The University of Notre Dame continues their #BiggerThanBrick social media campaign providing relatively short informational articles into the design of the Crossroads project. Recently, the school published an article that went quite in-depth into the content about to be unveiled on the school’s new football video board.
Some quick highlights:
44-year old Mike Bonner is the executive producer of live events for Fighting Irish Media and is responsible for producing and programming the video board.
Bonner worked for the New York Yankees from 1999 to 2013 (operating the video board during Notre Dame’s 2010 game in Yankee Stadium), then for the Denver Broncos until 2016 before working at the Rio Olympics and signing to work for the Fighting Irish. He’s been preparing for the video board debut for a whole year.
“I can’t stress that enough. Replays, replays, replays. Notre Dame has all kinds of great traditions in football. Those are going to continue and now they are going to be enhanced by our ability to show them visually at a high production level.”
There will be no advertising. Think of it as the “PBS approach” to a video board.
Bonner sat in the stands during the 2016 season taking notes on what could work with the new board.
“At both places [Notre Dame and the Yankees] there’s a lot of history and maybe a little bit of a conservative nature. I never ran a ‘kiss-cam’ at Yankee Stadium or in Denver–and I’m never going to run one here at Notre Dame.”
What will they show on the board? It’ll be “football appropriate content, highlight driven videos to pump up fans and players, features on players and their families, and a feature called ‘Irishography’ on why Notre Dame was a fit for players.”
🏈 Ever wonder what it takes to show a replay of a touchdown on the video board?
— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) August 1, 2017
Bonner will coordinate a 40-person staff including Notre Dame staff and students, plus broadcast freelancers.
He has 3 simple philosophies for in-game content: entertain, inform, and engage.
There will be 9 manned cameras for the video board, 2 of them wireless handheld cameras that will go into the stands among the students and fans.
Long-time PA announcer Michael Collins will still call the game, although some of his segments particularly during timeouts will be made into prepackaged videos.
Bonner is bringing a DJ with him that worked with the Broncos who will work the early season games and then train local DJ’s to be able to carry on their philosophies.
There will be features on academics, campus activities and events, and the “What Would You Fight For?” spots that are normally seen during halftimes on NBC. And yes, they will be doing faculty and other sports recognitions incorporating the video board.
Bonner will be working in tandem with NBC to show the football team during their pre-game prayer and walk down the locker room stairs touching the “Play Like a Champion Today” sign as they funnel into the tunnel. That will be used to segue into a 75-second intro video to build energy for the crowd before the team runs out on to the field.
A post-game show will be produced from the South Club and feature a reporter on-field for interviews.
Sgt. McCarthy’s famous safety messages will continue, although they will be seen on the video board and be told by a rotating cast of Irish legends.
We’re still a few weeks away from this whole enterprise debuting but for right now Notre Dame is certainly talking the talk with the video board. What more could you ask for at this point?
Certainly, for the folks who never wanted the board in the first place there will be crutches to fall back upon. That it’s a “distraction” should be the most popular one for sure. If what they are saying is true the implementation of the board is bound to be extremely popular and if so there really aren’t too many ways to criticize it. It’s the same thing with Crossroads as a whole. It should be well-received by the vast majority but still called ugly as a way to dislike the project.
Something not really mentioned and I hope it’s covered really well is the use of stats for people at the game. The ribbon boards should display plenty of them but I hope the video board isn’t ignored either. I’m also curious to see what they do with the board during the action. Will we see a relatively frozen screen with monogram or something along those lines?
Weigh in with your thoughts and concerns. It’s crazy to think this new era is almost upon us after so much talk of it over the years.