The SVG Sports Graphics Forum returns to IRL with over 150 creatives and tech professionals in New York
For the first time in over two years, the SVG Sports Graphics Forum was back in person on Tuesday, when more than 150 creative and tech leaders gathered at New York’s Helen Mills Theater. The event was marked by deep dives into the design of the most innovative graphics packages released over the past year, including ESPN and Turner Sports’ respective NHL looks, NBC Olympics work for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, and the end of CBS Sports. -end rebrand in all its properties. Additionally, the full day of sessions covered the latest trends in design, workflow and technology in light of the dramatic revolution the sports graphics industry has undergone over the past two years.
The event began with a welcome from Andy Blondin, Director, Technical Product Management, Unreal Engine/Epic Gamesand the new chair of the SVG Sports Graphics Advisory Committee, Tim O’Shaughnessy, Creative Director of ESPN. Under the Forum’s overall theme of “Growing Together”, O’Shaughnessy set out the objectives for this year’s event:
- Participants must be INSPIRED when they leave the building.
- Participants must leave INFORMED on where the industry is headed in 2022-23 – both creatively and technologically.
- Participants must leave with a EXPANDED NETWORK and at least five new touchpoints.
- Participants must all RETHINK how they work within their organizations and bring back new perspectives from the event.
- Participants should learn new methods to COLLABORATE – whether external or internal.
- Each participant developed his WORKFLOW over the past two years, so they should learn more, ask, dive and network to find the answers.
- Participants should return to their organizations with new learnings that AFFECTING their teams, peers and partners.
O’Shaughnessy was later joined by Turner Sports VP/Creative Director Jordan Shorthouse, Jocelyne Meinert, owner and director of Big Studiosand ESPN Senior Designer Lisa Rader for the opening session, which provided insight into how ESPN and Turner Sports launched new looks for their NHL coverage and how their respective design philosophies differed.
Next, JP LoMonaco, Vice President, Graphics and On-Air Design, CBS Sports, led a panel titled “New Workflows in the New Normal: Three Networks, Three Business Strategies,” during which network representatives analyzed their business strategies and how they have been adapted. On the panel were Mark Garcia, Composite Supervisor, WarnerMedia Studios; Michael “Spike” Szykowny, Senior Director, Animation & Graphics Innovation and Production Design, ESPN Creative Studios; and Chung Wu, Senior Designer, NBC Sports.
David Barton, Senior Artistic Director of NBC Sports took the stage to discuss the Peacock’s breakthrough design philosophy for the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympics, the production pipeline and how it has been affected by the move from the Summer Olympics to 2021 , and how the broadcaster handled the lightning-fast turnaround from Tokyo to Beijing in 2022.
O’Shaughnessy also led the panel “What’s Next in Sports-Graphics Design?: Three Creative Leaders Take the Stage” with Komal BhukhanwalaSenior Artistic Director, CBS Sports; Chad Hudsonsenior artistic director, NBC; and Lucas Nickersoncreative director, ESPN.
After a networking lunch that included reels of some of the best sports graphics content of the past year, Bhukhanwala and LoMonaco were joined on stage by Phil Guthrie, Creative Director of Two Fresh to go behind the scenes of how CBS Sports rebranded its entire graphics package across all of its properties after initially debuting it at Super Bowl LV.
The conversation then moved to “What’s New in AR/VR Graphics?: Unreal, Real-Time, and the Future of Sports Broadcasts” with a panel comprised of Tehseen (TJ) Akhtar, Vice President, Product Management, Vizrt; Bhukhanwala; Laura Herzing, Executive Producer, Silver Spoon; Craig Laliberte, Senior Business Development Manager, Unreal Engine; and Alexis Salinas, Senior Director, Technical Creative Services, Univision Deportes.
And the last panel of the day, moderated by MSG Networks Senior Director, Creative Services, Jason Joly, discussed “What’s Next in Sports-Graphics Tech?: An overview of the best technology providers” with panelists Kevin Dresser, Global Business Development Manager, XPression and Ross Virtual Solutions, Ross Video; Mark Friedman, Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Chyron; and Miguel Yabrudes, Creative Director, Polygon Labs, Disguise.
In a first, this year’s Forum also includes a SVG Sports Graphics “Extra” Virtual Event which will be held via Zoom on June 1st and will go behind the scenes of the creation of recent graphics packages and look at the future of the industry from VR to NFTs and the Metaverse. CLICK HERE to register for the virtual component.
All sessions of the Forum’s in-person and virtual parties will be available on demand on SVG Play on Tuesday, June 7. The SVG Sports Graphics Forum 2022 was made possible by Title Sponsor Unreal Engine, Diamond Sponsors Ross Video and Vizrt, Gold Sponsor Disguise and Event Sponsor Flowics.