Live From Men’s Final Four: Kansas’s Rock Chalk Video Celebrates Jayhawks’ Championship With Elite Social Content

Access, hype videos highlight busy weekend for the team onsite in New Orleans

KU fans were hungry for this one.

Among those onsite creating content for the National Champion Kansas Jayhawks were (from left) Rock Chalk Video’s Justin Hargraves, Missy Minear, Douglas Shepperd, and Travis Calvin. (Photo: Kansas Athletics)

Through 14 years and three trips to the Final Four, the passionate fanbase of one of the elite programs in the history of college basketball waited to taste a championship again. They were rewarded on Monday evening: the Kansas Jayhawks came back from the largest deficit in National Championship Game history to defeat the University of North Carolina at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

Any fanbase hungry for success is a fanbase hungry for content. And the Kansas Athletic Department’s Rock Chalk Video team was up to the task, producing original content all weekend long.

The theme of the week was energy and access. Rock Chalk Video created multiple well-received hype videos — including one voiced by Kansas legend Danny Manning that ran prior to the title game — and used its being embedded with the team to share celebrations from both Saturday and Monday evening.

“[It’s] all about access, right?” says Douglas Shepperd, director, creative content, Rock Chalk Video. “We have that relationship with the coaching staff, with the players — a great peek into the kinship [with this team]. It’s super organic, and I think that, more than anything, the fanbase loves organic content.”

Onsite in New Orleans, Rock Chalk Video was shooting primarily with a pair of Sony a7S III cameras, with most in-game content captured in 4K at 120 fps, according to Shepperd. Also on hand for KU were Video Services Specialist Travis Calvin, Social Content Specialist Justin Hargraves, and Manager, Photography, Missy Minear.

Shooters and editors worked closely with Associate Athletics Director, Creative and Branding, Morgyn Seigfreid, to whom they would pass content for final sharing across various social channels. In addition, Seigfreid was creating a lot of content.

Shepperd and Seigfreid collaborated regularly throughout the year on content ideas that resonated in the world of social media. That included playing around with the popular trend of interviewing players with a tiny microphone. It was an easter egg injected into content throughout the season that carried into Final Four Weekend.

The effort required a bit of a workaround. The idea was first suggested by Seigfried, but the mic didn’t work when plugged directly into the camera. Shepperd suggested making it “wireless” by using the mic as more of a prop and picking up the audio right onto the camera’s boom mic.

“The [players] have a lot of fun with it,” he says. “It’s totally fun to do, and it keeps the guys loose, especially the guys that, maybe, aren’t getting as much shine as our top six or seven players.”

That looseness seems to have helped on the court. The Jayhawks dominated Villanova on Saturday and didn’t let a double-digit deficit bother them on Monday. It was a cool, clinical performance leading to a wealth of content opportunities for the Rock Chalk Video squad, who performed at an elite level during an extremely busy weekend in the Big Easy.

“Super proud,” says Shepperd. “It takes an army of people all with different skill sets to accomplish this stuff. We’re the ones here onsite, but that’s not to say our crew back home that do all the in-house videoboard shows aren’t a huge part of this. There are just so many people behind the scenes that make a program work, and I think everyone has a role and you play to that role, play to your strengths, put people in positions where they can excel and succeed and be great and shine. It’s awesome. It’s what you work for all year: to make it to the big stage.

“It might [mean] a lack of sleep, grinding out, and working on edits late at night,” adds Shepperd, “but it’s an honor to be here, and I think that’s what everyone in the sports world wants. If you’re working for a team, it’s hard not to be emotionally invested and want to win.”

SVG’s Kristian Hernandez contributed to this report.

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