Live From Super Bowl LII: Philadelphia Eagles Content and Creative Team Brings Passionate Fanbase Along for the Ride
Operating from Radio Row at the Mall of America all week, the group plans to leverage technology and social media
The Philadelphia Eagles are headed to Super Bowl LII. And, although plenty of Birds fans are sure to flock to Minneapolis this week, millions more will watch their team from home. It’s Philadelphia Eagles Director of Production — and lifelong Birds fan — Eric Long’s job to deliver the sights and sounds of Super Bowl Week to one of the league’s most passionate fanbases. He, along with 12 other members of the Eagles’ content and creative team, are more than up to the task.
Before the Eagles could punch their ticket to Super Bowl LII, however, they had to first get through the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. While Long’s team — which is responsible for the in-venue videoboard show — prepared for one of the most important games in stadium history (Lincoln Financial Field last hosted the NFC Championship Game in 2005), it also wanted to be ready for what might come next.
“We knew the place was just going to be rocking,” says Long. “When the fans are coming in already excited and fired up, we’re trying to be that spark that, at the right moment, takes them over the edge and ignites the place. We knew that this was the biggest game that we’ve hosted in many years here, and a lot of planning went into how we could take things a step further in terms of keeping the energy level up.”
Working with its closest technology vendors — including Sony, which brought in an HDC-4800 super-slow-motion camera for the game — the team aimed to capture every moment of the game and its aftermath.
“We were optimistic that we would win, and we were prepared to capture that moment and capitalize on it,” Long recalls. “When the game ends and we’re celebrating and have the trophy presentation on our field, we’re all fans enjoying the moment, but we also had to stay focused and make sure we’re capturing this in the best way possible. The last thing that you want is to miss those shots or for something not to work when you need it most. Fortunately, all of our planning paid off, and we were able to put it all into action.”
Long and his team arrived in Minneapolis on Sunday night and, with Super Bowl LII only a few days away, are currently hard at work churning out content for the team’s website, app, and social-media platforms.
They are also building a Super Bowl-coverage plan from scratch. The last time Philadelphia played in the Super Bowl, Facebook was in its infancy, and neither Twitter nor the iPhone had been invented. The group looked at how recent Super Bowl-bound teams like the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks leveraged technology and social media to deliver the experience to fans at home and how the production team could supplement the linear Super Bowl coverage.
“We looked at the media coverage of the event and asked ourselves, How can we stand out but not in a way that’s obnoxious or doing things just to do them? We don’t want to force it; we want to best complement the coverage in a way that our fans can get the most out of it,” explains Long. “What things will our fans be interested in that they’re not getting from the national mainstream-media coverage? What small moments can we capture that are fun and different and give people a taste of what it’s like to be out there for a week? We’ve got an audience of over 6 million on our social channels alone, so how do we bring them all along with us for the week?”
Throughout Super Bowl Week, the Eagles’ content and creative team will be set up on Radio Row at the Mall of America, where media personalities and former players will be available for interviews. Long also plans to engage with Eagles fans that have traveled to Minneapolis. The team hopes to be able to create at least one live stream a day in addition to the week’s many press conferences and continue to experiment with 360-degree video.
As for the Super Bowl itself, the team plans to cover the game similarly to how it has covered every game this season, by pushing out content like photos and video to its various social-media channels and having fun with the content. However, the 13 staffers that make up the Eagles’ onsite video-production contingent are well aware of what a win will mean for both the team and the city of Philadelphia. After all, many of them — like Long — are fans themselves.
“On game day, when the ball is kicked and it’s real, those are the moments I’m most excited for,” says Long. “Of course, the professional in me is excited for the opportunity to leverage the game to get more eyeballs on our content and do really cool stuff. It’s probably one of the most exciting opportunities you can have. But, once the game kicks off, I’ll be living and dying with every play.”