CI Design video crew filming commercial for Milwaukee Brewers

Eight Things I Learned Making Video Content For Sports Teams & Athletes

Our senior video producer, David Busse, has learned a lot about shooting footage of athletes over the years. Here, he shares his top eight insights about creating video content for and about sports clients.

1. Time is scarce.


Athletes are there to play the game. Video shoots are often a secondary priority. For most shoots, we usually get only 10-15 minutes with the athletes. It doesn’t matter if one of the players shows up late and throws the whole schedule, your desired location is suddenly unavailable, or you’re having an issue with your camera. You still only have a very limited amount of time with each athlete and you need to make your shoot work within it. 



2. Pick the Right Highlights


Editing a video that features highlights seems easy enough: Just edit together clips of home runs, diving catches, and other big plays, add an energetic song, and you’re done, right? Not quite. Take a closer look at the footage and you might find that a lot of the shots you’re using are from a game that the team lost, or feature a player that was recently traded. Lots of times the highlights that are meaningful to fans aren’t necessarily the coolest-looking clips. It’s important to incorporate clips that are exciting, meaningful, and relevant to fans.



3. Write the Story for the Season


When writing a treatment for sports videos, you need to have your hand on the pulse of how the team is doing and how fans are feeling. In the past, we’ve had to can a video concept because the messaging didn’t line up with how the team was actually performing.



4. Nothing Beats Star Power


Fans want to see their favorite athletes on camera. It can take some TLC to make sure those players perform great on camera. It doesn’t matter that the team’s third-string player has a natural knack for acting. Working with the players who are cherished by fans goes a lot further than simply picking the ones who perform well on camera.



5. Camera Shy


Players often don’t like performing for a camera. Being able to empathize with how a player is feeling and gauge how much time and energy they are willing to give can help to pull out their best performances. It also builds trust with the players.



6. Keep off the Grass


Sports facilities are huge places with lots of departments and staff. When working through the details of a shoot make sure to talk to the relevant facilities personnel. There may be some rules which could affect the shoot. For example, we’ve found that groundskeepers generally don’t like equipment stands being placed on the field. Luckily, we make sure to discover these sort of details before the shoot day, which gives us enough time to plan around it.



7. Understand the brand

Sports teams have brands that live in the minds of millions of fans. Understanding the brand from a fan’s perspective can help guide your concepts and create videos that will resonate with the team’s audience-at-large.



8. Pay attention to instant feedback

Teams will often post videos to social media, which allows you to see in real time how your video work is being received by fans. Keep that feedback in mind when you approach your next team video.



Want to see David’s knowledge in practice? Check out some of the fantastic video projects the in-house team at CI Design has worked on recently.


Find out how our award-winning video team can help your team. Drop us a line at hello@cidesigninc.com.

David Busse

David Busse

Senior Producer

David Busse is our in-house Senior Producer and leads our video production department. He’s won several Emmy awards for broadcast spots CI Design created for the Milwaukee Brewers, and is an all-around nice guy.