Sports Team Videos – How and Why to Create Your Own
Photos are an awesome way to introduce your team, make your players more relatable and really who what your team is about. Apart from that, they are also prime material for social media channels like Facebook pages and Pinterest.
We have some useful tips if you’re thinking about taking great sports team photos. However, there’s a similar medium that has all the advantages of photos and then some: videos.
Sports team videos enhance the visual experience that still images provide, but with sound and movement. If a picture says a thousand words, imagine how much more is told with a video.
Videos are a great way to directly address your fans and give them an insight into what is going behind the scenes. You can show your team in action and present your players’ personalities even further.
That said, creating sports team videos can be much harder than taking photos and involves a lot more thought and planning. In this article, I will try to give you some tips on how you can prepare to shoot professionally looking sports team videos.
First, let’s talk about the different types of videos that are suitable for sports teams, whether to hire videographer, and then we’ll get into practical tips for the actual video production process.
We have a lot to cover so let’s dive right into it!
What Types of Sports Team Videos Are There?
Before getting into how to create sports team videos, let’s have a quick look at the types of videos you can create.
Each type of video below serves a different purpose and can be used for different things. At the same time, they also come with their own set of challenges, planning needs and things to keep in mind:
- Team Profile — By this I mean a video that offers a detailed introduction to your team, club and the people involved in it. This can include things on and off the field, interviews with players and other personnel and general information about your team and its history. Awesome to have but can be hard to produce.
- Action videos — Easier to make because there isn’t so much set up and planning involved. Bring a camera to a game or training session and capture your team and players doing what they do best. However, this involves more than point and shoot as we will see below.
- Marketing video content — As I mentioned in the introduction, videos are great material for marketing your team. They can, therefore, be used to attract new players and keep fans entertained. Examples for this type of marketing content include videos from training drills, highlight reels and messages to fans.
As you can see, we have several choices for team videos. The type of video you decide to create will be determined by what you are looking to achieve with it.
If you are trying to find more members for your team or promote your club (e.g. for a sponsor deal), a team profile might be a good idea. On the other hand, game videos and other marketing material is probably better material for social media and to use for keeping fans up to date.
Once you have made decided what type of video content to create, the next question is how to get started and also whether you need help.
Should You Hire a Videographer?
The question whether or not to hire a professional to produce your video is a tough one and the answer highly depends on what you are trying to do.
If you are planning to create a team profile video for branding and marketing purposes, my advice would always be yes. Shooting a video is generally more complicated than just taking photos. With a good camera and a tripod, even amateurs can create at least halfway decent photos.
Putting together a video with different angles, cuts, consistent soundtrack and more is not a piece of cake. I can tell you from experience. When we released SportsPress, our team wanted to create a video to explain what the plugin was all about.
Luckily, I knew a guy who produced videos for a living and it made a huge difference in the end product. From getting the right lighting, angles, panning, and sound, he thought of so many things that I wouldn’t have ever paid attention to.
So, for a professional-looking video that highlights your team, I would highly recommend hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. The cost to hire a professional videographer will vary depending on where you are, but hiring one will save you the time and headache of trying to do it yourself, and it will certainly be an investment for your team’s online presence.
On the other hand, action shots from games and less elaborate video content can easily be created by amateurs.
So if you’re thinking about creating our own videos, here are some good tips to keep in mind.
General Preparation Tips for Shooting Sports Team Videos
Creating videos is unfortunately not as easy as rolling a camera and hoping for the best. It involves a lot thinking, story boarding, and preparation. Here’s how to get started.
Before you can start planning your video, you need to have some sort of idea about what you want. So the first thing is to do some research and get some inspiration.
If your plan is to film your own games and matches, a good place to start is to watch a lot of TV.
You heard me right. Have a game night with your friends and teammates to observe how professional sports is broadcasted on TV.
However, instead of being a fan on the sidelines, this time pay close attention to the way the TV station is presenting the game to you.
Sports videographers are working behind the scenes to deliver this action packed footage. Unfortunately they’re using a lot of expensive equipment that I’m not expecting you to have, which makes it hard to recreate the same footage, but be sure to pay close attention. As professionals, they’ve perfected the art of filming sporting events and there’s certainly a thing or two you can learn from them.
Another great place to look for inspiration is the games’ news coverage where they condense a whole match into just a few shots. Very useful learning material.
Don’t forget to take notes!
Make a Plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Once you have filled your mind with different ideas, it’s time to put them into a coherent order. Create a storyboard for the scenes you want to capture, like they do for movies.
When you are planning your sports team video, a useful step is to think through the most important moments in your particular sport and how you can capture them.
Consider pre-game rituals, things that are special to your sport, important plays and other things that contribute to the excitement. This will help you come up with the content of your video.
After that, think through angles, shots and how to convey what’s going on to the viewer.
While you won’t be able to implement everything (especially in a live situation), it will force you to think through the narrative and how different parts of the game can be connected.
Once you’ve got your storyboard and narrative in order, there are also practical things that need to be planned like the location, time of day (for the best lightning), coordinating with the people in the video and — very important — the right equipment.
Having the proper gear is one of the most crucial ingredients for shooting a video.
In fact, one of the reasons why movies take such a long time to produce is because so many things have to come together to create a single shot. Think lighting, make up, effects and more.
While it won’t be as complicated as that for you, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s more to shooting a video than getting a camera and pointing it at the action.
So, let’s start with the camera.
While we don’t have enough space to go over different models here, you should generally try to go for a digital camera. Doing so will make editing and post production much easier.
These days, lots of people are using DSLRs, which are actually made for photos but also take very good videos.
