Governing body claims it would be the most substantial world-class production of ultimate ever seen.
February 23, 2016 by Steve Sullivan in Livewire with 2 comments
The World Flying Disc Federation launched a Kickstarter campaign today, aiming to raise $75,000 to fund free, global streaming of the World Ultimate and Guts Championships in London this summer.
If successful, the campaign promises to produce an ambitious slate of video content at the international event, including the livestreaming of “as many games as possible” (at least 20), a two-hour broadcast of the final on television in the US and Canada, interviews and profiles highlighting teams and players, as well as a short-film about the competition and the sport more broadly.
As Robert “Nob” Rauch, President of WFDF, explains in the campaign video, this project is part of the governing body’s effort to push for ultimate’s inclusion in the Medal Programme for the 2024 Olympics. Rauch says that the footage produced through this project would serve as an essential marketing tool for the sport in showing “potential sponsors, international sports officials, and media executives that ultimate should be taken seriously in the elite global sports community.”
The lack of commercial support and large-scale audience are considered key hurdles in the way of ultimate’s Olympic inclusion, and the Kickstarter page stresses that networks and sponsors have made clear they won’t touch the sport unless viewership numbers improve. In addition to supporting this cause financially, Rauch appeals to the global ultimate community to assist in driving this viewership if the project is successfully funded.
The proposed project budget calls for a majority of the $75,000 to pay for crew expenses, HD video equipment, and streaming/production costs.
Rauch would serve as the Executive Producer of the broadcasts and has assembled an 11-person production team including ESPN announcer Evan Lepler and the folks behind some of the biggest ultimate media sources in the US and Europe, including Skyd Magazine, ulti.TV, ShowGame, and Blockstack.TV.
The campaign is open until Thursday, March 24 and the project will only be funded if it attracts a minimum of $60,000 by this deadline. In the few hours since the page went live on Kickstarter, the campaign has attracted just over $1,500 in support.
Previous ultimate-related online campaigns have proven effective, though not quite at this scale. Last year, the All Star Ultimate Tour raised over $45,000 on Indiegogo to support a team of female college players traveling across the country to compete against the nation’s top club teams.