How ‘Hang’ Is Heading Back To The Future For Watching Super Bowl LVI

GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 01: Members of the New England Patriots commemorate with the Vince Lombardi … [+] Trophy after beating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Are you hanging out with buddies for the Super Bowl? It’s mostlikely as much for the commercials and the halftime program and it’s constantly enjoyable, however is it a company? An intriguing brand-new start-up called Hang – what else? –  thinks so, and they might be onto something.

Hang is leveraging the olden love of star professionalathletes with the 21st century innovations of social media and remote live video production.  I invested the last week getting an inside view as the Hang group ready for its veryfirst Super Bowl occasion and got a window into what may be a entire brand-new classification of sports social media.

There haveactually been a lot of developments in incorporating brand-new innovation with sports broadcasting over the years, consistingof the telestrator (thank you John Madden); futuristic sounds and graphics; numerous videogame feeds of with various cam angles and commentators; and even sliming for Nickelodeon. One of the most buzzworthy of these hasactually been the “Manning Cast” on Monday Night Football, offering a onlineforum for retired football stars Peyton and Eli Manning to pontificate, poke enjoyable at each other and typically delightin the business of others while enjoying a football videogame. If you’ve enjoyed, it kind of feels like a celebration you’d like to be part of.

This virtual enjoyable is the concept behind Hang. If you’ve ever seen anybody under the age of 40 watch a sporting occasion, there is an unlimited circulation of side activity inbetween texting buddies and lovedones, following dream groups, putting online bets, and publishing on social media. With Hang, the concept is to collect existing and previous star gamers together while enjoying the videogame, and – most significantly – assistin their interaction with the audience. As Hang’s creator Jon Klein informed me, “we puton’t stream the videogame – we stream the chatter.”

Klein – a visitor speaker in my graduate media classes – would appear to specify a media facility figure, having cut his TELEVISION teeth as a manufacturer for 60 Minutes and CBS News and ultimately endingupbeing President of CNN U.S. In reality, some of Klein’s group refer to him fondly as “Mr. CNN.” But Klein is less widelyknown as a digital media leader at The Feedroom, live streaming March Madness college basketball videogames back in 2004 when coupleof understood what streaming was.

Hang’s other directing force is Lorne Greene, CEO of Viva Creative.  Greene’s business of 100 individuals specializes in big scale virtual occasions and hasactually provided streaming for occasions such as Apple’s WWD conference, the G20 Summit and the VMA Awards. Greene is fluent in what works and what doesn’t in making virtual experiences engaging and supplies a fantastic enhance to Klein’s TELEVISION chops.

Could somebody else do what Hang is doing? Of course – simply like anybody intheory can produce a news or sports program or produce a excellent drama. But Hang looks at Cameo and sees its massive success in wrangling lots of celebs to communicate with their fans and sees much the exactsame chance here. Klein’s view is that “You constantly win if you put on the finest reveal” and I invested some time this week with the Hang production group seeing how its strategy is coming together for the Super Bowl.

Remarkably, Hang just chose to take on this job a week earlier. As anybody from standard TELEVISION will inform you, it’s all begins with the “get” – who you’ve got coming to your program. The trick sauce is having a fantastic skill wrangler, and for that Hang leans on Teresa Villano, who likewise occurs to be married to Andre Reed, the previous Buffalo Bills large receiver and Hall of Famer. For Hang’s Super Bowl celebration, they’ve rapidly lined up an remarkable list of existing and previous gamers such as Deebo Samuel, Trevor Diggs, Austin Ekeler, Shannon Sharpe and Michael Strachan, not to reference celebs such as Johnny Bananas (yes, I had to appearance him up too). A crucial element of building the right Hang is having gamers who understand each other and delightin sharing stories.

Hang will be leasing a home in Las Vegas for a physical event for some of the gamers with plenty of pizza and wings in tow, all of which will be caught live. The business hasactually been in conversations with a host of popular brandnames for sponsorships and item positionings (plenty of drinks to be had). But as Klein highlighted for his group, the home is simply a background. It’s all about supplying a remarkable virtual experience for the audience through their interactions with the gamers. They have to feel like they’re a part of the celebration.

Hang’s prepares are much larger than staging a fantastic occasion. In just 4 months of operation, the business hasactually taken in $750,000 in sponsorships, and hasactually raised $3.5 million. Hang is presently in the market lookingfor an extra $10 million and their aggressive 3-year strategy is intended at producing $100 million of profits by year 3.

These strategies aren’t out of line if you listen to Mike Fonseca, a popular sports representative with Excel Sports Management. Fonseca’s customer Eli Manning gotinvolved in the veryfirst Hang last fall, and the representative sees “an totally brand-new market for 10s of thousands of retired professionalathletes all over the world” linking with their legions of adoring fans. Making this virtual assistsin lotsof more chances without the requirement for travel.

Fonseca imagines a future of with big scale virtual experiences on a international basis connected to occasions such as the World Cup, F1 racing and cricket. Hang might aid corporations develop personalized, localized occasions around their customers’ hometown heroes enjoying their own preferred groups together. And Klein’s vision consistsof experiences beyond sports, with Hangs for politics and Oscar telecasts. Let’s face it – our hybrid world of physical and virtual is here to stay so we may as well signupwith the celebration.

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