Cannes Lions

HPE: Business of Sports

SIBLING RIVALRY, New York / HPE / 2021

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

At an engagement level, the objective of The Business of Sports was to create a powerful opportunity for leaders in sports to talk about how the pandemic was affecting their industry. At a brand level, it was about positioning HPE as a thought leader, bringing together an important swath of business leaders in a far-reaching 30-minute conversation about how technology, teamwork, and the ability to pivot play a critical role in advancing the way we all live and work.

The challenges in this production were numerous, but perhaps the biggest hurdle was how to get five of the most powerful people in sports to agree on a shoot time that worked in time zones from California to Florida to the UK to Austria. With that accomplished, we sent drop kits to each location where local technicians safely set up the equipment, and then we let the conversation roll.

Idea

One thing guided every creative decision: do not produce a film that looks like a video conference call. Instead: create an environment and framework that would elevate the circumstances, bringing a higher production value to every frame. We achieved this goal in the cameras we chose for the drop kits, how we framed each sports leader, the way we designed and animated the open and interstitial graphics, and the attention we paid to color correction.

Strategy

This was a unique moment to bring together a group of sports leaders who often only know each other as competitors (like Toto Wolff and Christian Horner) or who typically do formal interviews surrounded by handlers. Our strategy was to show them in a totally different light: as people and business people who are dealing with challenges and pivots like so many others during the pandemic. We relied on insights that showed viewers were craving honest, off the cuff conversation, not stump speeches — and we leaned in hard.

Execution

The execution involved simultaneous shoots in Northern California, Florida, England, and Austria. While all of the guests were on Zoom for their group conversation, we had a separate camera and mic set up to record the footage we ultimately used in the edit. We captured approximately 90 minutes of content, and then edited that down to a 30-minute film that ran at the HPE Discover Virtual Event in June 2020.

The production timeline was fast. It was five weeks from the first call kicking off the project to delivering the final film.

Outcome

This panel played at the yearly HPE conference. Normally an in-person event, during the height of the pandemic, had to transition to digital. The event streamed online and was later hosted on the Discover More Network (DMN). Business of Sports had sustained views for four months after the initial release. With an 80% push through from social media to the DMN — HPE was thrilled with the engagement the content brought to their site.

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