Sports Graphics Forum Welcomes Record Audience, Spotlights Augmented Reality

Panels, keynotes, case studies focus on tech advances, creative successes

SVG’s fifth-annual Sports Graphics Forum logged a record attendance of more than 300 to the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City for a day of informative panel discussions and in-depth keynote presentations addressing the latest technological advances and creative achievements in broadcast graphics, with a considerable focus on augmented reality.

The day kicked off with a keynote presentation by the creative team at CBS Sports, which was tasked with refreshing the network’s graphics package for Super Bowl LIII and pulled off an impressive and unprecedented live augmented-reality opener that was the talk of the Sports Graphics Forum.

The 2019 Sports Graphics Forum attracted more than 300 broadcast-graphics professionals.

“[The conclusion of the 2018 AFC Championship Game] began a year of endless meetings, sleep deprivation, and blood, sweat, and tears,” said JP LoMonaco, VP, on-air graphics and design, CBS Sports, and chairman of the SVG Sports Graphics Committee. “As an on-air presence with the look of our graphics, we hoped that it resulted in something that was incredibly successful.”

Throughout the morning at the Sports Graphics Forum, top creative directors, graphics-production executives, and technology leaders took the stage to discuss the most significant design trends shaping the sports-graphics market today, as well as the tools being used to create stunning sports graphics. The agenda offered a pair of companion panels, “State of the Art” and “State of the Tech,” and also included “Storytelling With Augmented Reality,” which featured best practices in AR design and development. And a case study detailed how the Alliance of American Football (AAF) and Sneaky Big worked with Brainstorm to create a one-of-a-kind virtual studio.

The afternoon featured two workshop tracks: Creative Approaches to Graphic Design, and Data Visualization and Augmented Reality.

In the former, leaders in sports-graphics production addressed creative workflows and spotlighted their most exciting projects from the past year. The track provided case studies from Turner Sports, Harvard University, and ESPN, as well as panel discussions on 3D modeling and character animation and how great graphics packages are developed through creativity and collaboration.

The Data Visualization and Augmented Reality Workshop focused on player-tracking, AR, and more; offered panel discussions on augmented reality in the field and in the studio; and provided an in-depth look at player-tracking, betting, and biometrics.

The Sports Graphics Forum concluded with a case study on the NHL, examining the league’s use of puck- and player-tracking technology during last month’s All-Star Game, and a keynote presentation exploring how Fox and drive studio created the 2018 FIFA World Cup experience.

The Sports Graphics Forum was made possible through the support of this year’s event sponsors: Title Sponsor ChyronHego; Gold Sponsors Avid, Brainstorm, Maxon, NewTek, Ross Video, and Vizrt; and Event Sponsor SMT.

In addition, the Sports Graphics Committee, chaired by LoMonaco, was instrumental in creating this year’s program: Matt Celli, director, production technology, innovation, and data, NBC Sports Group; Gil Haslam, creative director, sports, Troika Design Group; Jason Joly, director, broadcast graphics, MSG Networks; Jocelyne Meinert, owner/director, Big Studios; Timothy O’Shaughnessy, creative director, ESPN; Phil Paully, director, graphics engineering and operations, NBC Sports Group; Brian Perkins, director, IT production systems, MLB Network; Maria Rapetskaya, creative director, Undefined Creative; Jordan Shorthouse, creative director, Turner Sports; and Michael Szykowny, senior director, Motion Graphics, ESPN.

Check www.sportsvideo.org over the coming days for in-depth reports, video interviews, full-panel audio recordings, photos, and more from the Sports Graphics Forum.