WorldStage helped the sports market reimagine the possibilities of hybrid and virtual production with a dynamic presentation to The Sports Video Group’s (SVG) Remote Production Workflows Forum on May 12. The two-day virtual event featured broadcasters, leagues, production services and technology providers addressing the challenges of production in the age of COVID and exploring the latest tools for producing engaging, immersive content.
WorldStage is a new mobile/integrator sponsor of SVG, an organization founded in 2006 to support the professional community that produces and distributes sports content. For SVG’s Remote Production Workflows Forum WorldStage Senior Account Director Ben DeFusco presented the case study of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), which used WorldStage Digital Oasis as the end-to-end solution for its 2021 athlete and player summit. DeFusco discussed the successful virtual event by presenting onstage at one of WorldStage’s xR studios where he and Director of Engineering Tom Roland demonstrated the company’s immersive production capabilities from within custom hockey and football-themed xR environments.
“We were happy to share this case study and showcase the capabilities of our xR studio at the same time,” says DeFusco. “In 2020 we introduced virtual production tools to allow events to take place during the pandemic and to elevate the virtual production experience. We developed Digital Oasis, a virtual production solution that supports every aspect of a virtual event, and it’s been a real game changer. We also opened four xR studios across the country after we helped introduce xR stage technology at NAB 2019.”
WorldStage worked directly with the NFLPA to produce this year’s five-day virtual AthleteAnd Players Summit, which had been a live in-person event in the past. The summit featured 28 players in 28 different locations who were sent easy-to-use WorldStage xStreamPro Remote Presenter Kits. They were all connected via the Digital Oasis Cloud Studio, which had complete control of each feed. The players logged into a virtual green room, rehearsed the content and went live on the “main stage.” The entire event was hosted by the Digital Oasis Virtual Venue custom-built website.
WorldStage’s long history of leadership in live event staging and technical production has enabled the company to navigate the changing landscape of producing sports content. Michael May, Vice President of Account Management at WorldStage, was also interviewed on SVG’s SportsTech OnDemand series about the future of virtual and hybrid production as the market moves back to more live components.
“Our take is that hybrid events, with in-person and at-home audiences, are here to stay,” he reports. “The sports market has recognized the value of the larger audience a hybrid event can bring, and WorldStage will be building more products to support hybrid events as we move forward this year.”