Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

New York Islanders Augment HomeIce Digital Experience With Virtual Watch Parties

22/06/2022

New York Islanders Augment HomeIce Digital Experience With Virtual Watch Parties Powered by BlueJeans by Verizon, the platform is connecting fans around the globe By Kristian Hern ndez, Associate Editor

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 7:00 am

Print This Story | Subscribe

Story Highlights

The New York Islanders have a deep connection with fans that extends throughout Metro New York. If you include the team's new venue, there's a lot of buzz surrounding the NHL franchise, and that's why the club is pushing a new capability for its HomeIce digital platform: virtual watch parties via BlueJeans by Verizon that feature domestic and international Isles fans.

It's all about keeping our community engaged, says Ryan Halkett, SVP, event presentation and production experiences, New York Islanders. Wherever they are in the world, our fans have the opportunity to celebrate with each other and feel like they're a part of game day with us.

Born Out of the Pandemic: A New Form of Entertainment Needing a way to entertain fans after the National Hockey League returned from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, clubs resorted to virtual applications developed to keep friends and families in touch while in isolation. HomeTurf, a second-screen platform that replicates the in-venue show and is deployed by many professional teams, was rebranded as HomeIce by the Islanders. Introduced during the 2020-21 NHL regular season within the New York Islanders app, the digital environment features such elements as videoboard prompts, fan trivia, poll questions, chances to win prizes, hype videos, and other forms of content, live statistics, and analytics.

One of the functions that made this activation a success with fans is the ability to chat with other fans. During a period when going to bars and large-scale gatherings wasn't possible, participating in a live chat satisfied the need for community in the best possible way. Although it was a viable solution from the start, Halkett and his production team wanted to push the platform even further by leveraging the relationship of a trusted partner.

The New York Islanders' HomeIce platform debuted during the 2020 COVID-impacted regular season.

We asked ourselves how to extend our reach further and bring our fanbase closer, he says. That's when Verizon came on with us to talk about this technology.

In the effort to improve the platform, real-time video was added along with a live chat. Launched on April 28 vs. the Washington Capitals and used for the season finale on April 29 vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning, the feature enables fans to create their own watch-party rooms and share the experience with friends.

Even though it debuted at the end of the season, the timing of the integration was deliberate. It was important for us and Verizon to get it launched this year, Halkett explains. We wanted to get the awareness of fans now, so we can really lean into it as we head into next year.

Game-Day Workflows: Crew Handles Two Productions at Once One challenge for the team is carrying out two simultaneous operations: the game-day atmosphere is produced both at UBS Arena and for the virtual HomeIce show. So as not to compromise either effort, the crew pre-packages the second-screen experience.

HomeIce allows fans to chat together in real time during any home game.

From a production perspective, the hardest challenge was the timing associated with HomeIce. Says Halkett, We needed to figure out when to start the application: whether to start it 30 minutes before or right at game time.

In juggling both responsibilities, the in-house production team sets a predestined run of show for HomeIce and handles the impromptu changes of the in-person event.

Since our lead producers run the show, says Fritz Stillings, game presentation coordinator, New York Islanders, I'll touch base with them on what we want to run and compile these new elements. I'll also send them what we're doing in the arena, so they can line [their show] up at the exact same time.

Full Slate of Programming: Inside the Improved HomeIce Platform Two seasons ago, HomeIce was operational for both home and away games, which required the production team to be available for all 82 games on the schedule. Last year, though, the app was used for the 41 home games. A smaller number of shows means that each virtual show can be filled with a higher quality of material. Now with the inclusion of video, alumni and franchise legends like four-time Stanley Cup champion Butch Goring are able to join in on the fun. Working closely with the team's community-relations staff, the game-presentation department is able to align these icons with specific games on the schedule.

Leading up to this game, says Stillings, we would tease and promote it by creating content like trivia questions around that specific alumnus. The fans absolutely loved it, and they thought it was really cool to be able to chat with him.

