A one-of-a-kind experience that incorporated 960 home-bound participants, including 480 fans selected to represent each of the 32 teams’ inner circles.
- The Famous Group
National Football League
- Broadcast Production
- Live Streaming
- Technical Production
- Video Production
April 23, 2020, the National Football League kicked off the first virtual NFL Draft in the history of the league. With all professional sporting events cancelled or postponed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, anxious NFL fans held on to hope for the continuation of the NFL’s most prestigious pre-season event.
NFL Virtual Draft | Behind the Scenes
Innovation for Immersive Live Events
The fan-engaging “Inner Circle” concept was born when longtime NFL partners and fan experience agency, The Famous Group, collaborated with the NFL to design, plan and execute a one-of-a-kind experience.
In collaboration with The Famous Group’s production design and Quince Imaging’s control systems, LTN Global provided cloud infrastructure and cloud video architecture to manage the 480 inner circle fans.
Partnering with top broadcast networks, including the NFL Network, ESPN and ABC to deliver an NFL Draft experience like never before, quickly adapting with the use of technology
Quince Imaging, sports technology partner of the Famous Group, acted as the overall inner circle technical systems architect, providing custom control software and video systems to moderate and animate digital fan feeds. Quince Imaging leveraged experience from designing innovative technical solutions for live sporting events including NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB events, to develop a virtual automation application capable of moderating, directing and preparing each of the 480 inner circle fans across all 32 groups for live interaction with Roger Goodell throughout the 2-day live draft pick portion of the broadcast. The custom application, unlike other video conferencing platforms, was designed to give production staff complete control over the visual design, layout, and moderation of the participants, delivering a seamless technological workflow and broadcast quality to the home audience while creating a user-friendly interface for fans. Production took place from Quince Imaging’s remote production studio, located at their Northern Virginia headquarters, where inner circle content was fed to ESPN and Roger Goodell’s home basement studio.
The combined effort of the fan experience team, comprised of The Famous Group, Quince Imaging and LTN Global, consisted of over 50 team members, spanning 50 remote locations throughout the United States. The synergistic contributions of each technology partner and individual team member culminated in virtual interaction of nearly 1000 fans throughout the live broadcast. “The most rewarding aspect of this project was experiencing the fans’ excitement the moment before going live to witness the announcement of their team’s draft pick. Seeing their faces light up, I could absolutely feel the unity and connection between them as they realized the impact of their involvement in the 2020 NFL Draft. This year, for the first time, they were more than spectators; they were active participants immersed in the live event, and in this extraordinary moment in NFL history,” said Eric Gazzillo, Executive Director, Quince Imaging.
National Football League
The Famous Group
A Closer Look
Video Courtesy NFL
This year, for the first time, fans were more than spectators; they were active participants immersed in the live event.
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