SVG Sports Graphics Forum Returns to NYC With a Day Filled With Eye-Popping Presentations and Critical Tech Conversations

More than 225 industry professionals packed into The Cutting Room in New York City

From visionary graphics packages to the rise of augmented reality/mixed reality to the continued growth in the impact of player tracking and data visualization, there’s few areas in the live sports production industry that’s delivering more innovation than the graphic department. To pull back the layers on these very topics, more than 225 industry professionals packed into The Cutting Room in New York City on Thursday as Sports Video Group hosted its annual SVG Sports Graphics Forum.

The event opened with a bang, offering a deep, behind-the-scenes look at one of the more intriguing and cutting-edge live sports productions of the year so far: ESPN’s Big City Greens NHL Classic. Offering their learnings from the use of  real-time volumetric animation to produce the first-ever fully animated game telecast were: Charlie Collin, ESPN Creative Services, Senior Manager, Motion Graphics and Production Enhancements;  David Lehanski, NHL, EVP, Business Development and Innovation; Zack Malet, ESPN, Director, Business Development & Innovation; Amy Nelson, ESPN Creative Studio, Manager, Graphics Innovation; David “Sparky” Sparrgrove, ESPN Creative Studio, Senior Creative Director, Animation, Graphics Innovation and Production Design; and Michael “Spike” Szykowny, ESPN Creative Studio, Senior Director – Animation, Graphics Innovation, & Production Design.

ESPN was just getting started as, later in the day, members of the creative team behind the network’s sweeping NBA graphics rebrand presented their work and to outline the choices made that sets the tone for ESPN’s NBA coverage for years to come. Presenting on that project were: Isa Bristol, ESPN Creative Studio, Manager, Animation, Graphics Innovation & Production Design; Dale Harney, ESPN, Art Director; and Lucas Nickerson, ESPN, Creative Director.

Attendees were treated to yet another in-depth look at a massively popular and impactful kids-focused production where CBS Sports and Nickelodeon shared their process behind the “Nickmas” broadcast. Kurt Hartman, Nickelodeon Marketing, VP, Motion Graphics & Animation; Dan Pack, Silver Spoon Animation, Founding Partner and Managing Director; Shawn Robbins, CBS Sports, Producer/Director; Nickelodeon, EP/Showrunner, NFL Nickmas Game & NFL Slimetime; as well as JP LoMonaco, CBS Sports, VP, On-Air Graphics & Design dissected the details of the latest edition of the AR-graphics-loaded NFL game broadcast for Nick that, this year, pitted the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day.

The day was also filled with roundtable panel discussions on key industry topics including augmented and mixed reality graphics in the live game, virtual sets and augmented reality in studio productions, and what’s coming next in sports graphics from both the creative and the technology perspectives. Leading technology vendors – Unreal Engine and Vizrt – offered up case studies with partners ESPN and Major League Soccer, respectively.

This year’s program is spearheaded by the SVG Sports Graphics Advisory Committee and its Chair, ESPN Creative Director Tim O’Shaughnessy.

The SVG Sports Graphics Forum was made possible by Title Sponsor Unreal Engine; Gold Sponsors Pixotope and Ross Video; Case Study Sponsor Vizrt Group; Silver Sponsor AirPixel; and Event Sponsors Brainstorm, Nathaniel Howe Studios, and Zero Density.

All sessions from the main stage of the event will soon be made available viewing on SVG’s on-demand video platform, SVG PLAY.

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