

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BFFs.

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Good to have 🏀 back in Chicago!

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Anyone trying to step up?

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Give perspective.

If you’re looking to do something different with highlights, consider finding ways to bring in a first-hand perspective on that moment. This could be players talking about the moment, fan reactions, etc. It adds a different level of emotion and the context can be really interesting. Below are a few examples.

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Belli has spoken. Do you agree? #glovework

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The Bottom Line

There are many more examples of teams making highlights their own, but the key is to think about all the ways you can repurpose them. How can you leverage the creativity of your team to do something different, add narrative, offer perspective? Whether the plan is to use the original content in-game or following, thinking about how to make big plays and moments original will no doubt push the creativity of your team and add value to fans. That’s a win, win.


What teams have you seen make highlights their own? I would love to see your favorite examples below.

2016 Football Hype Videos

Another football season, means another season of epic hype videos that will give you all the chills. I’ve put together a collection of some of the best ones I’ve stumbled upon for you to enjoy.

 

Gators

The Gators go way beyond campus in their hype video and tap into affinity throughout the entire state. The emotional, strong nod to Florida makes this one a winner.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Working with 160over90, the Eagles always have strong hype videos that go well beyond the field. They focus on the city. The community. The tradition. I especially love the “local” credits at the end of this one.

 

Minnesota Gophers

The intro visuals and voiceover is strong in the “Under the Lights” video from the Gophers.

 

GSU Football

GSU picked a great thematic that really speaks to the current chapter of their program. It does a nice job of telling the story of where they’ve been and where they’re going with a hopeful, optimistic tone.

 

UGA

UGA has one of the best video departments in the country. They always nail their storytelling with interesting thematics and strong scripts. Love the lines in this video and that fact that the series is treated like a movie trailer with installments.

“True storytelling is the story of life. And this is the telling of the most important story. Our story. Love the focus on values, culture. Welcome to our humble tale.”

 

Tennessee

This is a more traditional hype video, but the voiceover from the student-athletes is powerful and strong.

 

Notre Dame

This video is part of Notre Dame’s partnership with Bleacher Report. Again, a more traditional video but the intro is powerful, music is on point and highlights cut just right.

 

Ole Miss

Game day is always different. Game day is special. Love the intro to Ole Miss’ hype reel and the way they showcase offseason footage to set the tone.

 

Nebraska

Nebraska has realized a couple strong videos, one tapping into the offseason and one on the opportunity to play. Both emotional and high-energy, the videos are extremely well done.

 

Seahawks

The Seahawks always do a great job of tapping way beyond the field. They tap into their city, the passion of their fans and even the PNW. The even have a local, PNW guy featured in their voiceover. This is a stellar hype video that taps into the uniqueness of their team and their fans.

 

Dolphins

So simple and sleek, it works. Proof that good content and videos don’t need to be overly complicated.

 

Baltimore Ravens

Ray Lewis defining what a Raven is, for the win. This is another good example of going beyond a highlight reel to tap into the sentiment of your fans.

 

Raiders

Really love the intro of this video and the use of fan UGC.

 

49ers

This video is long, but it’s really long done. It’s not just an ode to the 49ers, but an ode to the city of San Francisco. I love the footage choices, the nostalgia and the strong voiceover. If a video is going to be four minutes, this is how it should be done.

 


 

What video above is your favorite? Share your thoughts below.

 

Thanks for reading! 

GIF + Still Image Content Idea

Working in social media and the digital landscape will make your head spin. You are always on and it’s always changing, but it’s what makes the industry fun (and challenging).  Because of the changing environment, I tend to follow all the teams across leagues as much as I can for inspiration.  Everyday I feel like I learn something new just by following along.

So, as I was following the Atlanta Hawks and Cavs series, I noticed something from the Hawks that I had never seen before: Score update + GIF.  I really like the idea because it catches people’s attention, but can still be consumed quickly. Brilliant!

It’s always great to to see teams in the industry take up the content a notch, like this example from the Hawks. Don’t be afraid to try something new and push the boundaries. These days if you can think it, you can create it. That’s a powerful thing.

The Hawks aren’t the only ones who have created these awesome still images + GIFS. Here are a few more examples:

If you like what you see, here’s a tutorial that gives you at least one way to get this done:


This idea is a great reminder that t’s always good to take a step back and ask yourself how you can take content up a notch. Never be complacent with where you are, but instead continue to find new ways to tell your teams story and reach fans online.

 



Have you seen others use this GIF + still image format? If so, share the links below!

Thanks for reading!

Reaching Fans Through Video

There are a lot of different avenues to take when it comes to video content now. It’s easier than ever to get video content to the masses with Twitter video, YouTube, Periscope and more.

As video mediums and tools continue to rise, it becomes increasingly more important to reach fans where they are. It’s not about a this or that approach to video tools and platforms. Instead, it’s about leveraging them all to reach the greatest number of fans wherever they prefer to consume.

If you want to ensure you use each platform/tool effectively, then think about creating an internal guide on video platform best practices. Below is a guide to start thinking about the differences:

 

YouTube

Before Twitter, Video and Instagram rolled out their own video capabilities, YouTube was always relied on. And while it’s not the only answer to video anymore, do not neglect the platform.

YouTube is not just a distribution channel. It’s a community. A community that reaches more US adults 18-34 than any cable network and has 1 billion visitors every month. Unlike Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, users are going to YouTube to seek out video content. There’s a certain value to that.

Teams should focus on a specific platform strategy for YouTube, just like they do every other platform. Take note of the content that works best, use YouTube playlists, leverage the annotation features and engage with users. Don’t forget to cross promote the content on Twitter too!

When it comes to content on the platform, anything is fair game. With no limits on length, YouTube is a great hub for more “long-form” features (even those 2 – 3 minutes). At the end of the day though, to be successful on YouTube is all comes down to create compelling content like every other platform.

Long-form storytelling, hype videos and behind-the-scenes features work well on YouTube. Here are some examples of how teams are using YouTube:

 

 

Facebook Video

Facebook has allowed brands to upload video directly to the platform for quite some time now. And between their focus on video content and autoplay, native video on Facebook outperforms any other video content on the platform.

No matter what type of video content you are looking to share on Facebook, it makes sense to go ahead and upload it directly there. There’s no reason teams should share any video links. Take a look at the NBA’s numbers on Facebook and you’ll get a sense of the reach:

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Just like YouTube, all kinds of video lengths and features work well with native Facebook video. Again, it all comes down to sharing content that resonates.

 

Twitter Video

Twitter video is a great tool to tell a more seamless and instant story by posting video (30-seconds or less) directly to the platform. Twitter video is not a platform with its own community like Vine or Instagram, but another tool to help you create content for Twitter.

With the 30-second limits, Twitter video is a great to share player/coach interviews, quick behind-the-scenes content, the game atmosphere, etc. The content does not have to be polished; the real value is in sharing a quick and raw perspective.

Here’s a look at a few ways teams are using Twitter video:

 

 

Vine

Unlike Twitter video, Vine is its own social media network where video content is shared directly on Twitter’s timeline. The short, looping video platform has built a strong, niche community. One that loves humor, elements of surprise and excitement. If you want to know what content works best on Vine, answer this simple question: Is this something I would want to watch over and over again?

Because of the looping factor and short content bursts that Vine lends itself too, content that evokes emotion works best here. Think about awe, surprise, humor and shock. In addition, teams also capitalize on Vine’s tap feature that stops and starts the action to engage fans in a deeper way.

Here’s a look at a few ways teams are using Vine:

 

 

 

Periscope/ Meerkat

Live streaming is the latest craze that has taken the social media/tech world by storm thanks to Periscope and Meerkat. Both apps allow you to stream live video from your phone to all your followers.

While there’s still a long way to go in figuring out the value in live, it’s hard to deny that there’s something special about it. Kelly Mosier of the Huskers nailed it when he said “the draw for Periscope/Meerkat is giving people a seat to something first hand, in real time. Live is uncomfortable, but powerful.”

So far we’ve seen teams use it to live stream practice, interviews, behind-the-scene looks, press conferences, etc.

When thinking about how to use Periscope/Meerkat, ask what the value of live brings. Is this moment so intimate, important or emotionally fueled that watching it “now” is important. Does it make sense to forgo quality to provide the coverage instantaneous? If there’s value in brining your fan into the moment right then and there for a front-row seat, then Periscope and Meerkat could be the way to go.
In the future, video content is only going to continue to grow. It’s time to invest time and energy to figure out how you can tell your story through video and maximize all the tools for optimal reach!

