Ball State Sports Link, wrapped its annual Summer Workshop Series, in a virtual setting due to the COVID19 global pandemic, with a Thursday session about creating your brand and representing your teams.
Over 120 participants registered in advance for the online workshops June 8-11, with Sports Link instructors, alumni and industry professionals.
Thursday’s final session featured Sports Link alumni Erinn Casey and Zac Miklusak.
Casey is the digital video coordinator for the Chicago White Sox, while Miklusak is a video producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Miklusak opened his presentation with the three guiding principles he and his team at Carolina use in content production: Entertain, Inform and Empower.
“Listening to your fans is one of your greatest resources,” Miklusak said. “Get input from your coaches and your players because they are the people you are trying to please. As a brand, you want to give the fans the best experience possible.”
With the Carolina Hurricanes, Miklusak’s role includes in-venue production within PNC Arena and its 18,000+ fans for NHL hockey. The 2016 Ball State graduate also produces specialty content for the team and its players.
“Fans can come in as hyped as they are, but you control the entire energy, ” Miklusak said. “You have music playing and lights flashing. You want to know your audience. How do you please older season ticket holders and young adults? Know when to push the button and when not to.”
Producing a wide variety of creative content for Sox TV, Casey again strengthened a common theme from all four nights of virtual camp – planning.
“When you’re going into a shoot with a certain amount of time,” Casey said. “You want to plan out everything you want to do and how all of that content can be used in different ways. You’re putting in the effort for something that is going to be worth your time and is going to get mileage on social media, too.”
As the 2019 Major League Baseball season was about to open, then abruptly stopped due to COVID-19, Casey was the creative lead on major branding shoot featuring White Sox players.
“In order for players to do cool fun things, they need to be able to trust you, ” Casey said. “That will turn into more fun content that you see. After a year of seeing our cameras over and over again, they were more comfortable with us.”
Casey shared her original notebook sketch of the concept and the led campers through the creation of various cross-platform content that was produced from the initiative.
“When working for a team, you are part of the team and you are one of them, “Casey said. “You are going to represent the players in the best light you can and make them look good.”
Among the final messages for the 2020 virtual camp, Ball State’s Senior Director of Digital Sports Production, Chris Taylor provided insight on personal branding and the importance of creating engaging content to stay relevant in today’s media landscape.
“You want people to watch your work, ” Taylor said. “You want people to read your work, to listen to your work. And at the end of the day, you want people to engage with your work. Storytelling at its most basic level drives audiences to interact and engage.”
A recap of each of the four nights of the 2020 Sports Link Virtual Camp is available at www.ballstatesportslink.com.