Intro Videos have become as expected at the stadium as hot dogs and cheerleaders. Everybody has a video board and everybody is putting stuff on those boards. Let's take a look at five common mistakes that are made with Intro Videos and how you can punch them up a bit.
5. All or Nothing
A lot of times when an Intro has too many concepts it's because you're trying to please several different people with several different ideas. We've all been there. You have one minute. You have to include footage of the players in practice, getting ready in the locker room, walking around campus, and at least 20 highlights. Oh yeah, and don't forget about the fan and stadium shots. Oh and the logo! We need it to explode. One more thing: We need to include a few clips of our team's 110-year history. And let's use that Lady Gaga song "Edge of Glory" because the team is expected to do big things this year!
It's a hot mess.
For the sake of the video (and your sanity) try to get a majority of those cooks in the kitchen on the same page. Ask questions and communicate! What is the purpose of your Intro? Get fans excited? To tell a story with some drama? Is it more important to tell a story or show a minute of highlights cut to "Seven Nation Army"? Does the team have their own theme this year that maybe you just don't know about?
Can you turn this super concept video into a couple of different videos? For example, an Intro Video for the current team and a Historical Video honoring the past. There are so many different platforms for displaying videos nowadays. What doesn't work on the board might work great on Twitter leading up to the game. Eminem was wrong. You've got more than one shot. It doesn't have to be all or nothing with your Intro Video.
4. Length & Pacing
Nobody wants to watch a three-minute Intro. I don't care how amazing the song is or how awesome your highlights are. The exception to this rule is, of course, One Shining Moment. Video viewers' attention spans have dropped about a third from 2000-2015. A good rule of thumb for our partners is between one to two minutes.
On a related note, the pacing is something that is overlooked and underappreciated. We've all seen that video where it feels like three minutes, but it's only been 30-seconds. That's a pacing problem. Sometimes it's because of the music edit. Sometimes it's because of a long highlight. Cut up the tunes. Cut up your clips.
Some important bullet points:
• Epic music doesn't always equal an epic video.
• Sometimes the team or your Coach aren't the best judges of music.
• Just because you can jam to the song in your car doesn't mean it's going to work for an Intro Video.
• The search for lyrics that apply literally to your team is a futile attempt.
• Fall Out Boy can't be expected to put out a new album every year.
• Everybody wants a song that builds.
• Figure out the purpose of your Intro and that will likely direct you towards the perfect style and tone of the music and then onto the perfect song.
• Music is SUBJECTIVE.
2. Let Athletes Be Athletes
Some athletes are naturals in front of the camera. Some aren't. That's okay because they're supposed to be athletes, not actors. Not everybody can be awesome like Peyton Manning on SNL. Most will be like Michael Phelps: AWKWARD. There's a fine line with Intro Videos between awesome and super cheesy. If Coach wants to include all of the starters in the video, but a couple of them aren't comfortable, maybe he or she is more natural in a group with their buddies. Not every player in the video has to go it alone. Put them in a situation where they can succeed. You wouldn't put a 310lb player at the quarterback position when he's obviously more naturally inclined to a lineman position. So why would you put an uncomfortable athlete center stage?
Another tip for filming the awkward-at-heart: Put them in a natural situation. Michael Phelps doing sketch comedy = bad. Michael Phelps training for his final Olympics = AMAZING.
1. Copying Yourself / Copying Others
The #1 pitfall when it comes to Intro Videos is the theory "If it ain't broke don't fix it." It's easy. You know what Coach likes. You know the fans really responded to it. So you essentially paint yourself into a corner. And nobody paints baby into a corner, right? There's only one recipe to make chocolate chip cookies and there's only one equation for the math problem. There's not a lot of creative fulfillment when you template your video each year.
This also falls in line with the copying somebody else's creative work route. We get it. People tell us all the time they go to our site for ideas. That's cool and we're certainly flattered. That's the name of the game in the biz. It's one thing to take a concept and make it your own with your own brand spin, but it's another thing to flat out shot-for-shot copy somebody else's video. There are folks who have used our Michigan Football Legends concept for about five years now. There are at least three institutions who copied Auburn's 2014 Men's Basketball Intro exactly. EXACTLY! That's not flattery. That's laziness.
