Live Stream of a Fantasy Football Draft with Tony Romo

When Chaps called on us to produce a Facebook live stream fantasy football draft needless to say the Absolute Live Production team was excited, finding out the project was featuring former Dallas Cowboy super star Tony Romo we were ecstatic and it was game on! With less than two weeks to co create and execute a live studio production we knew we had our work cut out for us and we were ready for the challenge. We first scouted and secured a studio location in Dallas, recruited a home based host deeply rooted in fantasy football, cast the contestants, produced client concept drawings with a dream board and turned around some pretty quick approvals. Before heading to Texas our team remotely designed s a multi set  studio, fabricated a double pillared motion graphic LED Wall, built a backlit client logo practical and custom created a graphic package integrated throughout. This particular production was heavy on graphics as they were in integral part of the set design and largely supported the live stream. Our inhouse team pulled out all the stops first successfully being granted a special NFL Licensing agreement, accompanied with successfully arranging with permissions from the Associated Press for use of NFL photos, and then taking these assets and arranging a sequence for the live stream from opening to close.

With not a lot of time on our side, our crew flew to Dallas scouted locations and scoped out all of the necessary considerations and options for a successful live stream. What might typically take six to eight weeks to prepare was needing to take place in only twelve days. The pre production meetings quickly unfolded from conceptual to actual with each player bringing in their own area of expertise and contributing quickly to the vision.For the project to complete on time there was only one way to move this forward and make it happen. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead with an attitude of get it done and knowing there was only one way to the finish line.  

fantasy football with Tony Romo

The first task to overcome was the physical location.  This would mean that we would need to take the first choice location of a  Dallas luxury hotel ballroom and build a complicated multi facetted set within.  Luckily for the project the clients stepped in and made the arrangements for us to be free from the restrictions of a hotel. They allotted budget and the freedom to secure a location that would be suitable for a fantasy football live stream that could support an interactive 10 person cast to act out the draft live. Fortunately, our in house producer was formerly from Dallas and knew of a perfect studio for this production.AMS Pictures complimented our vision for both production space and in house audio studio and control room that was state of the art.

With a few modifications to the existing set, and our crew integrating with studio team we collaborated, designed and built a production set that made our Hollywood home pale in comparison.  With this well equipped studio and the clients ability to cooperate and turn around lightening quick decisions and approvals the space evolved into a live production studio full of logos, lights, football props and the “League of Chaps” was born!

For those who understand the core of a live streaming company, translation… “No Interlaced video” unless absolutely necessary, we arranged for a car to drive from LA to Dallas to transport our personal control room and camera package to Dallas. This included our Newtek TriCaster TC1 with an NC1 and additional Sparks inputs 12 through 16. The Cameras of choice were the Canon C300’s, amazing in low-light and a client pleaser with their consistent look and depth of field.  We travelled our custom designed graphic system which allowed us to create and produce a professional Sports and Esports graphics with dynamic text. For this production we had a total of 6 C300’s between the two sets with one on a automated slider and another on a 18’ foot Jimmy Jib. The remaining cameras were operated by our local Dallas based crew who merged with the AMS and ALP crew seamlessly and professionally.

Although our team was geographically spread out with the help of Team viewer and a gaming headset we were able to easily direct the design of the show from ROS to set design and graphics right out of our own Burbank offices.  Within the scramble we began our hunt for the 6 contestants that would be joining us during the fantasy football draft live stream. We had considered a cast of all actors however that felt a little forced and quickly knew we wanted actual fantasy football enthusiasts. We anticipated that when they would pick Ezekiel or Brady there would be a genuine palpable excitement,with their passion for the game. The chemistry worked as we casted only a couple of professionals notably the host who would be interacting with Tony Romo and our fantasy football draftees. With a preference to select a female host we all know that if the best fit for our production was a male host we would certainly not object. Our criteria was they must have had a real life experience and knowledge of playing Fantasy Football and preferably be in the local Dallas area.  With only one call to the Kim Dawson Agency in stepped Emily Jones, and 10 year experienced player of fantasy football but also known to local Dallas Texans as a sideline personality for every home Dallas Texan Baseball game. Emily exceeded expectations as she professionally supported our celebrity commentator, Tony Romo who led the League of Chaps draft on the live stream with fun and fury for the home fans and CHAPS consumers.

This 1 hour activation broadcast covering the 2018 fantasy football draft came to life with the help of our custom graphic solution. We presented the League of Chaps offering brand, product, celebrity and fan engagement  with a live stream for viewers to receive and experience in a “real time format”. This graphics server setup was designed by the in-house tech team at Absolute Live Productions covering the workflow typically handled by a system such as the Ross Xpression, this solution came at a fraction of the cost to the client and had the look and feel of a real sports commentated broadcast.

And to put a close to a production we must not forget to include our details of the Post Production for this project, it included a recut of the line cut into a 9×16 format for Instagram Stories, Instagram Carousel and IGTV. In addition, we created marketing segments that were utilized and posted as 1 x 1 sound byte clips to Facebook & Instagram  to promote the “League of Chaps” show, and highlight the Brand. Knowing the numbers are always growing and fluid, at the time this was written the viewer ship documented as was 750,000 reported viewers for the Facebook Live stream.

All in all this project was chalked up to being a fantastic success and the team at Absolute Live Productions is proud to have collaborated with the Ralph Lauren, Chaps team, Dallas Texas talent and crew – Facebook Creative Shop who we might add supported us throughout the entire project from beginning to end.