Essential Tools for Creating Great Live Sports Content

Evident has been the social content agency of the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters Basketball team since their Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) debut in 2016. Aside from the basketball team evolving from underdogs to contenders, Evident also witnessed the evolution of sports entertainment with the arrival of ESPN+ streaming, which led our team to focus on second screen content strategy.

Matthew Wright’s game winning jumper in the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters vs Ginebra game last September 28, 2019. Photo by Tammy David

As one of the content creators of the team, my job is to produce high-quality visual assets depicting the character, brand, and history of the basketball team. Not only do the images and videos need to look great, I need to transmit these files to my teammates fast.

My gear or mobile content studio has been the same since my days as an independent multimedia journalist. And while venues like the Mall of Asia Arena and Cuneta Astrodome are far more comfortable than disaster zones, the contents of my bag are similar in making sure I get the job done of covering the team and delivering engaging content to the Fuel Masters fans. Here are the things I have inside my bag that is championship ready.

 

BAG #1: Tamrac Adventure 9 Photo/Computer Backpack

 

Camera Bodies: Canon EOS 6D MK II and Canon EOS 6D
Lens: Canon EF 24-70, EF 70-200
Flash: Canon 600EX

While my camera gear is pretty basic compared to that of seasoned sports photographers, it can still produce great action shots I can publish through  my smartphone right away. Like covering the news, it’s always good to have two camera bodies with a wide range of telephoto lenses.

 

DJI Pocket Osmo and SONY RX100 M5

Video is (still) King in content, and I use both to shoot short-form videos that can shoot 4k and broadcast quality. The internal mics of both are pretty bad, so I suggest to bring an external mic or audio recorder.

 

Memory Cards, Batteries, High Capacity Flash Drives

I always overpack when it comes to battery and memory. Nobody lends you these things when you’re out on the court, so it’s better to have extra. I choose flash drives over external hard drives because of size.

 

Mics: Rode VideoMicPro (Shotgun) Sennheiser ATR3350 (Lapel) or BOYA BYM1

Mics are important because people are more forgiving with low-quality video but easily get turned off with bad quality audio. There are more affordable brands out there like BOYA.

 

Huawei Tripod Selfie Stick

Something I recommend to multimedia journalists and content creators. This is handy when we need to livestream team practice, pressers or basketball camps. This particular model is sturdy and rotates so you can easily shift from landscape to portrait for Instagram stories.

 

iPad 2018 and Logitech Keys-To-Go

My iPad has not totally replaced my laptop but it’s powerful enough to edit some images and handle word processing. I also like to watch YouTube videos while waiting or typing on my notes app. The keyboard is cheap and light. 

 

PowerStrip

To keep the peace in the media room or among the team members, it’s always smart to bring your own power strip. I prefer the ones with USB ports.

 

BAG # 2: Adidas Waistbag

 

Toiletries

I have left my phone once but I never forget to pack my toiletries which I fit in one pouch. It’s my survival kit to shoot anywhere in the city. It has four kinds of wipes (Lysol, Sanicare, Gatsby and Betadine), Katinko (pain relief), Facial Tissues, Liquid soap, lip balm, facial wash, alcohol, hair ties, hairpins, hairbrush, and cologne. I cannot work if I feel gross. I also pack a face mask just in case I get sick so the players won’t get infected.

 

iPhone

If you work in content marketing, I highly recommend having a minimum of 256GB memory. You need extra storage for assets and apps. My top iOS apps in content creation: Adobe PSExpress, Canon CameraConnect, DJI Mimo, InShot, iMovie, VSCO, and Darkroom.

 

Anker Power Bank + cables

Most of the gadgets heat up pretty fast and drain the battery after two hours of continuous use. I bring two power banks so I am able to work and, most importantly, book a ride home. I have a separate bag full of cables (USB-C, Lightning, Micro USB, etc.) too.

 

Stationery pouch + Pencil case

I try to be paperless, but out of habit, I bring notebooks and my pencil case. The sharpie is handy especially for fans who need autographs. Photos and videos of players signing autographs are always good.

 

Wallet

The PBA is pretty strict, so if I leave my wallet, I cannot enter the venue without presenting my ID. I also won’t have money to buy fries or nachos, which will probably be the end of me.

 

Earphones 

Always check the quality or monitor audio recordings. I’m also inseparable from my earphones (PowerBeats Pro) since there’s a lot of down time before the game or on the way home stuck in traffic. I listen to a lot of podcasts and my obnoxious house music. For marketing people or content creators, I highly recommend Re:Code media with Peter Kafka and Longform podcast. 

 

Pocket Fan

I probably sweat as much as an athlete so I always bring a pocket fan wherever I go aside from cooling wipes. This pocket fan also functions as a phone holder so the space in my bag is justified. I’ll probably upgrade this pocket fan when we cover outdoor sports like softball or Sparta.

 

Bottle Caps

Most sports venues here and abroad take off bottle caps when you buy drinks because they’re a hazard. Basketball games can get intense and some fans use caps as a missile. I’d like to think I’m a calm human being who would never throw a bottle cap directed to a player, but I’m a klutz and a half who would most likely spill my water. I bring clean and used bottle caps to prevent water spills.

 

As great content creators know, all the expensive gear or toiletries in the world won’t guarantee amazing content without a strategy or a plan. To know more about work, watch CASE STUDY: How a Dynamic Digital Gameplan Ignited Millions of Sports Fans.

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