Give your fans and coaches more credit. They deserve more than safe mediocrity. Get out of the habit of saying "no" because you're afraid of taking risks. Become a "YES" woman or man. It's freeing and your Intros will continue to get better each year.
Brandy Chenoweth, Director of Marketing and Fan Experience at Kennesaw State University, is quite possibly one of the most organized people we've ever had the pleasure to work with. To say she's got her sh-stuff together would be an understatement. She was absolutely the perfect hire two years ago when KSU started up their Football program.
Last summer, she organized a beast of a Football Intro Shoot:
5 Game-Ready Football Players
25 Decked Out Cheer, Band, and Fans
3 Hours to Shoot
150 degrees in Georgia
Brandy and her KSU squad of assistants and interns were awesome and made our job pretty dang easy.
We thought it would be clever to end this by quoting Brandy's favorite movie, but there wasn't enough rhyming in this post, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all. Now, find out what it will take to get Brandy to sing karaoke at NACMA 2017 - 20 Questions with Brandy Chenoweth.
1. NAME: Brandy Chenoweth
2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Director of Marketing & Fan Experience
3. HOMETOWN: Boise, Idaho
4. PREGAME RITUAL: Coffee. And a corn dog. I’m serious. And enjoying the small amount of time that I get to pick the music.
5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: We also always have a bucket of snacks available on game days… I typically go for the crackers!
6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Creating memories for our fans. And also collecting cool sports memorabilia. I’m not your typical huge sports fan so if I hold on to something it’s definitely important. For instance I still have the student newspaper that ran after the first time we did a flash mob at Boise State Men’s Basketball. It’s a constant reminder of how much we can impact a game.
7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: I could name so many from my career… climbing the upper decks of Death Valley to put up game day flags and cleaning up owl poo are two that come to mind!
8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: Well I don’t really consider this a talent…but I could burp the alphabet if needed.
9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Choose your battles. Sleep now.
10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Oh gosh. There are only certain kinds of beverages that could convince me to do this, but it would be something cliché like Don’t Stop Believing or Party in the USA.
11. FAVORITE MOVIE: 10 Things I Hate About You
12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: The Bachelor or Bachelorette
13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: Notoriously Fickle
14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: The Smokin Pig in Pendleton, South Carolina- DO NOT miss it if you are in the upstate!
15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Chopped pork plate with sweet potato fries, fried okra, and banana pudding. Bless that banana pudding.
16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Belle- I love that she reads and is a little sassy!
17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Golden Retriever
18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: Hitchhike in the back of an ice cream van.
19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: The Crown
20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Probably public relations- who knows!
Michael Beale, Assistant Athletic Director/Marketing, University of North Carolina, like Michael Jordan, is simply a Carolina Legend. We're currently developing a Beale crying meme generator so in the meantime, this Jordan one will have to do. We assume these are tears of joy for the Tar Heels march to the Sweet 16.
Old Hat has been working with Beale (that's the creative name we call Michael around the office) for nearly 13 years. Which, if you're familiar with Old Hat history, means that he's been a client for pretty much the entire time we've been in business. A former college baseball player at Elon University, Michael claims to have carried the team on his back during his entire time there. Actually, that's not true at all. In Michael's words, "I think a more fair statement would be that I was on the baseball team at Elon. But I didn't do a lot of playing." Despite being the tenth man on the baseball team, he's first in our hearts. So without further ado, we give you everything you'd ever want to know about Mr. Michael Octavius Beale.
No. That's not really his middle name.
NAME: Michael Beale
OCCUPATION/TITLE: Assistant Athletic Director/Marketing, University of North Carolina
HOMETOWN: Richmond, VA
PREGAME RITUAL: Visit with fans and get their thoughts on the game.
FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Almonds
FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The people I get to work for/with on a daily basis
LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Emotional highs and lows of winning and losing
HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: Love to play golf (just wish I could learn to play good golf)
ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Stay true to your beliefs. Have a career plan you are comfortable with and stick to it.
YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Bon Jovi - Living on a Prayer or Curtis Blow - Basketball
FAVORITE MOVIE: Escape from Alcatraz
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Deadliest Catch
IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: Lefthand Slow
FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Alfredo's Pizza Villa
WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: Pepperoni pizza
FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Snow White
WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: Great White Shark
WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: Got lost driving from Lexington, KY to a wedding in Northern Virgina and followed a local through the back woods/roads of West Virginia to get back to the highway. Thank goodness I had a couple of bottles of Maker's Mark bourbon to say "Thank You".
WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: Fixer Upper (with my daughters)
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Working for the USGA or PGA
It is always interesting to learn how other brands are delivering content. At Old Hat, we get to work with many brands and each one is unique. Each organization knows their fanbase and has ideas on how to get that emotional reaction from them.
I was also able to attend a few different sessions at the conference. One I found particularly interesting was about personalizing the web experience. NBA teams are doing some innovative things with geographically based content. The speaker was from the Trailblazers and he went through their process of serving different ads and content based on the zip code where the user is located. This allows them to not waste fans’ time. If a user on the site is from North Carolina, the chances they will be able to purchase season tickets is very slim. With the website, the Trailblazers are able to serve up content that might be more relevant to a fan in North Carolina while simultaneously serving up different content to fans who live closer to the team. Each fan is seeing the content they prefer, which makes it considerably more likely that the website will become a part of their regular habits. This is a great example of efficient use of a website and how to effectively develop a digital community.
Another session I attended was about Atlanta United, a new team in Major League Soccer. They are in a unique position since they are a completely new team in a city that did not previously have a soccer club. They have been able to create unique content as they have started the team, created their kits, and added players to the roster.
With the conference being located in downtown Atlanta, we were also able to tour the College Football Hall of Fame. It was a cool venue and had some interesting technology. Upon entering, you are given a badge with a RFID chip inside. This identifies your name and favorite team at all of the exhibits. Digital exhibits change to display your favorite team’s content. It creates a unique experience for each visitor and allows all schools to be represented in some way.
We all remember that iconic scene from She's All That - only one of the best Freddie Prinze Jr rom-coms of 1999. Okay, so maybe only if you were a teenage girl around that time.
The New York Knicks went the "be silent, be still" route recently by executing pre-game festivities and the first half of the game WITHOUT any background music or entertainment. Prior to the game, they posted a message on their video board: The first half of today's game will be presented without music, video, or in-game entertainment so you can experience the game in its purest form. Enjoy the sounds of the game.
So what did that mean?
Player intros were done with lights on and no background music
No team intro/hype video
No clap-along music beats during possessions
No filler music or video board segments during timeouts
No video board sponsor animations/promotions (NO KISS CAM??) (Or this awesome mom??)
As expected, there were many opinions and viewpoints on this little experiment.
Old School Fans - appreciated experiencing the sport in its purest form. #Classic, if you will. Fans could focus on the intricacies and strategies of the game without distraction. These are the fans who think the game is enough and the music is too loud. However, these basketball purists probably are not the demographic the NBA is hoping to target. The Knicks aren't trying to convince these fans to come to the game. They're going after those casual fans, who might be perfectly content watching the game at home on their big tv. The fans that have a lot of other options for entertainment in the greatest city in the world.
Players - You would think the players would also appreciate the game without "distractions," but players from both teams shared their concerns and said it was weird and different than normal. It was Golden State's Draymond Green, who said, "That was pathetic. It was ridiculous. It changed the flow of the game. It changed everything. You get used to playing a certain way. It completely changed it. To me, I think it was completely disrespectful to everyone from [NBA senior VP of entertainment and player marketing] Michael Levine to [Warriors president and COO] Rick Welts and all these people who've done these things to change the game from an entertainment perspective."
Who knew what happens off the court has so much impact on the court? Personally, as a competitive gymnast, I learned to block out the noise while I was up there balancing on that beam. Sure, people were cheering for me, or more likely the three other gymnasts simultaneously competing on the vault, bars, and floor complete with loud floor music, but I didn't hear any of that.
Team Employees - You would assume those responsible for in-game production were thinking how nice the first half was having nothing to worry about. However, the Knicks organization, like the first half in Madison Square Garden, have been silent on the matter.
Here's a video of one of the timeouts during the game. It is eerily silent.
MSG is going old school and playing no music, video or in-game entertainment for the first half. This is what it sounds and looks like: pic.twitter.com/PxYJp1CpIt
The wait is finally over! For a few weeks now, we've been teasing about the release of a new podcast. Yesterday, we published Episode 1 of Stop the Clock, featuring an interview with Matt Roberts, Director of Athletics at the College of Charleston.
