Live From Final Four: For Michigan State’s Spartan Vision, Consistent Branding Is Top Priority Amidst the Madness

Three content creators are on site telling the Spartan story – with plenty of support back home

Michigan State men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo may be making his eighth appearance at a Final Four, but for all of his players, this is a first-of-its-kind opportunity. The same can be said for Michigan State’s Spartan Vision team and its three content creators that it has on-site shooting and editing video throughout the weekend.

Michigan State Spartan Vision video producers (from left) Julian Stall, Jake Huber, and Ben Owen are on site in Minneapolis shooting and editing content at this year’s Final Four.

Video producers Julian Stall, Ben Owen, and Jake Huber have been following the team throughout the season, taking Spartan fans behind-the-scenes in ways that few other media outlets can.

The thrill of a run to a Final Four is not lost on this group despite the program’s historic run of success and while it can be tempting to simply shoot and push out any and all content that they gather, the great challenge is that, despite the hustle and bustle, that Spartan Vision’s content stays “on brand.”

“Keeping your consistent brand across everything is the hardest part,” says Stall, who is in his second season as a video producer for Michigan State’s Spartan Vision. “When you are going between four producers and spanning four weeks dating back to the Big Ten Tournament, it can get insane. We try hard to stay focused.”

Here in Minneapolis, the trio is shooting with two Sony FS7s with a mixture of Canon and stock Sony lenses. They also have a Canon Alpha 7R that’s been useful in the run-and-gun nature of behind-the-scenes capture. There’s also a Canon Alpha 7S in their arsenal that serves as an auxiliary fourth camera for them. A Tiltamax Gravity Gimbal, which will mostly be used on game day according to Stall, helps add a clean, smooth look to their active shots.

Spartan Vision’s workflow includes the leveraging of more members of the team who are back on campus in East Lansing to handle a part of the editing load. While some editing is being done on site, much of the focus is on capture and transmitting those large files back to campus when they can be polished and distributed. One of their big projects is building packages and segments for a television show that will air on local broadcast on Monday.

Spartan Vision edits all of its video content on Adobe Premiere.

According the Stall, on a run like this, it’s hard to predict what content just might click with the fanbase. When a team qualifies for a marquee final event, the hunger for content is insatiable and all-access content like locker room celebrations after wins are sure-fire slam dunks. However, a video where players on the team tried on power lacing sneakers brought in very strong numbers.

“At an event like this, it can be a crap shoot as to what catches fire,” says Stall.