There was plenty of time Thursday morning, so there wasn’t a rush.
That was the easy part of Eric Allgood’s start to the day. Striv Sports’ Director of Productions had his regular 6:30 a.m. wakeup call, then had time to make sure his daughter and son got some breakfast in them and made it to preschool and second grade, respectively, before getting to the Striv office in Henderson, Neb., shortly after 8 a.m.
Having a normal morning was nice, especially since Striv had a big day in front of it streaming the massive 19-team York Golf Invite to produce a TV-like broadcast.
After getting Turbo packed to the gills — that’s what the Striv crew affectionately calls its equipment van, and Allgood’s kids came up with the name — Allgood and his team met at York Country Club at about 10 a.m. with the goal of broadcasting holes 15-18 from around 1-5 p.m.
It’s Allgood’s job to organize the stream itself and work with York High School technology teacher Levi Loofe and his media production-class student’s so everyone’s on the same page for pulling off the intricate broadcast.
York boys golf head coach Dan Malleck was one of the ones to come up with the idea to stream the invite over four years ago. He’s been the driving force behind the York Golf Invite turning into what it has — an event that golf teams from across the state want to be a part of.
“We thought, ‘Hey, how cool would it be to do something with golf at the York Invite, that’d be pretty neat,’” Malleck said.
Knowing Striv was a young and growing company eager to try new things, Malleck and his assistant coach, Stephen Sautter, connected with Allgood and his teammates to gauge their interest in streaming the invite.
“We weren’t thinking about growing just golf in York, but we thought it could be something that takes off state-wide and maybe, through the state championships or the Nebraska Golf Association’s amateurs and the big events, just seeing if it’d be possible to do,” Malleck said. “Eric was just instrumental in saying, ‘We can do this, let’s go.’ Honestly, I got more excited after he was looking for solutions rather than problems.”
At his core, Allgood is a radio broadcaster who got his start in Belleville, Kan. That’s where he learned how a broadcast should work — how an introduction should sound, when advertisements should play, when the features should run.
All of that broadcast knowledge transitioned into what Striv orchestrated Thursday in York: live video coverage of holes 15-18. Multiple wireless cameras for enhanced coverage. Audio good enough where you can hear the pings and birds chirping. Live commentary of the action. Coverage of the medal and trophy presentations.
That’s a lot of moving parts. There was a tent on the course that housed the Striv workers. This is where they called the action, too:
Striv has been broadcasting the York Golf Invite since 2017 — it didn’t get a chance to last year due to Covid — and has gotten better at it each year. Lessons are always learned for next time. Ideas are exchanged. It’s all part of the process of getting better and pushing the limits.
During the first couple of invites, Striv used to run power extension cords from the house right off the No. 10 tee in front of the No. 18 green to its setup location. York golf assistant coach Shane Gallagher recently helped out in that area by letting Striv use his own mobile generator. There were still cords running over the course here and there on Thursday, but overall, the generator was an absolute game-changer, said Allgood.
Each year, the equipment seems to get better, too. There was wireless technology used Thursday. It was something Striv tested out at the state basketball tournaments in March, but was used for the first time outdoors. Gallagher also came in clutch by providing scaffolding, which allowed Striv to have elevated cameras on holes 16 and 18.
Loofe and his students’ presence is important, too. Ty Bartholomew, Malachi Coppinger, Leland Gowans, Jordyn Blase, Kirby Saxer, Kelsey Sandoz and Emily Ready were Loofe’s students helping with the broadcast.
“We have kids running cameras, kids running the wirecast program for the stream and there are some wireless cameras set up,” Loofe said.
The benefits of working with a company like Striv are obvious, according to Loofe. And that’s whether you’re a sports fan or not.
“If kids are interested in going into this kind of stuff after high school and college, this is great for them,” he said. “There are kids who are interested in technology and they like sports and want to be involved. There are some who don’t play varsity sports, but they can still be around them. There are kids who don’t care about sports, but they still learn about photoshop and editing videos and all that, too. There’s a wide range of things they can do.”
Said Malleck: “Anything that involves students with a next-level educational experience is great, and that’s what Striv has been able to do. Students feel good about being able to make a production and doing things like that. Now people from all over can tune in and see it. You have relatives from all over be able to watch, it’s really neat.”
Loofe and his students were a big help Thursday. They were given homework leading up to the York Golf Invite, too.
“We’ve gotten better at it, and the thing that turns over is that we have to teach kids every year what we’re trying to get,” Allgood said. “The cool thing is that Levi is a golfer, so he was telling his kids to watch The Masters, because we’re going to do that.”
Allgood watches sports a little differently than most. He’s watching the action, sure, but he’s also seeing how the broadcast literally looks. What kind of graphics are used? What do the transitions from picture to picture look like?
“I’m probably 50/50 on that,” Allgood said of watching the action and broadcast. “And that’s golf and that’s football and basketball. Obviously I didn’t do this before Striv, but since we’ve been doing these production, it’s been like, ‘How can we do this and that?’ We’re always looking at different stuff and asking how we can do something like that, or show a school, ‘Hey, this is what they did, this is what we did and this is how you can do it.’”