Stop the Clock is a podcast about the most amazing moments in sports history when you just wanted to stop time and live in that moment forever, or, those not-so-amazing moments when you would have done anything to have another shot at it. The idea for the podcast was actually born out of the book I'm writing, also called Stop the Clock. I've been conducting a lot of interviews with the nation's top collegiate athletics administrators and I'm recording those interviews to then turn into content for the book. What I'm discovering though, is that many of the people I'm speaking with are great storytellers. Some of these stories are too amazing not to let the world hear. So, I decided to turn the best stories with the best audio quality into a killer new podcast.
Some people call it "Advertising Prom." Others call it the "Academy Awards for local advertising." Here at Old Hat, we call it "The night we hang out together in our fancy clothes." OH recently attended the Oklahoma City ADDY Awards- the advertising industry's largest competition which recognizes the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising. It was a lot of fun to get dressed up and see some of the fantastic work being created in the OKC area.
We submitted a large variety of projects that were completed in 2016 and were fortunate to get awards for 10 of our submissions!
1. Bronze - Collateral Material - Special Event - Card, Invitation, Announcement Campaign - Texas AM Football Tickets/Box
2. Bronze - Non-broadcast video - Wisconsin Men's Basketball
3. Bronze - Still Photography - Black & White, Single - Illinois Football Photos
4. Bronze - Cinematography - Illinois Football lntro
5. Bronze - Video Editing - Wisconsin Football
6. Silver - Social Media Campaign - Duke Social Media
7. Silver - Out of Home/Ambient Media - Large Venue - Single - Army Helicopter
8. Silver - Website - SMU Get Here For Gameday
9. Silver - Still Photography - Campaign - Utah Football Campaign
10. Gold - Effects or Motion Graphics - Duke Men's Basketball Projection
It was exciting to see that our awards were not limited to one area, but were representative of each of Old Hat's various divisions. Since the Duke Men's Basketball Projection project won gold, that project will now go on to compete at the Regional Level and then hopefully make it all the way to the National ADDY Awards.
We've already completed some fantastic projects in 2017, so I have no doubt that Old Hat will have another successful time at next year's ADDYs!
Mark "Hot Rod" Riordan: He has a few nicknames, "Godfather," "White Rhino," and a horribly-awesome rugby nickname that we cannot remember, nor should we probably write for people to read. Mark is an OH OG. Full disclosure, we heart this guy. If we were a celebrity couple we'd be OldMark or MarkHat.
So OldMark goes back all the way to 2005 when he was with the University of Michigan. It would be an understatement to say this relationship helped put Old Hat on the map. Mark is probably 100% the reason why Zac needed to create the position of video project manager and why I'm living in Norman, Oklahoma. Mark is the man. Which makes perfect sense since he's working for the 12th Man Foundation at Texas A&M. Partnering with Mark and his crew on KyleField.com is arguably one of OH Interactive's proudest moments. The site broke the mold for most stadium development sites you see today.
Ladies and gentlemen, buckle up. It's time for 20 Questions with Mark Riordan.
1. NAME: Mark Riordan
2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Vice President – Marketing & Communications
3. HOMETOWN: Olean, NY
4. PREGAME RITUAL: I used to like to get to the office before everyone else and crank the music up to 11 while I put the finishing touches on the script. Now that I’m in the development world things are a little different. I’m not in the office 6 hours before kick…more like two before kick and visit a few tailgates before starting my responsibilities.
5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Bison French Onion Dip with potato chips. Anyone from Western New York will know what I’m talking about.
6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: I like connecting with the donors. Also, I like being part of the process that gives student-athletes a world-class education.
7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Fan message boards. TexAgs, I’m looking at you!
8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: I have a Harley. I like riding but don’t seem to have the time to ride as much as I would like.
9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Appreciate your education and think more critically.
10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Not much of a karaoke kind of guy. The last time I did it, I went with Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise at Old Hat’s 10-year Anniversary party. Actually, I think I have ever “karaoke’d” in public like three times in my life and two of those were at Old Hat parties. What’s with you guys and karaoke?!?!
11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Dumb & Dumber / Caddyshack
12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: All-time: Seinfeld Current: The Walking Dead
13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: White Rhino (nickname from my lunch league basketball days at Michigan).