Since the April 28 game vs. Washington, HomeIce has featured the ability to host watch parties with friends and family.

Last season's theme nights garnered a lot of attention - 3,000 users interacted during Nickelodeon Day on March 19 vs. the Dallas Stars - but HomeIce has been used even by fans in the stands at UBS Arena. Ultimately, that was the goal for this application when it was conceived.

We started to see people use it inside of the arena to create their own small gatherings, says Halkett. We'd see people comment what section they were in on the live chat, and it turned into a hangout that was exclusively made through HomeIce.

Deepening the Connection: Celebrating the 50th-Anniversary Season Aside from the home games designated as special occasions, an average of 400-500 fans used the second-screen portal throughout the 2021-22 season. Many teams
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2022/06/22/new-york-islanders-augment-home...
See more stories from svg

More from Sports Video Group

08/08/2022

SVG On Demand: FOX Sports' Dustin Myers on Readying Media Management Workflows In Preparation For a Busy Fall

SVG On Demand: FOX Sports' Dustin Myers on Readying Media Management Workflo...

05/08/2022

Twitter, Opendorse Expand NIL Partnership to Help Student-Athletes Monetize In-Game Highlights

Twitter, Opendorse Expand NIL Partnership to Help Student-Athletes Monetize In-G...

04/08/2022

Behind The Mic: Linda Cohn Celebrates 30 Years at ESPN With New Contract, Play-By-Play Announcer Jason Benetti Joins FOX Sports

Behind The Mic: Linda Cohn Celebrates 30 Years at ESPN With New Contract, Play-B...

04/08/2022

CrossFit Games 2022: Networked Sound Is Everywhere It's Needed

CrossFit Games 2022: Networked Sound Is Everywhere It's Needed Live and broadcast audio, comms ride on a Dante network By Dan Daley, Audio Editor Thursda...

04/08/2022

SVG PLAY: Facilities Providers and Tech Vendors Sound Off on the Latest Live Production Tools for Regional Sports Networks

SVG PLAY: Facilities Providers and Tech Vendors Sound Off on the Latest Live Pro...

04/08/2022

SVG On Demand: Warner Bros. Discovery's Anne Graham on the Value of Industry-Wide Collaboration in Media Management

SVG On Demand: Warner Bros. Discovery's Anne Graham on the Value of Industry...

04/08/2022

NBC Sports' NASCAR Production, Ops Teams Look To Ride Momentum of Big Weekend in Indy

NBC Sports' NASCAR Production, Ops Teams Look To Ride Momentum of Big Weeken...

04/08/2022

CrossFit Games 2022: Production Team Is Once Again Onsite in Full Force

CrossFit Games 2022: Production Team Is Once Again Onsite in Full Force Six trucks, a crew of 250, 35+ cameras, and campus-wide fiber are deployed By Jason Dac...

03/08/2022

Ratings Roundup: ESPN's NBA Today Draws Most-Watched July in Five Years, NASCAR Ratings in Indianapolis

Ratings Roundup: ESPN's NBA Today Draws Most-Watched July in Five Years, NAS...

03/08/2022

Blue Sky Thinking: Sky Sports' Alex Judd on the Challenges of Using Cloud in Sports Broadcasting Audio

Blue sky thinking: Sky Sports' Alex Judd on the challenges of using cloud in...

03/08/2022

Tennis Channel Looks To Define the Pickleball Sound

Tennis Channel Looks To Define the Pickleball Sound Professional Pickleball Association gets regular digital and linear coverage By Dan Daley, Audio Editor ...

03/08/2022

Audio for Friday Night Baseball on Apple+ Is at Streaming's Leading Edge

Audio for Friday Night Baseball on Apple Is at Streaming's Leading Edge Apple Spatial Audio codec is being applied to the production's 5.1 surround sou...

03/08/2022

Vin Scully, Iconic Sportscaster and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer, Dies at 94

Vin Scully, Iconic Sportscaster and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer, Dies at 9...

02/08/2022

SVG PLAY: From Announcers to Editors, Regional Sports Network Executives Discuss Embracing Remote Workflows and the Return to the Facility

SVG PLAY: From Announcers to Editors, Regional Sports Network Executives Discuss...

02/08/2022

SVG On Demand: NBA's Chris Halton Applauds the League's Storage, Archival Workflow During 75th Anniversary Season

SVG On Demand: NBA's Chris Halton Applauds the League's Storage, Archiva...

02/08/2022

Towering' Tribute: Major League Baseball Honors Jackie Robinson With Mixed-Reality Ceremony Before All-Star Game

Towering' Tribute: Major League Baseball Honors Jackie Robinson With Mixed-R...

02/08/2022

SVG's TranSPORT Conference Returns In-Person on Oct. 18 in NYC

SVG's TranSPORT Conference Returns In-Person on Oct. 18 in NYC The transmission-focused event is being chaired by ESPNs Adam Whitlock By SVG Staff Tuesda...

02/08/2022

SVG Sit-Down: Pixellot's David Shapiro on How AI-Automated Production Tools Democratize Sports Broadcasting

SVG Sit-Down: Pixellot's David Shapiro on How AI-Automated Production Tools ...

28/07/2022

SVG PLAY: Direct-to-Consumer and Authenticated In-Market Live Streaming of RSNs Enters a New Generation

SVG PLAY: Direct-to-Consumer and Authenticated In-Market Live Streaming of RSNs ...

28/07/2022

Commonwealth Games 2022: BBC Sport on Bringing All Regions of the UK Together With a Sustainable Production

Commonwealth Games 2022: UK rights holder BBC Sport on bringing all regions of t...

28/07/2022

Commonwealth Games 2022: Timeline TV on helping host broadcaster Sunset+Vine create the most spectacular Commonwealth Games yet

Birmingham 2022: Timeline TV on helping host broadcaster Sunset Vine create the ...

28/07/2022

Commonwealth Games 2022: Inside the Host Broadcast Set-up for the Commonwealth Games with Sunset+Vine

Birmingham 2022: Inside the host broadcast set-up for the Commonwealth Games wit...

28/07/2022

SVG's Sports Content Management Forum Returns to In-Person Format in NYC With 175+ Media-Management Pros

SVG's Sports Content Management Forum Returns to In-Person Format in NYC Wit...

28/07/2022

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2022

Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2022 Inductees to be celebrated in annual ceremony in New York City on December 13 By SVG Staff Thursday,...

27/07/2022

New York Mets Enhance Game-Day Experience at Citi Field With Significant Tech Upgrades

New York Mets Enhance Game-Day Experience at Citi Field With Significant Tech Up...

27/07/2022

SVG PLAY: Go Behind-the-Scenes of In-Venue Video Entertainment at SoFi Stadium with the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers

SVG PLAY: Go Behind-the-Scenes of In-Venue Video Entertainment at SoFi Stadium w...

26/07/2022

Goddess Worship: Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Brings Together Key Female Experts to Discuss Inaugural Tour de France Femmes

Goddess worship: Warner Bros. Discovery Sports brings together its key female ex...

26/07/2022

Chasing the Maillot Jaune: Bringing the Inaugural Tour de France Femmes to Life With Warner Bros. Discovery Sports' Guy Voisin

Chasing the maillot jaune: Bringing the inaugural Tour de France Femmes to life ...

26/07/2022

BBC Returns to dock10 Virtual Studio for World Athletics Championships

BBC returns to dock10 virtual studio for World Athletics Championships By Jo Ruddock Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 11:20 Print This Story The BBC is broadcasti...

26/07/2022

A Giant Leap: How ITN Productions Is Improving Gender Parity on the Host Coverage of World Athletics Events

A Giant Leap: How ITN Productions is improving gender parity on the host coverag...

