VNN’s Katelyn Kasella caught up with Rapid Replay co-founders Nick Busto and Ben Swinford to talk about the new video section on all VNN sites, how to use the Rapid Replay app, what to upload when there’s no sports, and more.
Katelyn Kasella: Hey everyone! It’s 11 a.m. central, so we are going to get started here. Thank you all for joining us today for our first webinar of 2021, it’s been a few months since we’ve done one of these and we are very excited to kick off the year with Rapid Replay. We’re going to be talking today about how you can take advantage of your site’s free video player, how to use the app, and what you can post when there’s no sports going on, and what we’ve seen other schools posting.
So just quick introductions, my name is Katelyn Kasella, and I’m a brand content specialist at VNN. I’m joined today by our VP of sales Jayson Jones and Rapid Replay’s Ben Swinford and Nick Busto. Thank you guys so much for being here today!
A quick few housekeeping things, we do have everyone on mute just to keep the presentation running smoothly, but there’s a panel set up on the side with chat, so feel free to ask any questions that come to mind during the presentation. We have these webinars set for about a half hour, give or take, and we’re also recording the webinar so all this information will be available after we wrap up. We’ll post it on our YouTube channel and give that link out to everyone. So if there’s anyone that you want to share this with after the fact too, absolutely feel free. I’m going to let Jayson take it away from here to kind of talk about VNN’s mission and how Rapid Replay fits into it.
Jayson Jones: Awesome. I’ll share my screen here. Good to see everybody. Appreciate everyone making time for this today, let me get my screen shared here. Something just really briefly, something about VNN and our mission statement and what we’re trying to do for all of you really quickly, and then we want to get it turned over to our friends, partners at Rapid Replay.
So as you all know, our mission at VNN is to connect communities through sports. We’re huge fans of high school sports, we’re really appreciative of everything that you all do. We know that everything that you do as ADs, coaches, admins, just make high school sports happen. It’s always under appreciated, but in this weird time that we’re in right now, it’s very much so, all on you guys to make it happen. But, we’re happy we can help, we’re excited to bring our communities a little bit closer, and celebrate high school sports, and get everyone on to one place through VNN.
With that, we are trying to be the ecosystem and the main place that everything just lives for your athletic department online. And our goals is to make your lives easier with all of these great technology companies. And we like to say at VNN that VNN by itself is great, our partners by themselves are great, but really when you combine them all into one place, that’s where you hear that 1+1=3. So at VNN we have all of these great integration partners that we work with and everything just works well right on your VNN site.
And the one that I’m excited about today is VBO. We’ve all been spending a lot more time at home and are watching a lot more video than we ever have, and we’re excited to bring a place where you can get your awesome sports video footage right on your VNN website through Rapid Replay.
So on your video highlight section, over on the right-hand side here, will be a scrolling view of what your video section looks like on your site, but I’m also going to play a quick 20 second video where you can see actually live on one of our VNN websites with our partners at Easly in South Carolina, what the video section is on your new site. So when you go to the main page of your VNN site, you’ll see a new video highlight section. And we’re going to show you when you click in the view all videos, we now have a complete video highlight library where you’re able to post any of your video content.
It can be organized out through sport and team, and your fans now have a place where they can go and watch all of the best highlights from what’s happening at your school. Now these videos can be anywhere from a couple seconds to a couple minutes, and then we’ll get into the details on that. But it’s been really popular, we’re averaging over a million views a day on all of our videos at VNN, and so we’re excited to show more of you how you are able to take advantage of this.
So with that, I’ll turn it over to our friends Nick and Ben at Rapid Replay, and I’ll let them start sharing their screen and I’ll let them go over all the specifics and again, we’re appreciative of all of you as VNN partner schools, and thanks for taking time today. Nick and Ben, take it away.
Nick Busto: Thanks Jayson, I’m going to share my screen here. My name is Nick, we got my partner Ben here, but we’re really looking to kind of show what video looks like on your guys’ site today, answer any questions you have, and give a little background on us. I know we’ve worked with a bunch of you so far, but want to make it as easy as possible for everyone else to get video on your site.
As Jayson showed, this is kind of the new feel of a home page. That video highlight section, that’s always going to sit there. Anytime you add one video, now you have video on your site. And add he showed, this more videos section really gives a dynamic and next level feel. Our goal is to be able to make your site a little bit more attractive, a little bit stickier for your fans who do come to this site.
So a little bit of background on myself and Ben, we actually played baseball together at Cornell in college, and Ben is 100% the brains behind our organization. He is the, all of the technology and development for Rapid Replay. So we started this a few years ago, really trying to unite communities around videos. We were kids that never got to see our highlights, and had our parents behind the dugout with big camcorders to get recruiting tapes, and so with the rise of mobile phone technology and with service now, with 5G, we knew that there was an easier way to unite communities around video. So that’s how we started Rapid Replay, and now being able to partner with a company like VNN really allows us to meet you guys where you are.
You have these awesome websites that kind of are a one stop shop for the entire team community, and so we figure what better place to insert the video there. So everyone within the community is taking videos, including yourselves, your coaches, all your parents, we want to create the easiest possible ways to get that video where it needs to go.
So, I’ll kind of continue now, so before I start on to the mobile itself, I’ll go to how do you get video onto your site. So the easiest way is the Rapid Replay mobile app. That’s a way you can capture footage with your phone, get it onto your site as quickly as possible. But if you have pre existing footage, whether it’s a produced video or a highlight you’ve taken in the past, you can upload that footage and that can go on your site too. And you can do that one, through the mobile app right here, as we’ll get in to, or two, through the web upload through your VNN Portal. So if you do have pre existing video, you can get that to your site as well.
But in terms of getting up and running on the app, we try and make it as absolutely simple as possible. We have all of the VNN teams preloaded, so when you download the app, simply register for a profile, select yourself as a coach or an administrator, and as I mentioned, you’ll be able to find all of your teams within the app. So once you find your school, you have all of those teams and yourself as an administrator. It probably favorited all of those team by default for you, and then you’re good to go.
So once you’ve created that profile, now all of the schedules are also loaded into the app, so when you’re at a game, next time you’re at a game, you can just take your phone out. It will know what game you’re at, because the schedule and the GPS is there, so you just begin filming if you’re at the game, and the second you press stop, the camera will actually automatically clip the last 15 seconds of the video and upload it directly to your website. So if you use that in app camera, it’s designed to actually only capture the highlight.
So whenever you’re watching that basketball game, there’s 45 seconds of down time and then there’s the steal, a fast break and the dunk, right after the dunk you just press stop and all you have is the steal, the fast break and the dunk, you don’t have to worry about clipping the down time. As I said, you can also upload pre-existing videos, make those longer, but that’s how you use the in app camera. And once you upload the videos, as I said, those videos will directly be uploaded to your site. So those will be featured in this video highlights section.
This this video highlights section, those are what we call featured videos. So those are videos that are most attractive to the above the full, quick high lights, ESPN style plays. So generally, videos that will be featured there are under two minutes long, and they’re above average plays. So you can totally upload videos that are longer than two minutes, but generally only videos under two minutes will be featured on that home page. And that’s because we want to cycle through, make it as action packed as we can.
So one kind of, additional benefit to uploading videos like this is, you are part of the VNN ecosystem. So not only are these videos being published and promoted on your site to your community, but also as a part of the bigger VNN community. We’re selecting the best plays along with VNN, creating top plays, and publishing those on the VNN blog, on social media, and across all VNN sites. So every time you do upload a video, you are promoting your school model within your community, but truly on a national level.
So let’s see if we can play this video here.
[Video]: Hey everyone it’s Romy from VNN and this is the top high school sports highlights from schools in our network this week!
That’s all from us this week, but if you want to get your videos featured, all you have to do is download the Rapid Replay app. You can get it on iOS or on the Google Play store. You can also tag us on social media, we’re @officialvnn on Twitter and @vnnsports on Instagram. For now, I’m Romy, happy holidays, can’t wait to catch you in 2021 with more top plays.
NB: So as you can see, these are schools all across the country that are being featured. So when you do upload videos to rapid replay, you’re not only promoting your community, but hopefully you’re giving yourself to be featured across the country within that larger VNN ecosystem.
One thing I also want to mention, and Katelyn mentioned this at the beginning, and this is kind of an unexpected byproduct of COVID, really, is as schools began to shut down, it kind of coincided with when we put up the video player on the homepage, and not everyone unfortunately has been able to play as much as they’d like to for the past six, eight, nine months. And what we’ve seen is a pretty cool trend that, obviously schools are still uploading videos of live highlights, the game from last night, last week, but we’re seeing some additional footage, and really the schools taking advantage of the fact that this is a direct video player, a way to publish video to your entire community.
So what we’ve seen is highlight reels from previous seasons, some boing as far back as the 1980’s, kind of showing all time highlights and plays, tours of new facilities. So if you do have a new weight room or gym, new classrooms, show them off. You can again, you can take video of that whether it’s previously recorded, previously produces, and you just take it on your phone, and the second you hit stop it’s going on your site.
Another thing we’ve been able to see is sometimes athletic directors or coaches using this as a messaging tool. It’s on the front page of your website, and so we’ve seen some individuals use it as such, especially when they’re not able to be with their teams, with their coaches, try and keep morale high and keep everyone engaged and excited for this season to come and be able to get back on the field whenever that may be. It really is a versatile tool centered in highlights, but get creative. It’s a lot of fun to see the different ways that people have been able to utilize the tool. So we’re excited to see more of that, things we haven’t even thought of yet, and I’m sure you guys are going to love it.