They are relatively small and light and can even be mounted for better handling.
Another benefit is that you can change the lens, something that’s not always possible with a camcorder. Since cameras are only as good as the glass you hang in front of them, this part is crucial.
Videos take up more space than photos so bring enough memory cards to take plenty of footage. Also, make sure to charge your batteries and keep extras with you.
There is a lot of other useful equipment for video shooting, but it’s usually really expensive.
Luckily, a lot of people have figured out how to make them on the cheap and shared their tips like here:
- How to Build Your Own Video Equipment
- Build Your Own Video Rig This Weekend
- 101 DIY Tools and Techniques for Professional Video Equipment
Of course, when you work with a professional, they will bring their own equipment so you won’t have to think about this part at all.
All set? Then let’s get to the actual shoot.
Shooting the Video
Once you have put together your ideas and equipment, it’s time to go into production.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to create a masterpiece the first time around. The following tips are just to help you get started.
Keep an open mind and you will quickly get the hang of it, I’m sure.
What to Capture
Generally, when filming a game, you want to find a good balance between capturing the big picture and the smaller details.
That way you can later present both the main event and the atmosphere surrounding it. This will create a much more memorable video.
Here are a few tips on how to find good material:
- Get an overview — Atmosphere is everything. For establishing shots make sure to not only look at what’s happening on the field or in the arena but also what’s going on around it. Capture the (hopefully) masses of fans, the weather, landmarks around the arena, that sort of thing. Anything to provide viewers with a feeling for the location.
- Stay on the ball — Of course, when it’s game time you cannot neglect the action. For example, if there is a ball in the game, follow it across the field. This will provide a linear narrative of what’s happening and should make up the main part of your material. However, since it’s hard to literally stay on the ball, it might be better idea to put the camera on the active players.
- Capture standard situations — Every discipline has their standard situations from throw ins in football to scrums in rugby. The good news is that not only do people like to see these, they are also predictable and thus a good opportunity to get close to the action and show some of it up close.
- Use different perspectives — While it’s important to catch the action on the field, always showing it from one position is boring. Mix it up a little and change the view! Of course, it helps if you know the sport well so you can anticipate what’s going to happen. Get behind the goal, yours or the opponent’s, and go low or high to capture standard plays from multiple angles. This will make for a more well-rounded experience, however, avoid switching sides entirely as it will confuse viewers if the teams constantly change the direction they play towards.
- Zoom in on faces — Humans respond to other people’s emotions. Therefore, there’s nothing better to create atmosphere than showing the reactions in other people’s faces. Capture the excitement, joy, anger, sadness and the whole spectrum of human emotions of players, fans, bystanders and personnel. It will make your sports team video much more gripping and relatable.
How to Film Your Material
That sounds all fine and dandy, but how are you supposed to capture all of this so that it ends up looking good on film?
Well, besides using some of the equipment mentioned above, there are steps you can take to improve your footage:
- Crank up the shutter speed — As with photos, video cameras need special settings in order to capture action at fast pace. The most important is setting a higher shutter speed in order to avoid motion blur. If you can, shoot for (or with) 60 frames per second. It will make a huge difference.
- Stay static —Especially with handheld cameras, there’s always the risk of shaky footage. One antidote for this is to not move around while shooting but to hold shots steady for 6-10 seconds at a time. Also, instead of panning wildly, rather pick your perspective and let the action race through the frame.
- Avoid zooming — Zoom should used sparingly. It’s better to use it as a tool for framing shots than to try and follow the ball with it. The more you zoom the shakier the image will get. If you need to follow along, move yourself and the camera with the action, this guy has the right idea. If you have zoomed in and lost the action, zoom out to find it again instead of waving the camera around.
- Stay quiet — I know it’s tempting to make your feelings known about what’s happening on screen or even comment on the game but refrain from it. Otherwise it will make your audio track unusable and make you sound like these guys. Let the natural sounds from the game and fans provide all the atmosphere, you can always use a voiceover track or subtitles later.
Editing Your Sports Team Video
After filming, a large part of video production still remains: editing. Just like photo editing, this is a science in itself and we can only scratch the surface here.
To edit your video, you first need some suitable software.
Editing software will allow you to cut the material and get it in order, add transitions, effects and manipulate the soundtrack as well as add audio commentary, subtitles and more.
Fortunately, there is a lot of free stuff out there for making this happen:
These tools should be enough to let you do basic editing and put together your sports team video.
But what exactly are you supposed to do? How can you brush up on the footage?
Don’t worry, the Internet also has enough learning material for would-be video editors:
- Professional Video Editing Tips and Techniques (including tips on software, hardware and more)
- 10 Tips for Editing Video
- 10 Best Video Editing Tips
You don’t have to dive too deeply into this. In the beginning it’s enough to just get the basics right. Over time, you can get more creative and perfect your video editing skills.
What Will You Use Sports Team Videos For?
Like photos, videos are a great way to show off your team, players and club. They are also awesome marketing material to have.
However, with sound and movement, videos can add extra depth to their static cousin.
As a sports team, you can use several types of videos to present to the outside world and communicate with your fans.
You can show off your skills, recap games and competitions as well as provide insight into what is happening behind the scenes and more.
The road map above will allow you to get started with creating your own sports team videos. Experiment with the medium to your heart’s content and soon your fans and followers will be delighted by seeing their favorite team and players on film.
By the way, do you have a website? Be sure to check out our free sports club management plugin called SportsPress. It has tons of useful features that you’re going to need to make it an awesome site. If you are interested in building your own professional sports club website or have any questions, we would love to hear from you.