Fox Sports enters the game with new MLB graphics

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Fox Sports is looking into gamification and texture for its new MLB animated graphics package, which debuted with the start of the playoffs on FS1.

Developed by Fox’s in-house creative services team, the package leverages Maxon’s Cinema 4D and Octane Render to deliver realism to its unique terrain-inspired elements.

Grass, dirt, field chalk and even the bases themselves add texture to the entire package which stands out in crisp whites and blues.

“We wanted to fight the tired baseball clichés, like bats and balls and brick and mortar,” Michael Dolan, SVP, design, Fox Sports, said in an interview with Sports Video Group. “Likewise, we want to stay with the passionate fans, so there’s dirt and other baseball textures.”

The look is also tied to baseball with the use of a diamond shape as the primary device to display these textures with the team’s branding. In the open, these diamonds ripple as the sun’s rays cast shadows and are reflected on the various realistic textures.

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These diamonds become the brand’s primary display device and are used for interstitials and transitions throughout the packaging.

Other graphics give baseball other nods, like a transition that mimics a slide.

On social media, some have compared overall insert graphics to video games, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s all part of the plan, notes Fox Sports.

“We want to be seen as the preferred destination for young sports fans, so one of the big things we do is gamification,” Dolan said.

The package eschews normal Fox Sports insert graphics, as does network football coverage which now includes oversized animations and player artwork. Fox notes that this trend will continue through the blanket with more properties gaining their own unique look and feel.

An example of the player’s bottom third and scorebug.

The scorebug, known as FoxBox, has redefined the priority of information with the new design. It features oversized bases and a larger score display.

Fox’s MLB coverage scorebug showing different animations.

The bug also includes animations triggered by keystrokes such as a wild throw or home run that exceed the entire position of the bug on the screen.

Additional stats have also been added thanks to Fox’s partnership with Statcast, further connecting the package to younger viewers and potentially preparing the search for further integration of sports betting, such as with prop betting.

Turner Sports, meanwhile, also updated motion graphics for the playoffs and launched a new studio that harnesses augmented reality for analysis.


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