JJ: Hey Nick those are great suggestions. Also to piggyback off that, I’ll share my screen one more time Katelyn. But you guys all know about this if you’re using Huddle. The video highlights section is a perfect place to put your actual Huddle highlight. There’s a setting inside of Huddle after the end of your games that will create a two, sometimes three minute long Huddle highlight video with just the highlights, and you’ll notice on the Cedar High site, it’s Cedarhighreds.com, but this is their Huddle highlight film, and most of the times these videos are really great content that Huddle will actually cut up for you and produce a one to three minute video with the recap information, and usually that just sits in a Huddle account and no one gets to see it, but now you can post that Huddle highlight video right into this section. So, there’s probably video content for a lot of you that is out there that you would just want to upload to VNN instead of having it sit somewhere else.
KK: That’s great, great to know. Alright let’s move into a couple questions that we have here. So question one, how do I ensure that the videos going into the play have good content or are appropriate?
NB: That’s a great question, I would say probably the number one question we’ve gotten asked over the past few years working with VNN. So there’s actually, we have a couple systems in place. One, to make sure that all the videos uploaded are completely appropriate, and then one in terms of filtering quality.
So the first is every video that gets uploaded, the first thing that happens is we have an individual, an actual human, that will go through and make sure that the video is completely appropriate. It’s not accidentally filming something inappropriate, there’s no swear words in the background, none of that. And actually, over the course of three years, we actually haven’t had any reports of inappropriate videos going on sites. So, that’s with over 300,000 videos uploaded, so that’s never happened, and we have a human looking at that.
So the second is another person who’s going to look at the video, and they’re going to determine the quality. And so we have a system that waits from both chronology, and quality of the video. And so mostly chronology, is what determines what videos you’ll see on that home page. As I said earlier, no videos over two minutes are generally going to be featured on the home page, so it’s generally going to be those shorter videos, and then the most high quality videos, the most exciting ones. The game winners, the dunks, those might last and stay around a little longer than maybe a free throw.
So we measure both the chronology and the quality of the video after we look at the appropriateness.
KK: Awesome thank you so much Nick. Next, we have can coaches upload videos or can only the AD?
NB: Great question, so that’s totally up to the AD. Coaches completely can upload video. In that coach’s portal, there is a web upload to the point where coaches can go in, they can upload online, they can upload through their Rapid Replay app, and also depending on how you want to run the video section of your website, you can broadcast that to fans. You can broadcast the fact that Rapid Replay is really a community upload tool, or if you want to control the video section yourself, and you want to make sure that it’s a certain way or looks a certain way, you can do all that yourself. Say it is centered around the ADs, they can expand that circle as wide as they’re comfortable.
KK: Perfect. Alright what else do we have here. Is the Android app working for this?
NB: Great question. So the Android app right now is going under a little bit of construction, it’ll be back here within the next month or two, but right now it is under construction. So if you do have an Android app, I would recommend using the web upload. It takes two seconds, you can go, it has all of the functionality from an upload perspective that the app does, the only thing you’re not going to get is you’re not going to get the in app camera.
So we’d recommend just taking videos on your Android phone and uploading them through the web portal like you have access to. It shouldn’t take any less time or be more of a hassel for you.
KK: Perfect thanks Nick. And it looks like last thing we have, it seems like the app only records 15 seconds and not the entire duration like the web upload, can you talk about this?
NB: Yeah of course. As I mentioned earlier, the in app camera, if you are filming with the app, its default is going to be to capture those last 15 seconds of the video, to press stop after the highlight happens. Now in your camera settings, if you want to record with the VNN app camera and have it be longer than 15 seconds, you can change those default settings. You can default up to a minute long if you want. So you have that flexibility, but from an upload perspective, that’s when you don’t have any sort of a time limit. We recommend just for the sake of the people on your website that they be less than five minute long videos, but whether it’s through the app or through the web upload, those portals will not adjust the time of your video. So you can upload entire videos to those.
KK: Perfect. Awesome. Thank you so much. Alright those are just some questions, if we didn’t answer your question today a sales rep will be in touch with you early next week and get back to you, so please watch for that email. Before we wrap up, Jayson, Nick, Ben, did you have anything else that you wanted to add?
JJ: No, the only thing I would say is this is all free to get started, free to use, so I think that’s important to know when you login to get VNN.com, you’ll see an upload video button there, that’s the web uploader that we’ve been referencing. But no cost, unlimited videos, we want you to post as many of those as you all can, and they’ve been really popular and really well received so far, so looking forward to seeing more of your athletic programs highlights on your VNN sites.
NB: I would just echo that sentiment, I cant’ wait to see more videos, to see some of these top plays compilations. So thank you guys, excited to get in touch, and if you have any questions feel free to email either Ben or myself individually, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org, looking forward to getting you guys up and running.
KK: Awesome. Thanks again everyone for joining today, and like he said, reach out if you have any questions or concerns, and look for the recording of this webinar to come. Like I said it will be available on our YouTube channel, and we’ll be sure to get that link out to everyone. Have a great weekend everybody.
NB: Thanks guys.