In a bid to revolutionise the fan experience, Brad Campbell, Senior Director of Football Technology for the Extreme Football League (XFL), a premier spring American football league, is leveraging innovative camera technology to elevate the league’s operations. With over two decades of the National Football League (NFL) experience, including time as the Seattle Seahawks’ Video Director, Campbell oversees the XFL’s technological aspects, including the video department, which has eight video managers, one for each team.
Campbell has partnered with JVC Professional Video to integrate the latter’s GY-HC500SPCU Connected Cam handheld sports production cameras with the league’s Catapult analytics system to enhance video management and data transfer.
“The JVC GY-HC500SPCU cameras blow others out of the water; they have delivered fantastic results for us,” Campbell claimed. “The ease of use, fast operation, and compatibility of the cameras with our existing systems have enhanced our video operations. We were one of the first organisations to adopt the 500-Series cameras, and we were sold on them right from the start.”
With two cameras deployed for each team, the league’s video managers are tasked with collecting player data, player footage, and cut-ups of the players in action. This content is then shared with the league’s directors of player personnel, who utilise it for various playback scenarios.
One feature of the video production system is the camcorder’s metadata tagging capability, which aligns with the XFL’s data-driven approach. “We have a much smaller staff than other professional leagues, so we need a way to integrate and access the footage quickly. The GY-HC500SPCU cameras in combination with the Catapult coaching software system allow us to have efficient categorisation and retrieval of critical footage for player scouting and performance analysis,” Campbell explained.
Apart from sports coaching and analytics applications, the cameras are also used for the league’s replay system, which feeds to the headquarters in Los Angeles. This includes footage from the sidelines and end zones, as well as play-by-play coverage, all of which is provided to ESPN, the league’s broadcast partner.