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Live From NCAA Men's Final Four: Van Wagner Feeds Shot Chart Data Into Gameday Presentation at State Farm Stadium


Live From NCAA Men's Final Four: Van Wagner Feeds Shot Chart Data Into Gameday Presentation at State Farm Stadium Genius Sports' real-time data and statistics is powering this new graphic By Kristian Hern ndez, Senior Editor

Saturday, April 6, 2024 - 1:00 pm

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Fans will pile into the seats of State Farm Stadium for three games between Saturday and Monday, and to entertain those crowds, Van Wagner will be at the controls of the in-venue production. The company's experience will lay the foundation of their show, but a new wrinkle will be added to their gameday execution: a new shot chart that relies on Genius Sports' real-time data and statistics will be displayed during timeouts and other stoppages in play.

[Ross Video's Technical Solutions Manager, Sports and Live Events] Andrew Sampson and his team worked directly with Genius Sports for almost a year, says Daniel Zerunyan, senior producer, Van Wagner. We'll be looking to utilize those in the endzone videoboards.

Insignia Event Services is hosting Van Wagner in their control room

Hot and Cold: New Shot Chart Gives Fans Insight Into Team's Performance For an event like the Men's Final Four, Van Wagner is always looking for a way to diversify and change up their run of show. Sometimes this means an alteration in the hype video or a new sponsorship activation, but this year, the crew is diving down a more technological and analytical route. Through their partnership with Genius Sports, fans will be able to be updated throughout certain moments of the game about how the team is shooting on a dedicated shot chart. Over the course of the action, the charts will be populated with shot locations and will track made and missed attempts.

Genius Sports' data and statistics is powering the new shot chart.

The two videoboards will remain static with the Men's Final Four logo to avoid a distraction for the players on the floor during gameplay, and the shot chart will be controlled by Ross Video's Demonstration Artist & Trainer, Sports Workflow Solutions Prime, Josh Weber. This informative graphic will be interspersed within a nine-camera show. These nine total cameras, which are familiar fixtures at Arizona Cardinals home games, will feature a camera under each basket, two RF handhelds to capture fan shots, two on one side of the 50-yard line, another on the reverse 50-yard line, and two on the slash positions that's on the control room side of the venue. With connectivity to the broadcast compound, a handful of feeds used on the broadcast can also be mixed into the videoboard show.

Ready on Arrival: Insignia Event Services Finalizes Tech Setup for Gameday Since Van Wagner travels to different venues that host these tentpole events, the in-venue entity is accustomed to working with various production staff. In this case, Insignia Event Services - the Cardinal's in-venue production and engineering department - played a pivotal part in getting the infrastructure set up before Van Wagner's arrival. Tapping the assistance of Insignia Event Services' Chief Broadcast Engineer Aron Kennedy and his staff, Van Wagner's main technical team were ready to operate once they set foot inside the building.

The staff has been great, and we really didn't need to supplement too much to what the building already had, says Patrick Stedman, manager, technical operations, Van Wagner. We had to vet the transport of some of the additional feeds that they usually get from broadcast, but a majority is what they would normally have for a typical Cardinals game.

Josh Weber looks into the lower bowl before Alabam's team practice on Friday.

The workflows that didn't need to be installed is the result of a fairly recent control room update. Before kickoff of Super Bowl LVII last year, the club underwent a full tech refurbishment. This included a complete transition to IP, the mixing of various hardware and software for maximum efficiency, and local engineers offering their expertise.

The small handful of additives that weren't in Phoenix are commonplace for a Men's Final Four that's played inside a football-specific building. For instance, a Ross Video Mosaic needed to handle the elements being fired on the temporary centerhung and the crew needed to rent camera lenses that cater to capturing a basketball game. In addition, Van Wagner had to coordinate with Go Vision - a premier provider of largescale LED displays - to align the aspect ratio of the centerhung as closely as possible to the two permanent videoboards. This allows the creative team to develop content that fits in near identical parameters for both video displays and make their jobs a bit easier.

You sometimes run into little things when you produce a basketball game in an NFL facility, adds Stedman. That means adding horns used for substitutions and the end of a quarter as well as borrowing a couple of chairs from CBS for our camera operators that are working underneath the baskets.

Daniel Zerunyan and Patrick Stedman are leading their respective teams with Van Wagner.

As for finetuning the operation before gameday, Stedman is comfortable with this aspect of his responsibility. He's worked three Men's Final Fours since joining Van Wagner, and prior to that, he was the engineer in charge at then Mercedes-Benz Superdome at events where Van Wagner was involved, including the College Football Playoff National Championship and other Men's Final Fours.

Streamlined Ops: Dedicated Network Helps Bring Content to the Control Room When it came to putting together the hype video, the past two years have included teams that have either never made it to this stage of March Madness or haven't been to the Men's Final Four in quite some time. Last year, N
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