Live From Final Four: North Carolina Runs-and-Guns With DSLRs To Cover Tar Heels’ Title Chase

GoHeels.TV feeds fans' ‘voracious appetite’ for content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

When it comes to posting to social media, content distributors of all shapes and sizes often ask themselves, ‘How much is too much?’. For the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball program enjoying its 19th trip to the Final Four, there’s no such thing.

UNC's video team is producing behind-the-scenes video and offering press conference coverage for GoHeels.TV and various social platforms.

UNC’s video team is producing behind-the-scenes video and offering press-conference coverage for GoHeels.TV and various social-media platforms.

“People have such a voracious appetite for what you’re doing,” says Ken Cleary, assistant athletic director, New Media, North Carolina Athletics. “We’re been ramping up production since the ACC Tournament, and, when you look at the analytics, we are getting great engagement rates. If we see it start to flatten out, then maybe we should slow down, but it hasn’t yet.”

UNC Athletics has a team of about six staffers onsite in Houston, all filling various responsibilities but all, in some way, touching content that will be shared on the program’s athletic website, YouTube channel GoHeels.TV, and the usual social-media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

According to Cleary, the New Media team has been posting at least one video package per day since the start of the ACC Tournament last month. That includes press conferences, behind-the-scenes content, and full features.

The Tar Heels are shooting primarily with Canon DSLR cameras, which “give us a much different look from what we’re recording for our normal distribution feed,” Cleary says. “They are easier to travel with; you’re not worried about archiving cards. Our guys that are shooting love the DSLR look more than anything.”

With a lot of work put into creating engaging digital content, the GoHeels.TV crew is shooting to create content that is no more than two minutes long.

“Consumption habits have changed so much,” explains Cleary, a 1991 graduate of UNC, who has overseen the athletic department’s New Media team since the group was formed in 2007. “People don’t go to find things any more. They want it presented to them. You’ve got to find the right content at the right time and put it on the right channel.”

Behind-the-scenes pieces are edited onsite on an Avid workstation. Cleary’s team is also using an NCAA press-conference stream; a team in Chapel Hill is able to quickly edit and post clips and quotes from those sessions.

Content is also being shared to the ACC Video Clip Service, which is overseen by Scott McBurney, associate commissioner, advanced media. The service makes raw content available for use by any local news organization in the country that subscribes to the service.

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday