What ultimately attracted you to the NFL?
Yes, the NFL only has 10 home games per season, but the difference between those and the 41 home games of NBA teams is a fan’s expectation and what you experience on a game day. . The big NBA games are opening night, games on TNT or ABC, or big games. These are games that I loved. The NFL has 10 games that all matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s pre-season or mid-season, you produce an opening night sensation in every game of the year.
An NFL fan has his jersey, face painted and stands and cheers for over three hours. What they experience and expect from the gaming experience is very important to us. I love that pressure of putting together 10 opening nights and meeting the expectations of the fan who comes to an NFL game.
I had never thought of it that way, but it’s really interesting. Can you explain what your job entails?
The presentation of the game creates the atmosphere for our fans. We basically create everything other than football field games. It’s talent or celebrities on the field before the game, cheerleaders, mascot, music, call to action asking fans to stand up and make some noise, game features company on the video board, halftime show, field promotions, etc. It creates that fun element of game day, but we’re also the intensity that brings the stadium to life.
How many changes from year to year do you make to your game day production?
It’s something we’re really proud of here at Texans. We don’t just evolve our show from year to year. It evolves from game to game. Our subscribers are very important to us, and we don’t want the show they see in week 1 to be exactly the same as the one they see in the last game of the season. For example, one partner will have one feature for half the season and a second for the other half, and we’ll alternate them throughout the game. We do this for multiple partners to create variety for our subscribers. This is our challenge. We want our fans to enjoy it and feel like they’re having a different experience every time they watch a game.
OK, so what does game day look like to you?
It’s crazy. These are production meetings, rehearsals, a pre-game show, the game itself, and a post-game show. On a typical Sunday, when the game starts at noon CT, I arrive at the stadium around 6 am. Our first production meeting is at 7 a.m. and we move into rehearsals from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., when the doors open. Once that happens, I’m in the press box making sure everything is in order and we’re getting ready to do our pre-game show, which goes straight into the production of the game. to make sure the signals are happening as the team rushes onto the pitch, the talent is where it needs to be and game day comes to life. I am in the press gallery and I talk a lot. We don’t rest until long after the zeros are on the clock, as we go straight into our post-game show. It’s about a 12 hour day.
Once this headset is on, it’s even hard to take a bathroom break. I constantly cue the DJ with music or other features. I’m intentionally very dehydrated on game days. It’s continuous communication, driving the game and making sure everyone is where they need to be.