Sports Videography - A Perfect Match

sport videography helps you and your fans

Sports Videography - A Perfect Match

Film is one of the best ways for professional sports clubs to talk to their fans. 

For professional sports clubs rooted in their community, film can help to increase loyalty and repay fans. Supporters are ever hungry for content and modern digital platforms give clubs the means to satisfy that hunger cost-effectively.

Sports clubs enjoy a massive advantage over other organisations because they have fans, not customers. Fans are more likely to watch content they receive from their club than they are from any other kind of organisation. 

But how many sports clubs are maximising the benefits this brings? Too many are still reliant on the established methods: mailshots, matchday programmes, local newspapers and radio campaigns.

The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or YouTube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social media for your business is video. Period - Gary Vaynerchuk

Film Works So Well in Sports

The reason that film works so well is that fans are always keen to learn more about their sporting heroes. They want to witness their talents and get to know their personalities and they want to feel that their heroes care about the club as much as they do. 

By supplying this kind of content regularly, a club is keeping its fans in touch with what it is doing. From a commercial perspective, this creates a golden opportunity to increase brand awareness and develop sales opportunities.

shortstories' crew on site for a client project

To Illustrate Our Point

An example of a sports club that has transformed its film and digital output in recent times is Leeds United. In 2016-17, the club had enjoyed an exciting season when they finished 7th in the English Championship and just failed in their bid for a promotion play-off place. The average home league attendance that year was 27,699. 

At the end of that season, Andrea Radrizzani became the sole owner of the club. The new chairman had made his fortune in sports media. When he took over, one immediate change that Radrizzani introduced at the club was to focus on online video content. He brought his industry expertise to bear and the content improved in quality and volume.

Two years later, and Leeds United were still chasing promotion to the Premier League, but interest has been harnessed and fans are engaged in ever greater numbers. For each league game, the club now sold out its allocation for both home and away (averaging over 35,000 at Elland Road). 

Furthermore, replica shirt sales boomed, with the unusually coloured grey and pink away kit becoming the bestselling change strip in the club’s history. To meet overall new demand, the club opened additional retail units.

Humans are incredibly visual... and powerful, moving images help us find meaning… [and] film helps capture and contextualize the world around us - Dan Patterson

Not Just a Competitive Exchange 

It is performances on the pitch that excite fans the most, of course, but Leeds United showed how to convert interest and enthusiasm into commercial returns. Free-to-view, sophisticated film and digital content is facilitating this by increasing customer engagement. The types of film content they continue to show, as well as you can too, includes a selection.

Types of Sports Content Shown

What kind of content is being shown? There is a variety.

  • Clips from the archive
  • Interviews with players
  • Previews of matches
  • Fun features
  • Footage and content about charity and community work
  • News items
  • Features about working with sponsors
  • Notices informing fans when tickets are going on sale

The club and its community are being brought closer together. The fans love it and Leeds United gets a clear return on its media investment.

Whilst not every professional sports club has the fanbase of Leeds United, each club has the same opportunity to improve its commercial returns through digital and film content working alongside traditional marketing methods. 

The first step in this direction is to form a suitable video/digital strategy, allocate a budget and build a team working with efficient workflow and a way of measuring return on investment, thereafter.

Technology means that creating high-quality video content delivered online is more affordable than ever before. With a fanbase always keen to engage, the content is helping clubs to increase their revenue. Fans get what they want, and clubs keep their fans loyal and interested. It is the perfect match and everybody benefits.

Video marketers achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness. Additionally, 93% of marketers say they’ve landed a new customer thanks to a video on social media. This increased quality of leads can be attributed to the quality of education that film brings - Oberlo Marketing Statistics
What is the return of investment on your film?

Measuring Your Return on Investment in Sports Content

According to Smart Insights, embedding a film on your site can increase conversion rates by up to 80% and a click-through rate of over 95%. 

If you’re not sure where to begin your video marketing efforts, consider a few aspects:

  • What does your audience want to watch?
  • What exclusive features of the organisation's brand can you bring to the film?
  • Your endgame - what do you aim to achieve with a film?
  • Are there any untapped opportunities you can hone in on?
  • How will you distribute the content?

These will help you start creating a content strategy.  

