Live From CFP Championship Game: University of Georgia Digital Team Builds Bulldog Buzz
Onsite content includes a highlights package to be distributed three minutes after the game ends
The University of Georgia Athletic Department and football digital and video teams caps off a very busy first week of January tonight when the Bulldogs face off against the University of Alabama Crimson Tide for the 2018 CFP National Championship Game.
“Our philosophy for the game is, there is no tomorrow, and that affects the editorial and how you frame it,” says Mike Bilbow, assistant athletic director, digital and production, University of Georgia. “After last week’s [Rose Bowl win], it was important to be happy and celebrate, but there are still more fish to fry.”
The game marks Georgia’s first return to a national championship game since 1980, and Bilbow and the team have been focused on making sure the current success takes precedence.
“We want to stay in the here and now as a tribute to these kids,” he says. “Later, there will be a time to help remember all of the great past championship teams. But now we want to embrace the past and focus on the present.”
The university has 10 people onsite in Atlanta for the CFP National Championship Game, including three editors who cut content via Adobe Premier (they also shot content), a social-media publisher, a producer in the press box, and five additional camera operators, two of whom are from the football team’s video crew.
“We automatically send photos from the cameras on the sideline to a server,” says Bilbow, “and then we have some students offsite who are tagging photos for the social team.”
The championship game marks the end of a busy week that began last Monday with Georgia’s win in the Rose Bowl. The production folks returned to Athens, GA, where they focused on reports from the team’s practices on Thursday and Friday. Then, it was off to Atlanta for Media Day on Saturday and back to Athens again for a final practice.
“The Rose Bowl had all the normal Bowl events, but this week has been short, compressed, and all business,” says Bilbow. “So we don’t generate as much content.”
That said, there is still plenty of content being pumped out toGeorgia Bulldog fans, who, Bilbow says, are hungry for anything and everything, such as hype videos that inject some excitement into the buildup for the game. He notes that Eric Black, the recruiting video coordinator, has done a great job supplying content to the team and that Hannah Brinks, who designs graphics via the Adobe Suite of products, has made a difference across all the platforms. Fans, Bilbow adds, are consuming the content everywhere: on TV, digital platforms, social media, and a mobile app.
Earlier today, the video team was out capturing footage from tailgates and the fanfest for a clip to be sent out to fans 90 minutes prior to kickoff. Tonight, the team of five shooters will be on the sidelines equipped with Sony A7, Panasonic Lumix, and a Sony FS7 camera with an 85-300 Fujinon lens. During the game, the editing team will be hard at work creating a highlights package that will be distributed to fans three minutes after the game ends.
“Most of our team is young, but they have a lot of experience and are a good mix,” says Bilbow, who joined the team this past summer after helping play a key role in the launch and operation of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. “I am here to educate them as to the rights and what makes this different from a normal SEC game. But we’re as excited as the whole fan base.”