Live From Super Bowl LIV: Bleacher Report’s B/R Gridiron Makes First Onsite Appearance at Super Bowl Week
With its AT&T and WarnerMedia brethren, B/R is churning out fan-facing VOD content
It’s official. Bleacher Report can make anything cool. Even a parking deck.
The digital-media giant has brought its football-branded vertical, B/R Gridiron, to Miami for Super Bowl Week, producing hundreds of hours of video and audio content, all originating from the top floor of a parking structure on Lincoln Road in South Beach where other AT&T- and WarnerMedia-owned properties (such as DirecTV) have set up shop.
This marks the first time that Bleacher Report has established a fan-facing, content-generating activation at a Super Bowl, and it is making quite a first impression. From Tuesday through Friday of Super Bowl Week, B/R Gridiron is recording in front of a live audience, bringing shows and content series like Lefkoe Show, Ditch the Playbook, Untold Stories, and the Stick to Football Podcast all to one place.
“It’s the new world,” says Steve Pellegrino, director, video technical operations, Bleacher Report. “We don’t want to go slower in our commitment to content creation, and, with all these different spaces, we’re trying to be budget-conscious, but we’re doing a lot. That’s a big goal of our tech-ops group: to figure out those efficiencies in working with CNN and Turner Sports and AT&T. We want to find where the efficiencies are to do these projects. It’s just the start.”
With the space it was given, B/R was able to fit a studio set — filled with an anchor desk for Lefkoe Show and a presentation centered on a billiards table for Untold Stories — and a small standup spot in the corner for native social content like Instagram Stories and TikTok vertical video.
Bleacher has deployed three cameras on the main set, feeding content into a flypack (there wasn’t enough room to bring in a production truck, and the team didn’t want to have to bring in a satellite truck), which was shipped down from Nashville and is housed on the floor below the activation. B/R also traveled an internal staff of 11 editors to turn around a wealth of content for digital platforms and social channels.
Naturally, creating video content from a location like this is wrought with challenges, the most notable being power, lighting, and the weather. Portions of this floor of the parking deck are exposed to the elements, and lighting the sets was a challenge as the sun changed positions through the day. As for the weather, heavy rains hit the area on multiple nights (including Wednesday and Friday). Friday morning, B/R’s main set was so wet that crews needed to use a wet/dry vacuum on it.
Things won’t be slowing down anytime soon for this tech-ops team, either. In just two weeks, similar content activations are planned for NBA All-Star in Chicago.