More Isn’t Always Better – The Essential Metrics

From the moment you make your film live, you need to start measuring it. The idea of measuring everything can be overwhelming - but there are a few metrics that can do the trick.

  1. View count: As a general analysis, this is the number of viewers who watched your video for as long as they did.
  2. Engagement: Views do not equal the time watched. So be aware that even if you have millions of clicks on the video, your audience may have only watched the first 2 seconds of the entire upload.
  3. Conversion rate: For most businesses, the end goal should be a purchase or at least completing an inquiry form. If a viewer watches the video and completes a purchase, that’s a win.
  4. Social sharing: The more appealing your video, the more shares you will get. This translates to people liking your video – keep doing what you're doing.
  5. Feedback: What comments are people making about your video? And don’t forget to engage with them via a response, a like etc.
  6. Total cost: Comparing the above factors with your total cost is also a good way to find out if your money is being spent in a worthwhile way or not.

Distribution Channels You Can Harness

There’re a few ways you can distribute your film content, here are 5 suggestions:

  1. Your YouTube or Vimeo channels
  2. Pin them on your Social media channels
  3. Embed it into your email signatures
  4. Run email campaigns using film
  5. Add them to your website landing page
  6. Play them at your event
“… only by defining objectives and measuring them can companies improve their understanding of video marketing and its results...” – Eric Fischgrund
shortstories' crew running through lines with the actor for a film production

As a boutique film production company, our main aim is to incorporate not only the sport being played but the players themselves, and this goes for any other types of businesses. We use an all-rounded approach to tell the tale in the most effective, thought-provoking and humanized way. 

In our Wigan Warriors 150 film, it was imperative to visually represent the full span of the 150 years and avoid only using the bundles of television footage from the last 30 or 40 years. We used photographs taken in the 19th and early 20th centuries and shots of the wonderful buildings that have sprung up in the town since 1872. 

Integrating these shots with the self-shot footage supplied by the fans helps to emphasise the close link between the town, the club and the people.

A scene from our Wigan Warriors 150 film

Not sure how to film your sports video for your marketing efforts? We’ve got that covered too.

How Should You Film a Great Sports Video?

No matter what the game, when you shoot a film, it makes all the difference to those who get to see it. Any good sports photographer or videographer would agree that when you are capturing a video for sports, as a visual narration, you need to keep the big picture in front of you at all times i.e. what’s the overall story? Keep that as a constant.

In addition, don’t worry about getting too much coverage. The editing process will maintain the necessary footage and get rid of the unnecessary. Make sure to include, not only your subject in a particular event but also other additional elements that can add to it, and complete the footage compellingly.

A few tips

Tip 1. Make use of the vantage point and get as close to the sports event as possible. This applies to both motion and stills.

Tip 2. Make use of the lighting; seldom are epic shots filmed in mediocre lighting. When the lighting is not so great, use additional equipment where you can.

Tip 3. Exploit the main objective, which is to capture magical moments in each sporting event. There will be highs and lows, nail biting and dynamic instances, your job is to get them all on camera. Seize the drama and intrigue as much as you can. 

Tip 4. Gear is of course one of the most important considerations. Lenses make up a large part of this. Longer lenses for shooting video are a popular option for capturing sporting events, simply because you can’t get close enough to the players. Shooting both film and stills can be a challenge. So, when you are shooting with a longer lens you will have a shallower DOF (depth of field). Unless you’re already a professional videographer; the importance of knowing your camera and its capabilities, cannot be emphasized enough. 

Tip 5. Knowing your sport goes hand in hand with knowing your gear. This helps because you can anticipate a player's move before it happens in an attempt to get that ‘hero’ shot.

Tip 6. Experiment with different camera angles, slow motion, frame rates, shutter speeds, close-ups and lenses. Don’t be afraid of using different perspectives when trying to get the big-league shots. If you’re lucky to find high ground, go for it! It will enhance the spectators' viewpoint of the field. And don’t forget the sound, another key component in any great video. 

Tip 7. Don’t forget the ones that matter; the fans - filming the crowd 's reactions, covering the emotions in the entire stadium like close ups of singing, tension, anger, relief, is a must in any great video. Watch our Wigan Warriors 150 years film that covers brilliant footage of events from past to the present. It is the perfect connection between the club and the fans.


See how we do it: send us an email to if you would like to discuss your next film project.

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