Ken Leverenz, vice president of sales and marketing for Getty Images ANZ, shares his thoughts on the future of visual technology in sports- including Virtual Reality, gigapixels and 360° photography.
He’s one of the speakers at the upcoming Ministry of Sports Marketing conference to be held at Randwick Racecourse on 19th July. He will be on a panel discussion ‘The Power Of Visuals In Sports: Making Your Content Work For You’ with Ryan Pierse award-winning Australian photographer.
“The presentation is an educational piece about the photographic agency industry- how we operate and partner with major sport, entertainment or large event organiser to ensure that the photographic coverage of their event is A.) what they want and B.) has the highest likelihood of getting picked up by media subscribers both domestically and internationally.
“One of our staff photographers Ryan Pierse, who shoots sports not only all over Australia and New Zealand but internationally, will be joining me. He’ll chat through how it works for him on the ground shooting sporting events in partnership with the event organiser or governing body, to ensure that his coverage gets cut through to media outlets.”
Leverenz On Virtual Reality
We’ll talk about virtual reality and how that’s going to change the game in terms of sport coverage. But also sponsor activations in and around event; what are the unique and interesting things that sponsors and partners can do to activate their sponsorships around sports events utilising virtual reality.
There’s a lot of cool and interesting things that particularly sports marketers or sports sponsors can do in that space. What if Comm-bank created an interactive experiential marketing setup at the Cricket where you could literally see yourself getting bowled to by one of the best bowlers in video. What if you could experience what it’s like to stand in the middle of the All Blacks while they do the haka, sponsored by Adidas. There’s a lot of unique ideas that you can do from an experiential standpoint to create some interesting content in and around their sponsorship activations.
LEVERENZ ON Gigapixels
There’s gigapixels where we can shoot just massively high definition imagery within a stadium, where you can zoom in from the other side of the stadium and find yourself in the stands. Thinking about how do you take the offline experience and bring it back to an online experience for attendees of large sporting events.
It’s about the unique things that we can do that the industry is moving towards instead of the traditional photographic and video coverage.
LEVERENZ ON 360° Visuals
The ability to produce and the technology behind 360° imagery has come a long way in a very short period of time. It used to be, no more than five – six months ago, you literally had to stitch a whole bunch of images together to produce a seamless image. Today we’ve got cameras that can do it and stitch it all in camera; so we have the ability to produce those at scale and at speed to deliver them to media outlets at real-time has made our ability to produce those at nearly every major sporting event that we’re shooting all around the world.
The interactivity of it, it’s new and different. If you’re scrolling through your Facebook Feed and you see something which requires some level of interaction you’re more likely to engage with it. If I can zoom around the whole stadium and see what’s going on, there’s just more engagement and different content then people are used to. That’s what resonant with people.
The future could be potentially live-streaming 360 degree video during sporting events, whether or not that’s streamed through to VR Goggles or interactive Facebook Live platform. It allows people to look around the event almost if they’re there.
Pierse is an award-winning Australian photographer. He joined Getty Images as a staff photographer in 2004, based in Melbourne. In 2006, Ryan transferred to the Getty Images London office and returned in late 2009 to the Sydney office. Most recently, Ryan was awarded first place for Portfolio of the Year 2012, Getty Images APAC, and second place in the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards (Sport).
He has been exclusively selected to shoot assignments for NIKE Global, IOC (International Olympic Committee), FIFA, Laureus World Sport Awards, HBO, UEFA and Adidas Europe, and his work has been published in many of the world’s leading international newspapers and magazines. Since 2013 Pierse has been travelling with the Australian Cricket Team as Cricket Australia’s preferred photographer.
He has covered a number of major international sporting events including:
• Olympic Games, Beijing 2008 and London 2012
• FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010
• UEFA European Football Championships Austria and Switzerland 2008
• UEFA Champions League Finals
• Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open Tennis
• Formula 1 Grand Prix
• Rugby World Cup Australia 2003 & New Zealand 2011
• Asian Games Doha 2006
• Asian Beach Games Oman 2010 and China 2012
• Commonwealth Games, Melbourne 2006
Some of Pierse’s 360 degree work: