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  • Brady Gilliam

Sports Marketing: Leveraging Video Production for Success - Grand Raggidy Roller Derby

Updated: Apr 12


In a world where visuals dominate the digital landscape, video has become a key player in sports marketing. It's the bridge between the energy, dedication, and spirit of competition that defines athletics and the fans who cheer from the sidelines. This medium transforms each burst of action into a collective journey, broadening a team's horizon and deepening its digital rapport with fans, a leap beyond the confines of traditional media.


In our spotlight on the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby, we dive into how our collaboration brought the dynamism of roller derby to screens everywhere, sparking enthusiasm and drawing new fans to the sport.


With Visionaery Productions at the helm, we crafted a narrative that showcased the team's prowess and captured the essence of roller derby. This created a compelling visual journey that resonated with viewers and enriched the fan base.

Project Challenges


When the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby team rolled up, they were on a mission to amp up their game—both on the track and in the stands. As pioneers in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), they've carved out a name for themselves with sheer grit and a whole lot of heart. Yet, they faced a trio of hurdles that needed tackling:


  1. Recruiting Rising Stars: The call was out for fresh talent to join the ranks. The goal? To capture the rush and unity of roller derby life, tempting ace athletes to dive into the fray.

  2. Packing the Stands: Devotion from the sidelines wasn't in short supply, but the buzz was about turning up the volume, pulling in crowds of their target audience to fuel the fire and lift the spirits of every player dashing around the rink during their sporting events.

  3. Growing Brand Recognition: Despite roller derby's edge-of-your-seat action, not everyone had gotten the memo. There was a thirst to spread the word, turning curious onlookers into die-hard fans or even the next derby dynamo.


Enter Visionaery Productions, ready and revved to meet these challenges head-on. With a blend of enthusiasm and strategic insight, we set out to craft a video series that would do more than highlight the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby's prowess—it would embody the soul of the sport.


Through careful planning and a keen grasp of GRRD's ethos, we aimed to meet and exceed their aspirations, weaving the essence of roller derby and the team's spirit into every frame.


SOLUTION


At Visionaery Productions, we're in the business of crafting connections through storytelling. Our strategy for the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby (GRRD) team was a narrative trifecta designed to spotlight their spirit and sport.


  1. Spotlight Video: Our first step was a promo video that went beyond the game, focusing on three standout players to weave a tale of ambition and unity. This approach aimed to draw viewers into the heart of roller derby, showcasing the personal journeys behind the jerseys.

  2. Personal Testimonies: By sharing heartfelt stories from these players, we planned to unveil the essence of derby life, tapping into themes of community and passion. These testimonials were tailored to inspire potential athletes and fans alike, highlighting the camaraderie and thrill of the sport.

  3. Action Trailer: A high-octane trailer was on the agenda to capture the sport's intensity and the team's dynamism, serving as a beacon for seasoned fans and curious newcomers.


Integrating GRRD's branding throughout, we aimed to present a cohesive and compelling visual story, ready to tackle their challenges head-on.


With this streamlined approach, Visionaery Productions was poised to help GRRD attract new talent, boost attendance, and elevate roller derby awareness, all while keeping the narrative tight and impactful.


Our team at Visionaery Productions was confident that this multi-faceted approach would address GRRD's challenges head-on. By sharing the team's story, showcasing their athletes' dedication and passion, and capturing their sport's excitement, we would help GRRD attract new athletes, increase fan attendance, and raise awareness of roller derby. With this comprehensive plan, we were ready to bring our proposal to life and help the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby team achieve its goals.


Interested in working with Visionaery on your next sports or fitness video project? Check out our offerings here.


Video Production Process


Pandemic Pivot:


Just as our cameras were set to roll, the COVID-19 pandemic cast its long shadow, pausing life as we knew it. For the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby team, this meant a sudden and stark halt to the electric buzz of matches and the warmth of team gatherings. 


This challenging period saw the team's ranks thin but not their resolve. As the world cautiously stepped towards normalcy, the team's comeback story—fueled by unwavering dedication—added a new layer of depth to our project. It was a narrative of resilience we were now more eager than ever to share.



Pre-Production Prep:


Diving into pre-production, we transformed our blueprint into action. This phase was a whirlwind of activity: crafting the script with a keen eye for authenticity, scouting the GR Skate and Event Center for its perfect mix of challenges and charm, and orchestrating the dance of lights against the backdrop of derby dynamism. Our Director of Photography, Zach Rogers, leveraged his vast expertise to master the lighting labyrinth, ensuring every frame was perfectly shot.


Our toolkit for this cinematic journey included the Canon C300 Mk III, capturing raw emotion in RAW format, and vintage Russian lenses paired with an Aivascope anamorphic adapter for that unparalleled filmic allure. The team's teal jerseys symbolized their spirit and added a visual pop that promised to captivate viewers.


With every detail—from script to scene, gear to garb—meticulously planned and prepped, we stood on the cusp of production, ready to encapsulate the essence of Grand Raggidy Roller Derby. The stage was set to film and celebrate the team's story of passion and perseverance.


Location Scout Images


Production


Our day on set was a marathon, not a sprint, filled with lights and a dynamic array of scenes. Let's take a peek behind the curtain at how the magic unfolded, sparing you the minute-by-minute to keep our story crisp.


The spotlight first landed on our trio of roller derby stars, their entrance into the rink setting the stage for the day's shoot. They glided in, embodying the calm, unshakable spirit of athletes stepping into their arena, ready for battle.


Scene 1

In this scene, our lighting strategy was all about mood. We summoned a light mist across the rink with a haze machine, casting an ethereal glow that added layers of mystery and allure. The ceiling lights were a tactical play of shadows and illumination, focusing the gaze on our athletes and painting them as the central figures of this visual odyssey.


With cameras rolling, we captured a spectrum of angles, from the grandeur of wide shots to the intimacy of close-ups. This variety was our toolbox for the editing suite, ensuring we had the perfect frames to bring out the moment's essence.


Scene 1 Film Stills

Scene 2

Our journey through the visual narrative brought us to a pivotal moment: the quiet intensity of pre-game preparations. Here, we ventured into the skate rental area, which had been repurposed as a locker room. This was where our athletes transformed, threading laces, strapping on their armor, and donning their helmets, each action a step closer to the clash ahead.


This corridor, with its leading lines, became our stage, guiding the viewer's gaze straight to the story's heart. We created a locker room vibe by adding some benches, hanging jerseys, and laying skate equipment around.


Illuminating Intensity

Light played a key role in this scene, with teal highlights and warm accents weaving the team's colors into the set, creating additional contrast and depth. Our lighting arsenal—featuring RGB Titan Tubes for accents, a Light Mat 4 as our key, and an Aputure 300D casting strategic shadows—allowed us to sculpt the light, dramatizing each frame.


After the personal preparation rituals, we transitioned to our "hero" shots, capturing the athlete's confidence and readiness. These cinematic portraits introduced our athletes and underscored their stature within this tale of resilience and passion.


Scene 2 Film Stills + Behind-The-Scenes

Scene 3

As the day unfolded, we dove headfirst into the whirlwind of scrimmage scenes, capturing the raw energy and chaos of roller derby. Joined by a select squad from the team, we aimed to capture the essence of the sport.


Zach Rogers, our Director of Photography, strapped on inline skates, mirroring the athletes’ every move with a camera in hand. This handheld approach infused our footage with a raw, trembling energy, placing viewers right in the thick of it.


Illuminating the Arena

We preserved the overhead glow from our previous act, weaving in strands of teal and orange to silhouette the rink’s edges. This concoction of light and haze crafted a dreamlike battlefield, where every push and pivot was cast in a surreal, kinetic glow. Titan Tubes, adhered with the might of industrial Velcro, were attached around the rink.


Amidst this choreographed chaos, we dotted the rink’s periphery with an ensemble of lights—Aputure 120s, 300ds, 600ds, and Forza 500s, each clamped with gels of teal or warm orange—to carve depth and drama from the ambient mist.


With the scrimmages captured, we paused—a moment to breathe, to refuel, and to prep the stage for the day’s next scene. As the lights dimmed and the crew broke for lunch, we began lighting for the coming scenes.


Scene 3 Film Stills

Scene 4

Moving into the afternoon, we shifted our focus to slow-motion shots of the featured athletes, a technique that required significantly more light. We set up the LiteMat 4 on a menace arm, ensuring our lighting was both adaptable and sufficient for the detailed capture required by slow-motion filming.


Our lighting was concentrated around the athletes, emphasizing their movements and skill in a more intimate setting. After filming the key slow-motion sequences of the three main athletes, we wrapped up this part of the day, ready to transition to capturing the full team in action.

Scene 4 Film Stills

Scene 5

For the promotional video’s climactic scene, we aimed to showcase the full team. As team members filled the set, our crew worked on perfecting the lighting, installing an Aputure 300d with a teal gel overhead, and softening its glow with a silk diffuser.


With the ambiance built, we gathered the team for a pre-game ritual, capturing moments of unity and spirit. Next, we aligned them for individual close-ups, using the LiteMat 4 to cast a daylight-balanced light that highlighted their readiness and resolve.


The highlight was having our three standout skaters emerge into the spotlight, posing as embodiments of the team's fierce spirit, with their teammates backing them, poised and determined. This setup delivered a striking visual narrative of the team's bond and battle readiness.


Following this powerful team portrayal, we wrapped up, leaving space for individual testimonials from the three featured athletes.

Scene 5 Film Stills + Behind-The-Scenes

Testimonial Scene: Voices of Passion

As the day drew to a close, we shifted focus to the athlete testimonials. Set against the backdrop of the DJ booth, bathed in the soft glow of teal and orange lights, the ambiance was set. The residual haze from earlier scenes added a dreamlike quality, casting light rays that enveloped each player in a warm embrace.


With the LiteMat 4 lighting the way, we invited the athletes to share their journey with the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby Team. One by one, they stepped forward, reflecting on their personal experiences, challenges, and triumphs within the team. Questions ranged from their favorite aspects of team membership to the impact on their health, friendships formed, recommendations for prospective members, and their encouragement for others to join.


Fatigue set in as the hours passed, but determination saw us through to the end of the testimonial interviews. With every story shared, we wrapped up not just the scene but also a day filled with dedication and discovery. As we packed away our gear, we looked back on a day well spent, capturing the essence of the team and the spirit of roller derby.

Testimonial Scene Stills

Post-Production: Crafting the Final Cut


Post-production kicked off with meticulous data backup, ensuring every clip's safety on hard drives and the cloud. Our immediate task was sculpting the promotional video and sifting through footage to align with our vision and script.


The quest for the perfect soundtrack led us to a cinematic, synth-heavy track that mirrors the video’s mysterious and dynamic essence. With the music as our guide, we shaped the remaining footage, integrating a scratch audio track for voice-overs to fuse sound and visuals seamlessly.


Authentic roller skate sounds captured on set lent a genuine vibe to our sound design, enriching the video with the true essence of derby. Following the edit, we dived into color correction, honing a look that balanced our teal/orange motif with natural skin tones and infused the video with visual flair through graphics and an animated logo.


The search for the voice of our project introduced us to three distinct Voice-Over artists. The Grand Raggidy leadership’s choice led us to collaborate closely with the selected artist, fine-tuning the voice-over to perfection.


Integrating the final voice track and mastering the audio levels completed our project, ready to hit the screens and capture hearts, encapsulating the spirit and energy of the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby team.



Wrapping Up: Final Touches & Delivery


The Grand Raggidy Roller Derby team's reaction to our work was nothing short of exhilarating—they loved it! After making a few minor tweaks at their request, the main promotional piece was set to dazzle.


Our journey didn’t end there; we applied our detailed craftsmanship to the remaining pieces. An electrifying trailer came to life, bursting with action and underscored by a powerful soundtrack, letting the visuals do all the talking. The player testimonials, peppered with dynamic action shots, added personal depth to the high-octane ensemble.


After polishing and receiving approval for each video, we prepared various formats to meet the team's broad spectrum of marketing needs. Our mission accomplished, we handed over a comprehensive video package primed to boost the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby team's profile and draw in new talent.

GRAND RAGGIDY ROLLER DERBY: TEASER TRAILER VIDEO

GRAND RAGGIDY ROLLER DERBY: ATHLETE TESTIMONIAL

Final Thoughts: The Impact of Visionaery Video


The journey with Grand Raggidy Roller Derby underscores a vital truth: the transformative power of video in the sports world. Through our collaboration, we crafted video narratives that not only spotlighted the team but propelled their story into the hearts of new sports fans and potential members. These videos, pivotal to their marketing strategy, helped to grow a wider audience.


The results speak volumes—Grand Raggidy not only expanded its roster to form two distinct teams, an A and B team, but also ignited a wave of fan enthusiasm, invigorating the match-day atmosphere. This venture illustrates how expertly produced video content can serve as a catalyst for growth, enhancing visibility, strengthening brand identity, and forging deeper connections with the audience.


Elevate Your Game with Visionaery Productions


At Visionaery Productions, nestled in the vibrant heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan, we’re your ace team for crafting sports advertising media for sporting brands. Our full-service video production house boasts a lineup of seasoned pros ready to deliver captivating, high-quality visuals that resonate with audiences and spike your marketing game.


Whether it's commercial, corporate, or sky-high drone video services, Visionaery is the partner you need to bring your brand’s spirit and story to life. We embrace projects of all scales and budgets, dedicated to translating your unique vision and values into compelling video narratives that connect and inspire.


Discover the game-changing work we’ve produced and elevate your brand’s presence.


Reach out to Visionaery Productions to kick-start our collaboration and soar with video marketing services designed to take your vision to unprecedented heights.




 


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