Bill Belichick is the master of all game planners. No matter the opponent, you’ll see adjustments from week to week that directly contribute to the Patriots’ success.
(On second thought, I guess most people don’t actually like the Patriots, so maybe that’s a bad example if I’m trying to get you to stick around! But you get my point…)
Teams that are most prepared have the best chance at winning. And the same rule applies when it comes to live streaming sports.
If you’ve been tasked with setting up the camera equipment and the live stream for your college’s athletic programs, AAU tournament, or any other type of event, it’s important to be prepared for game day.
Live Streaming Sports? Here’s A Production Playbook For The Team
1. If you’re on time, you’re late.
Translation: Set up early on game day!
You’ll likely be there before kickoff (or tipoff, or first-pitch) anyhow, but let’s just reiterate the importance of giving yourself time to prepare. Make sure to show up an hour before game time (at least for your first few streamed events) and a minimum of 30 minutes before all of your events.
Sometimes live streaming sports in an arena can be unpredictable. People start filing into the press box, and technology can go haywire—it might be as simple as someone unplugging a cord so he or she can charge a phone. If you’re there early, you’ll be ready to handle any situation as the game gets close.
2. Rely on your backups.
Translation: Try to bring double the equipment.
We all know about the importance of special teams, the bullpen, and the sixth man. So make sure you have (at a minimum) two of every piece of equipment you need.
Have you ever heard the expression, “If you have two, you have one, and if you have one, you have none”? Take that mindset into your live streaming production.
3. Practice makes perfect.
Translation: Test your equipment—and then test it again!
Make sure someone is on-site and able to test the live stream a few times before the game starts. That way, you can identify and troubleshoot any issues before the fans tune in.
When you’re in this testing phase, make sure to run through a few different scenarios like switching camera feeds, pulling in the running clock, and going to a video replay. This practice time before the game will be a huge factor in how well your live stream turns out.
4. Thank the fans.
Translation: Build your live stream with viewers in mind.
Ultimately, you’re making this live stream available for the fans. And in most cases here at Stretch, it’s for some special fans. We’re talking about friends who couldn’t make it to the game, alumni that live far away, or parents and grandparents who want to watch their daughter’s first collegiate game. Make it a special experience for them!
Here are some ways to really enhance the fan experience:
- Scoreboard integration: Some newer scoreboards allow live streaming platforms to plug directly in and pull it right into the live stream.
- Running clock: This isn’t the 1980s NBA Finals anymore. Make sure you can provide the running clock on your live stream.
- Instant replay: This is a huge part of the viewing experience for big-time sporting events. You can bring that ESPN-esque trick to your events, as well.
5. Hire a great training staff.
Translation: Choose a streaming provider with great support.
Athletic trainers play a huge role (albeit behind the scenes) in the outcome of a game. They help players physically prepare, rehab, and get back on the field as quickly as possible.
Make sure the live streaming company you go with has awesome support, just like a fantastic training staff. Sometimes technology doesn’t work the way it should, and you need someone who can help you in a pinch.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re a hotshot rookie or a savvy veteran in the live streaming game, it’s so important to prepare the same way and the correct way for every game. The playbook above is a great place to start.
If you have any questions about live streaming, get in touch with us here at Stretch. We stream more than 60,000 live events every year, so we can help determine exactly what you might be able to do with your current equipment.