 


 

What video platforms/tools do you think will continue to grow in the future? Share your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading!

Sports Biz Videos that Prove the Power of Emotion

As most of you know by now, I’m a big believer in the power of video to tell a story. I love anything that taps into emotion, whether it is humor, nostalgia, thrill, happiness, empathy or awe. And video helps to convey emotion because it shows, not tells. Content that evokes emotion connects the consumer/fan in a way that compels them to pay attention and share. Emotion is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful marketing tools.

To serve as some inspiration for your content, I’ve rounded up another list of sports-related videos you need to watch now. I’m sure something will inspire you in your work, so enjoy:

 

Under Armour: How It Ends


This video is clearly speaking to Under Armour’s younger consumer who is still playing the game. The concept is simple, but the script is strong and inspiring. It’s a great example of how an inspirational video does not have to be too complex. Well done from Under Armour!

 

Speedo USA: Fueled by Water

Speedo is trying to change the perception of their brand to appeal to a wider range of athlete, not just the competitive one. This video, “Fueled by Water”, kicked off their campaign. It’s for anyone and everyone who loves the water. It’s for the young and old and everyone in between. I think Speedo nailed their big idea here: As they say in the video, it’s about finding your forever pace. Speedo and their agency tapped into how swimming makes you feel. And the emotion here makes me want to get back into the pool and start swimming laps.

In addition to the video, Speedo has launched a much larger campaign. You can check out the microsite and other initiatives here.

 

Binghamton Athletics- No. 1 Fan

Binghamton Athletics shows how you can create something special without a large production budget. They tapped into emotion, focusing on the special bond between parents and student-athletes.  This “surprise and delight” video stunt captures what it means to be a student-athlete at Binghamton and the powerful journey both parents and athletes go on. The end result is a wonderful and delightful video that leaves you tearful. After watching, you will want to thank those in your life who have helped you along the way.

 

Chicago Blackhawks-#WhatsYourGoal Christina

Grab some tissues for this one. This is what sports are all about. This is the story of how Patrick Sharp helps a fan’s dream come true. It’s a great reminder that the power of sports transcends far beyond the scoreboard.

 

UGA- We Belong to the G

UGA has found a way to tell a powerful story of their team, their fans and the passion of the UGA community. Just watch and listen to the powerful words. I promise it will make you remember why we all love sports.

 

Together- Washington DC

This is the video Washington DC put together for their Olympic Bid. And, in my opinion, the video taps into the emotion and energy of their city and people perfectly.

 

NBA- Breaking Barriers

I’m not always a fan of brands jumping on holidays, but the NBA has a rich history of firsts when it comes to breaking down racial barriers and proverbial glass ceilings. This connection to the holiday makes sense for their brand and their history, and the spot was tastefully done.

 

GoPro- On the Ice with the NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) created this video to announce a new partnership with GoPro. The series will allow fans to “step on the ice” and catch a rare glimpse into the players’ unique skill sets. This video does a great job tapping into the excitement and anticipation of the partnership.

 

Duke Basketball- The Next Chapter

This video from Duke Athletics is really well done. It taps into the rich history of their program and the dreams of their current players. It’s a great balance between the present and the future, and a great example of how hype videos can tap into emotion.

 

Colts- Two Claps

This video is a great example of how fans crave behind-the-scenes content. It’s raw and unedited, but has had more than 5 million views on Facebook. It brings the passion of the team to the fans.

 

Minnesota Gophers- Through the Lens

I already featured this video series on the blog, but it’s worth another plug. Minnesota Wrestling’s “Through the Lens” series is a great example of how teams can tell the personal stories of their team and take fans along the emotional journey. I love how the Gophers have found several different angles to tap into. The whole series is worth nothing.

 

Georgetown- Jack Meets Blue III

This video doesn’t have a huge emotional play, but it’s fun and brings two fanbases together. Plus, who doesn’t like dogs? I think this is a great example of thinking creatively about the stories you can tell. It’s fresh, fun and fans loved it.

 

So there you have it: 12 great sport-centric videos to serve as inspiration to you. I hope you enjoyed them all.

 


 

 

Have you see any videos lately from teams, leagues or others in the sports industry that caught your attention? Be sure to share them below.

As always, thanks for reading!