In a video conference call this morning, the Portland Trail Blazers launched an around-the-clock video channel called TrailBlazers.TV. The project has been in the works for months and it's one that the team's marketing executives are quite excited about.
The project does a number of neat things. First, it provides an online home for a bunch of Blazers-related programming, including pre-game, post-game and halftime shows, and it will also stream the KGW Blazers games online. Second, it will provide original content from new hire Adam Bjaranson and our old friend Casey Holdahl. Third, it will accommodate increased interactivity between the organization and its fans, with fan-friendly and, in some cases, fan-created programming.
The channel's development plans aren't completely settled, but there are a few daily shows already in place and much of the video will be archived online as well for viewing at your convenience. Given that the site is just launching today, the content vision seems mostly up in the air, but a major goal, team executives said this morning, is to capture and broadcast the big discussions of the day and hot topics in video form. Interviews and analysis will be included, a number of team media personalities will be involved to varying degrees, and guard Patty Mills will have a recurring series where he interviews people on the street.
In a press release, the team also touts BlazerDancer Cristi as part of its "on-demand content," which just sounds wrong out of context so I'll leave that alone.
Trail Blazers COO Sarah Mensah said today that she believes the online video channel will encourage content providers like Comcast to re-evaluate their approach to online video in the future.
It sounds like an exciting project. More Blazer talk online. What's not to like?
Click through for the extensive press release and links to the site.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter
Here's the full release.
TRAIL BLAZERS CONTINUE DIGITAL SPORTS
PIONEERING WITH TRAILBLAZERS.TV
Team successfully launches online digital network
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers today launched their own online digital network, trailblazers.tv, a one-stop destination for live and on-demand video content.
The first online network in professional sports to have live scheduled programming as well as video on-demand, trailblazers.tv debuts with six live shows and multiple on-demand options (listed below).
"This is a great step for us in furthering our digital influence," said Trail Blazers Director of Interactive, Dan Harbison. "We never stop pushing the envelope in helping fans connect and live out their Trail Blazers passion within the digital space."
In addition to rating and commenting on videos, fans are able to see who has viewed each video, as well as see who is watching the video they are currently watching.
"We take pride in the great camaraderie fans can share with one another at the Rose Garden," Harbison added. "This network allows us to break away from the traditional one-on-one mold of a user and a computer and allows fans to interact while watching video content together."
The site also opens the door for corporate partners to shape their advertisements toward a known fan base.
"We are excited about the amount of opportunities this network has opened up for us," said Trail Blazers Chief Operating Officer Sarah Mensah. "The possibilities are endless, not only in our programming options, but in the way our partners can advertise to a targeted fan base."
The face of the site will be Adam Bjaranson, who is also the team's new in-studio host for Trail Blazers Television Broadcasts. Bjaranson brings nearly a decade of local broadcasting experience and an energetic personality to the team.
The live scheduled shows include:
Adam's Show: Monday - Friday at 9 a.m.
Bjaranson will cover trending topics surrounding the team and preview things to come each day. He will occasionally have guests, such as in-studio analysts Terry Porter and Michael Holton, and team ambassador Jerome Kersey.
Just Casey: Monday - Friday at noon
Trail Blazers Digital Content Reporter Casey Holdahl will host a weekday show in a "radio-styled" fashion where Holdahl will take live questions from fans. The questions will be submitted through a chat log or face-to-face via Skype, allowing interaction with fans in opposing cities.
Chalk Talk: Game Days at noon
Chalk Talk will feature Holdahl and Trail Blazers Television Analyst Mike Rice previewing the upcoming game by analyzing matchups, reviewing trends and pointing out the keys to the game. Chalk Talk will replace Just Casey on game days.
Courtside: Mondays from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. (a Monday game will push show to Tuesday)
The Trail Blazers television and radio broadcasters will host a weekly show to talk all things Trail Blazers. Guests appearing in-person or over the phone will include Trail Blazers players and coaches, NBA writers and much more.
Streaming Trail Blazers Games
All locally broadcasted games (there are 15 remaining, plus the possibility of playoff games) will be streamed for free and available within a 150-mile radius. The stream will include the pregame, halftime and postgame shows.
Pregame, Halftime and Postgame Shows
All pregame, halftime and postgame shows with Bjaranson, Porter and Holton will be streamed and available worldwide (excluding TNT broadcasts, totaling 74 games and subject to change).
Cristi will demonstrate what the everyday life of a BlazerDancer is like as she takes fans behind-the-scenes on game days, at practice and in her personal life 2-3 times a week.
Dr. Jack Ramsay
The head coach of the Trail Blazers 1977 championship team offers his opinion on the current state of the team, the NBA as a whole and his experiences as one of the most popular and successful coaches in franchise history.
Blaze the Trail Cat
Videos of the team's mascot, Blaze the Trail Cat, and his skits, tricks and everyday shenanigans will be available.
Features will range from coverage of the team's scrimmage in Seattle at Brandon Roy's alma mater, Garfield High School, to true stories of passionate Blazermaniacs. All team-related video content will be available on-demand.
Game Highlights, Recaps and Interviews
All of the in-your-face dunks and buzzer-beating 3-pointers can be found in the highlight reels, as well as the game stories and interviews.
The Trail Blazers have always pushed the envelope when it comes to the digital fan experience. The Trail Blazers were the first NBA team to:
1980 Bring entire broadcasting production in-house
1996 Launch official team website (blazers.com)
2007 Launch a standalone social network (iamatrailblazersfan.com)
2007 Launch official team twitter feed (@pdxtrailblazers)
2009 Stream full games live in local market
2010 Launch an online team channel (trailblazers.tv)
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter