If you have an early-arriving crowd or are looking to attract one, add pre-game entertainment elements that give fans an experience incentive. One great example I've seen was in Golden State, where the Warriors set-up a DJ on the corner of the court during pre game shoot around. The DJ catered to the players as they entered and exited the court, playing their favorite songs and requests. The result was a lively atmosphere and responsive crowd 50 minutes prior to Tip-off. Another way to get fans engaged early is by dropping in live crowd shots of fans with signs or those who dressed up for the game. This is also a common place to run the "Oblivious Cam" which highlights a fan that isn't paying attention and times them to see how long they're oblivious to being broadcast live on the video board. Have more fun with your pre-game, it's an open canvas.
This tip courtesy of Ad Week (@adweek) should come as no surprise. And in case you need proof, check out this USA Today article recapping the Atlanta Hawks Swipe Right Night which was based around fans connecting on the social media app, Tinder. It's grand.
Any Producer or Director knows how frantic a 3-hour Media Day session can seem when you're planning to capture the majority of your season's video content. Even if you have things planned perfectly. So make sure you don't waste valuable time by keeping shoots moving and not letting players sit idle. While you're filming on one set, have your next set and athletes being prepped so you can efficiently jump from one shoot to another. Keeping the players engaged and interested can be half the battle when it comes to getting the most and best out of them.
Take it easy on the camera operator who doesn't know what your Mayor looks like and spare them the embarrassment. Simply provide a headshot and seat location of the special guest(s) in attendance so they can be easily identified. Finding a headshot of most celebrities is as easy as a Google search. Then simply copy and paste the image into the back of your script and include the basic information needed by your staff. (i.e. Name/Designation/Seat Location)
Something as simple as an extra autographed item that you have in storage can become a lucky seat for one lucky fan. Look for ways and areas of opportunity to push the envelope with entertainment elements. Small additions can make a huge impact on your overall presentation and fan experience. Don't wait until Fan Appreciation Night to reward your fans, they'll appreciate each extra thing you can provide. Find a way to turn an underutilized moment of your presentation into a memory for a fan that will last a lifetime. It's simpler than you think.