As the world is shifting, we know you are evolving the ways in which you reach your audience. We know you are looking to simplify your workflows while saving time and money, but without sacrificing the ability to produce complex, engaging programming (maybe even from your couch).
Today we are proud to introduce Tagboard Graphics, a new product that empowers producers to create, edit and incorporate new graphics into their stories, while working from home or anywhere in the world. We know you and many of our partners across news, sports and entertainment organizations are grappling with an unprecedented challenge of producing content remotely, and that’s exactly why we want to put this solution in your hands.
In tandem with the familiar drag and drop workflow of Tagboard Producer, this cloud-based graphics engine rounds out the live production suite we have worked to build over the years, and it will continue to evolve with the ever-changing production landscape.
The initial beta of the product went live in late March and April — with NFL Media and CNN along with dozens of media partners who leveraged the new graphics functionality in our platform to produce live shows remotely, and integrated critical sources of real-time content from social channels, generating strong viewership and engagement, all while keeping their teams safe.
CNN’s COVID-19 Global Town Hall series, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, focuses on sourcing questions from social media channels as a means to help global communities better understand the health and economic issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the series started with an in-studio show, the production needs shifted as the stay at home orders hit and the production team supporting the show needed to find alternative ways to deliver critical information to their global audience. Tagboard was already the platform of choice to deliver questions to the CNN hosts, via public social media channels, but when the need for remote production became apparent, CNN was able to quickly adopt the new cloud-based graphics engine as well.
NFL Media Group, which worked closely with Tagboard on the development of its graphics product as an early beta tester, took advantage of the product to produce entire digital and social shows remotely, while retaining the high-quality standards of their content. NFL Network has utilized Tagboard for social integrations for the past three years, but this year’s unique production circumstances gave the team at NFL Media Group a chance to innovate with Tagboard Graphics to accomplish seamless coverage for shows including The Checkdown, Draft Tonight Live and the NFL Draft-A-Thon LIVE. Tagboard’s platform allowed the production team to edit graphic elements on the fly and source trending social content to weave into the stories with talent, all in a somewhat unpredictable environment. As reported, the live broadcast of the 2020 NFL Draft achieved its largest viewership in history across ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network and its digital channels.
Broadcast networks are certainly not the only organizations affected by the current pandemic. Due to social distancing restrictions, NFL teams shifted their typical in-person draft parties to virtual live streams, but with no access to their control rooms, they needed to pivot quickly and looked to tagboard for a cloud-based solution. In all, ten NFL teams produced their “NFL Draft Watch Parties” using Tagboard’s platform including the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers.
“Producing a live show remotely presents its challenges technically, but Tagboard helped mitigate those challenges by consolidating graphical and interactive elements into one place for our team,” shares Robert Alberino, VP and Executive Director, San Francisco 49ers. “The ability to build and update graphics collaboratively on the fly while harnessing real-time content off of social media helped us maximize our resources and produce a high-quality, engaging show for our fans.”
Using Tagboard, teams were enabled to efficiently produce, with just a few people, multiple program elements to create the ultimate “Watch Party” for their fans at home including appearances from players, coaches, fans, and interactive elements like real-time social polls, fan tweet reactions, and more.
“It was an incredibly unique experience using Tagboard Producer to run our draft show,” shares Michael Deuel, Manager of Video Content, Tennessee Titans. “I was skeptical at first, but the cloud-based graphics system was very easy to use. Having the capability for our fans to interact with the show was a big addition. We were able to incorporate our social media channels right into the show and host live polls for our fans to interact with.”
As a client of Tagboard’s for six years, the Minnesota Vikings have always pushed the envelope using Tagboard’s latest products, and this year’s draft was no exception.
“Running our #VikingsDraft Virtual Happy Hour certainly had its challenges technically, but Tagboard Producer and the new graphics system was extremely easy to use,” notes Scott Kegley, Executive Director, Digital Media & Innovation for the Minnesota Vikings. “We were able to produce the show 100% remotely with multiple guests joining throughout the show. We featured fan questions and comments, polls and a scrolling ticker with fan tweets, as well as custom graphics each time a pick was announced. Tagboard consolidated our workflow and allowed for a more seamless integration with our broadcast software.”
Given the state of the media industry as a whole, the response from our partners has been energizing in a time that has been anything but easy for companies. We are grateful for their continual innovation and feedback that drives improvements like this to the platform.
Much like a live production, our world changes and shifts rapidly forcing us to constantly evolve. So while Tagboard may have started as a social search engine, we have listened and evolved to fit the new needs of our partners. It’s because of them that we’re here today, ready to arm producers everywhere with a powerful, cloud-based production solution for linear and livestream broadcast that enables complex programming through a simple user interface.