After a Breakout 2017, Golden Boy Heads Back Into the Ring for HBO Fight This Weekend
In new partnership with ESPN, the production company accelerates its cutting-edge efforts
It’s the dream of any entertainment company: controlling the product from end to end, from inception to distribution. The nearly two-year-old Golden Boy Media and Entertainment, the in-house production company for Oscar De La Hoya-owned boxing company Golden Boy Promotions, has played a critical role in establishing the brand as one of the leading entities in boxing promotion.
This weekend, the new year begins in earnest with a doubleheader of big matches between Lucas Matthysse-Tewa Kiram and Jorge Linares-Mercito Gesta that Golden Boy Media and Entertainment will help produce with HBO Sports for HBO’s Boxing After Dark on Saturday evening.
Golden Boy Media and Entertainment is coming off an outstanding 2017 that saw the company produce thousands of hours of live programming for networks in the U.S., around the world, and on multiple OTT platforms. The company found success in branded content and in-depth sponsor integration, established its own at-home approach to producing event world feeds, and kicked off a partnership with ESPN to bring 18 shows to domestic and international audiences.
The ESPN deal brought Golden Boy to the mainstream and calls for even more shows in 2018 (in the neighborhood of 21-24 events). The Golden Boy on ESPN property called for Golden Boy Media and Entertainment to executive-produce the events from front to back: book the fighters, land the venue, build the hype, roll in the production, and deliver a finished product to Bristol’s doors.
That freedom allowed the company to be aggressive and innovative in its sponsorship opportunities and led to deep integration of the partners’ brands within the content. Whether it’s the Hennessey Corner Cam — where fans can listen in as a miked-up trainer prepares his fighter — or special content designed for promoting the event via social media, Golden Boy’s premier sponsors have become synonymous with the boxing brand.
“With each one of those fights, we had major advances in the sales activity and the ways that we were connecting with customers on the device of their choice,” says David Tetreault, EVP, media and entertainment, Golden Boy Media and Entertainment. “We’re looking to continue to break some barriers in 2018 to integrate social media and video opportunities into the show’s overall appearance.”
On the production end, a typical Golden Boy Media and Entertainment production is an eight-camera show, featuring three or four handheld cameras, a jib, an overhead camera positioned somewhere above the action, and even some robotic cameras in some cases.
The company invested a good amount of its production in building access through audio. It purchases numerous RF and lavalier microphones and places them on the refs, the trainers, and other participants who may be in and around the ring. And it doesn’t shy away from airing that audio live.
“What’s unique about boxing is that you can listen to the coach talking to the players live during a show,” says Will Wright, coordinating producer, Golden Boy Media and Entertainment. “You get a live look into the corner as the trainer is training his boxer, and that turns into a tremendous sponsor opportunity.”
Golden Boy also dove into the at-home–production future of the industry to make International broadcasts and world feeds easily distributable. There were instances in 2017 when Golden Boy took in feeds from international productions in remote locations via LiveU encoders. The feeds were brought in to Golden Boy Media and Entertainment’s studios in Los Angeles, and a unique English call of the match was produced.
On occasion, such as this weekend, when Golden Boy will work alongside HBO Boxing, HBO will handle the domestic program, and Golden Boy will handle production and distribution of the world feed to its rightsholders around the world. In many cases, the company is able to produce three shows (main English-language, Spanish-language, and world) from a single Lyon Video truck onsite.