14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Wings ‘n More here in College Station.
15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: They have the best wings that I’ve found outside of Western New York…and that’s saying a lot. Notice I didn’t call them “Buffalo Wings”? If you are from WNY, they are wings. Also, it’s pop, not soda.
16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: First off, I didn’t know there were only eleven princesses. I thought there were many more than that. Gun to my head, Belle.
17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: I like wolves…let’s go with that.
18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: So many things to choose from! I guess one of the big ones is when I worked at a full-service gas station and thought it would be a good idea to start dipping to pass the time. I quit over 16 years ago but I spent almost 9 years rotting my mouth. All out of boredom.
19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: I have three kids from 10-15 years old. Each one is in multiple sports (school, club, travel and rec leagues). Who has time to binge-watch anything?!?!?
20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Teaching high school and coaching football.
Old Hat and the University of Utah Athletics Marketing Department go way back. We're talking almost eight years. It's a special relationship that has grown from designing Football and Basketball tickets to having an On-Campus Designer and creating court projection videos. Grant Robertson, Associate Director of Athletics Marketing, has been the force behind some of the Utes coolest marketing projects, including the Men's Basketball Projection video the last couple of years.
Grant had some issues answering the Spirit Animal question so Hannah and I took a quiz for him. Turns out, Grant's Spirit Animal is The Bear which apparently is emblematic of grounding forces and strength. Do what you will with that information, Grant. Actually, if we're talking Stock Market (see answers to Q.8 and Q.20) we recommend you sell, sell, sell!
1. NAME: Grant Robertson
2. OCCUPATION/TITLE: Associate Director of Athletics Marketing
3. HOMETOWN: Bartlett, IL
4. PREGAME RITUAL: I wouldn’t say I have a ritual as every game/meet/event is unique in its own perspective. More or less, I try to walk our staff through every game day element and promotion we touch. Otherwise, I love gum! It helps me stay talking for an extended period of time.
5. FAVORITE THING TO SNACK: Besides gum, probably nothing. I don’t snack often.
6. FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: The Process! I love the grind of the week and all the little details that get you to the end product, i.e. the game production. Furthermore, when you work in a team environment, the process becomes more enjoyable and you get to share the successes with your team. No better feeling!
7. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB: Probably the 10-15 emails you get each week from “perceived” fans around the country asking for a schedule card or poster. Most of the time these fans send mass emails to every Athletics Department in the continental US. I don’t mind it at first, but once you’re 6 months in and have sent hundreds, it's not as fun.
8. HIDDEN TALENTS/HOBBIES: Talents - None that I can think of that set me apart from the 99%. Hobbies – Basketball, Snowboarding, Buying & Selling Stocks, Reading.
9. ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF: Work hard at every little detail. People do notice, it takes time but your efforts will eventually be rewarded. Also, live in the moment! There’s a reason George Shaw quoted “Youth is wasted on the Young”.
10. YOUR GO-TO KARAOKE SONG: Hotel California
11. FAVORITE MOVIE: Jurassic World
12. FAVORITE TV SHOW: This is tough, it changes every year. I don’t watch a lot of TV but I would say all time favorite is Archer.
13. IF YOU WERE IN A BOY BAND WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED: I wouldn’t be in a boy band, I literarily have zero musical talent.
14. FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT: Depends on where I am in the country. I live in Park City, Utah so I would say High West Distillery & Saloon
15. WHAT DO YOU ORDER THERE: An Old Fashioned & Salmon.
16. FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: Elsa. Primarily because I have 3 nieces who love her and want to be her when they grow up. Easy choice.
17. WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: I’ll be honest, I have no idea what a Spirit Animal is or what it does. I am not the most spiritual guy, so I may have to plead the fifth on this.
18. WHAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE: Drive to St. Louis at 3 am when I was in undergrad with 3 buddies at SIUC. There wasn’t a clear reason to why we did this, but it was an eventful trip, to say the least. I believe spontaneity will drive you to do and try things you never thought were possible. It also humbles you.
19. WHAT’S THE LAST SHOW THAT YOU BINGE-WATCHED: My fiancé binged watched “Elementary.” I was in the room so I guess that counts.
20. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS JOB WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING: Stock Broker. I love analytics and the stock market fascinates me.