SVG Venue Summit Draws 250+ Production Pros to SoFi Stadium and NFL Media HQ in L.A.
Nearly three years after SVG’s last Venue Summit at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, the sports-venue industry was finally able to convene in-person in Los Angeles this week. More than 250 attendees descended on SoFi Stadium and NFL Media for two days of tours, panel discussions, and plenty of long-awaited networking opportunities on March 29-30.
Day 1 kicked off with tours of both SoFi Stadium — home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers — and NFL Media. Fresh off Super Bowl LVI in February, SoFi Stadium features the largest LED display in the world and is stacked with high-quality production technologies in a new IP-based control room. Across the way, the NFL Media — the 450,000-sq.-ft. home to NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and many other departments supporting the league’s media and business operations — boasts one of the most technologically advanced IP facilities in the industry.
Following the tours, members from SoFi Stadium, Chargers, and Rams provided a high-level look at the control room equipment and workflows that have powered videoboard shows.
On Day 2, a who’s who of sports-venue experts took the stage located on NFL Media’s outdoor demo field to discuss the current state of in-venue operations, including gameday productions, control room workflows, AR-infused sponsorship and creative activations, in-venue connectivity, and much more.
The day began with “Big Board Flair: Local Teams Bring the Energy on Gameday.” With fired-up fans filing in on gameday, producers and their crew need to reflect their passion at a moment’s notice. What techniques are used to showcase the uniqueness of their fanbase? How much preparation goes into executing a plan? Creatives from the Los Angeles Clippers, UCLA Athletics, and Los Angeles Sparks detailed their production philosophies.
A panel discussion on control room tech explored how ever-changing control rooms accommodate IP, HDR, and more. Around the country, facilities are starting to stray away from traditional, SDI connectivity and are embracing either a hybrid or full-IP approach. In addition, displaying HDR content on large LED displays has become a hot button issue. How challenging is it to evolve an entire control room infrastructure? What is the necessary hardware that goes into the HDR process? Experts from Ross Video, Diversified, WJFW, Panasonic, and Canon gave detailed advice to those thinking about making these moves.
Next up, “Upgrading Sponsorship Activations: Augmented Reality as an In-Venue Production Tool” took to the stage. After an entire year of professional games played without fans, production teams had to get creative with their messaging and content. When fans returned, venues continued this creative thinking by infusing augmented reality into their run of show to highlight their own brand or give attention to their sponsors. In-venue personnel from the Carolina Panthers and technology providers Unreal Engine and The Famous Group dissected the brainstorming of these activations, the challenges of pulling it off, how it’s changed the gameday experience, and more.
Following a networking lunch, a panel discussion on the state of in-venue connectivity explored improved WiFi, 5G, and beyond. At the beginning of the next decade, the sports-video-production industry has more questions than answers in regards to enhancing digital capacity for the fans. Will arenas and stadiums improve their mobile network to match increased cellular traffic? How will the 5G revolution impact the venue sector? Executives from the NFL, Zixi, and Verizon Business Group broke down this lofty task.
As a fitting finale to the two-day event, executives from NFL Media delivered a keynote conversation on the new NFL Media facility, detailing the process of bringing the facility to life through the COVID-19 pandemic, the technological infrastructure that drives numerous studio shows, and how the new offices impact the league’s future.
In addition, two case studies were delivered by Signiant and Imagine Communications.
The SVG Venue Summit was made possible by Title Sponsor Diversified; Gold Sponsors Canon, Disguise, KMH Audio-Video Integration, Panasonic, Ross, Verizon, and Zixi; Case Study Sponsors Imagine Communications and Signiant; Silver Sponsor Evertz; and Event Sponsors ARRI, Clark, Fujifilm/Fujinon, and Lawo.
Stay tuned to www.sportsvideo.org for more coverage from the SVG Venue Summit!