26/07/2022

SVG PLAY: Regional Sports Networks Break Down Their Strategies for Betting, Gamification, and Live BetCasts'

SVG PLAY: Regional Sports Networks Break Down Their Strategies for Betting, Gami...

26/07/2022

SPORTEL To Return to Asia With February Rendez-Vous in Bali

SPORTEL To Return to Asia With February Rendez-Vous in Bali The event expands the series of meetings for the sports-business industry By Ken Kerschbaumer, Edit...

26/07/2022

NBC Sports Brings Olympics-Production Sensibility to World Athletics Championships Oregon22 Coverage

NBC Sports Brings Olympics-Production Sensibility to World Athletics Championshi...

26/07/2022

SVG Rewind: NBC Sports' Joel Felicio Recaps Production Elements of the 2022 Tour de France

SVG Rewind: NBC Sports' Joel Felicio Recaps Production Elements of the 2022 ...

25/07/2022

SVG PLAY: Regional Sports Network Leaders Address New At-Home Production Models in RSN Summit Panel Discussion

SVG PLAY: Regional Sports Network Leaders Address New At-Home Production Models ...

25/07/2022

Barry Johnstone Memorial Service To Be Streamed Live July 28 at 2:30 GMT/9:30 EST

Barry Johnstone Memorial Service To Be Streamed Live July 28 at 2:30 GMT/9:30 ES...

25/07/2022

DTV Audio Group A1-Focused Event Returns After Three COVID-Delayed Years

DTV Audio Group A1-Focused Event Returns After Three COVID-Delayed Years Broadcast's front-line mixers talk immersive sound, training, new mic technologies ...

25/07/2022

NFL's New Streaming Service, NFL+, To Allow Fans to Live Stream Local and Primetime Games

NFL's New Streaming Service, NFL , To Allow Fans to Live Stream Local and Pr...

25/07/2022

Inside NESN's 4K HDR Workflow: The RSN's Red Sox Production Team Shows Off Fenway Like Never Before

Inside NESN's 4K HDR Workflow: The RSN's Red Sox Production Team Shows O...

25/07/2022

Pierre Moossa To Serve as Director of Thursday Night Football on Prime Video

Pierre Moossa To Serve as Director of Thursday Night Football on Prime Video The NBC Sports vet joins producer Fred Gaudelli for newly exclusive NFL streaming-r...

22/07/2022

Behind the Mic: Prime Video Welcomes New Trio to Thursday Night Football; Jason McCourty Joins NFL Network's Good Morning Football

Behind the Mic: Prime Video Welcomes New Trio to Thursday Night Football; Jason ...

22/07/2022

SVG PLAY: Spectra Logic Shares How University of Georgia Consolidated Its Storage Silos In SVG College Summit Case Study

SVG PLAY: Spectra Logic Shares How University of Georgia Consolidated Its Storag...

22/07/2022

Bodycams and Player Mics Trialed During Preseason Innovation Game' Between Cologne, AC Milan

Bodycams and player mics on trial during pre-season Cologne v AC Milan Innovati...

22/07/2022

Riot Games Unveils World-Leading Project Stryker Esports Broadcast Facility in Dublin

Riot Games unveils world-leading Project Stryker esports broadcast facility in D...

22/07/2022

World Games Provide Test Bed for Olympics Production

World Games Provide Test Bed for Olympics Production Cloud-based workflow is deployed for 10-day multi-sport event By Dan Daley, Audio Editor Friday, July 22...

22/07/2022

NBA Summer League Audio Pushes the Envelope

NBA Summer League Audio Pushes the Envelope Turner expands use of multi-lobe arrays; Q5X aims for smaller By Dan Daley, Audio Editor Friday, July 22, 2022 - ...

20/07/2022

SVG PLAY: Collegiate Athletic Departments Explore the Potential of Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Platforms in SVG College Summit Panel

SVG PLAY: Collegiate Athletic Departments Explore the Potential of Direct-to-Con...