125,000 fans thrill to Red Sky at Night Events’ sports presentation skills at 2019 Netball World Cup 2019

Summer 2019 was a remarkable double-header for Red Sky at Night Events (RSAN), delivering Sports Presentation programs for two World Cups, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and, at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019.

Phew! We’ve just caught our breath and wanted to reflect on the Netball World Cup, a sell-out tournament attracting 125,000 netball fans from across the world to Liverpool for 10 amazing days of the world’s top 16 sides battling it out for glory in the sport’s most prestigious event.

Our brief from the International Netball Federation was wide-ranging and included very technical aspects of event production as well as ensuring the venue atmosphere was energised by fans from start to finish. On-court action was intense, with morning and afternoon sessions each day, most featuring simultaneous play on two side-by-side courts. This unique configuration doubled our show-calling role and saw the RSAN team working flat-out cueing in-venue AV, our pitch-side in-vision presenters, multiple fan activations and ceremonial protocol as well as constant and close liaison with broadcasters Sky Sports and BBC Sports.

Centrepiece of the in-venue AV solution developed by RSAN with our technical contractor Adlib was a giant 4-sided video cube suspended from the arena ceiling offering replays, highlights, fixture information and fan interaction opportunities. It was truly massive and worked a treat.

RSAN adapted a specialist social app to aggregate thousands of netball fans’ images and messages posted to Facebook and Instagram with the tournament hashtag #thisisnetball. This enabled us to not only ‘grab’ (aggregate) over 45,000 tagged fan posts, but we were able to moderate these images, selecting the best for relay onto the stadia video-cube screens, and transmit in a slide show format specially sized for our mega-screens. Such was the success of this initiative that our long-standing collaborator easypromos, whose suite of social contest apps we frequently deploy, created and published a case study on how RSANE integrated their #mention app with the Netball World Cup. Watch the case study here

RSAN’s Sports Presentation program ensured the venue was brimful full of energy and fun for netball fans of all ages and also, importantly, for the many fans attending live netball for the first time. Our program included t-shirt cannons, half-time shoot-outs and spot prizes adding to the atmosphere and keeping engagement levels high. Our celebrity netball match was a memorable opening to the tournament, with stars such as Jennifer Saunders and Oti Mabusi taking to the court in a fun showcase of the game which the capacity crowd thoroughly enjoyed.

New fans attending were welcomed and informed by an extensive suite of video productions created by RSAN to help explain Netball’s rules and gameplays, while those already familiar with the game enjoyed seeing inspirational pre-match video messages from stars of the sport; this we also filmed and edited. Further RSAN video delivery included on-the-fly daily edits of netball fans gathering and having fun in the venue and beyond, while key in-match moments were punctuated with animated effects for added impact.

Our in-vision presenters were Charlie Brougham and long-time RSAN collaborator, Laura Winters. Both were court-side for every session of play, delivering great between-match interviews and fan interactions throughout the tournament.

Jenny Gilmour, Managing Director of RSAN, said:

“We were absolutely thrilled to deliver Sports Presentation for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019. Red Sky At Night’s talented and hard-working team put in a massive shift during the planning and live stages; I’m so proud of what they achieved..

“From planning the amazing celebrity match at the start of the tournament to projecting fans’ social media posts on the huge video cube and from managing the technical AV delivery to creating multiple video edits our focus throughout was on energising the atmosphere and creating utterly unique and memorable moments for netball fans.”

And while the home nations’ sides weren’t able to prevent New Zealand’s women taking home the trophy, passionate fans from across the UK and around the world enjoyed a superb 10 days of drama, entertainment and fun both on the court and off it.

Want to find out how Red Sky at Night Events can help you? Contact us


Cricket World Cup 2019 Sports Presentation – 10 Key Learnings

Wow! The 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup was simply epic, both as a tournament and, from our perspective, as a Sports Presentation tour de force.

Red Sky At Night Events pulled out all the stops and, now the summer is over and the dust has settled in our offices (we had the unique distinction of delivering Sports Presentation for two World Cups this summer), here’s a reflection on 10 key learnings from planning and delivering the biggest Sports Presentation program of the year:

1 – Be In It To Win It

OK, that’s a cliché, but we really gave everything to this tender and created multiple collaborations with trusted partners to table our most innovative and comprehensive proposal ever.

We won out in a global multi-agency tender and were awarded the entire Sports Presentation program for the biggest global sporting event of the year. Amazingly, almost all our initial proposals were carried through to the tournament.

2 – Love The Volunteers

CWC2019 recruited a staggering 1,200 volunteers across England & Wales. And hundreds of ‘Cricketeers’ were assigned to RSANE to assist with our many fan activations and ceremonial duties on matchdays.

‘Cricketeers’ were vital to the smooth-running of our program and we went the extra mile to train them and embed them into the RSANE venue teams. It paid off. The commitment, enthusiasm and energy of our ‘Cricketeers’ was a tournament highlight.

3 – Scale Up Fast

The scale of this tournament was daunting. 1.2M cricket fans attending 48 separate one-day internationals across 11 test-class cricket stadiums; not to mention broadcast audiences in excess of 1BN! We were able to scale-up rapidly and put in place a core team of highly experienced venue managers and support staff…then bring-in a dedicated logistics team, content specialists, VT crews to supplement our own crew, not to mention additional back-office support.

Having fielded the same core team of vastly experienced event managers the past 10 years and having recently delivered Sports Presentation for the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, RSANE had a major advantage off the bat.

4 – Digital Watershed

CWC2019 and the ICC planned a highly innovative digital program for the tournament and this enabled us to break new ground in the way digital was integrated into Sports Presentation.

Working with ICC’s Digital teams, we helped develop a matchday venue blog for users of the CWC app and we provided content managers to publish live content into the ‘venue blogs’ throughout each matchday.

In addition, our hard-working content managers helped ICC aggregate user-generated content using Stackla, reformatting fan images and messages for transmission onto the stadia giant screens. The more fans saw their images on screen, the more were uploaded to twitter and Instagram.

Finally we scoped, tested and delivered the deployment of a fleet of ibeacons at every matchday; the ibeacons sent useful and localised information via Bluetooth to fans with the CWC app who walked into the radius of each ibeacon, e.g fans walking past info hubs at local train stations received push notifications with links to walking route maps to the stadium

5 – Sometimes Simple Works Best

While our Sports Presentation program broke new ground in terms of digital integrations, sometimes the most simple elements became evergreen favourites at every matchday.

From the 25,000 laser-etched apples we distributed on walking routes to our hands-on skill zones (a huge hit with younger fans), ‘big button’ high-five-your-team totem poles and giant Graffiti bats….very simple, very scalable and hugely interactive.

6 -Dial It Up To 11!

Maintaining an energised atmosphere during each 6-8 hrs of matchday play is always a challenge for cricket. Especially so for CWC2019, with many new fans attending and with so many young fans getting their first taste of international cricket.

In between play, our program simply didn’t let up and fans responded back with massive energy. Highlights included:

  • Our ‘Cricketarist’ – a session guitarist on the pitch-side hot-spot podium cranked out well known upbeat riffs whenever wickets fell…. played on unique cricket-bat electric guitars we commissioned for the tournament
  • Localised VT Stings – For each one of our 11 host cities, we filmed 4s, 6s, 50s, 100s and other scoring video stings against iconic local landmarks.
  • In-Vision Hosts – Accompanied with a roving film-crew, our in-vision hosts were everywhere on matchdays, interviewing fans and celebrities from our pitchside hotspot podium and hosting our fun interval game ‘HowzHat’
7 – Video Production Was Pivotal

We brought our A-game here. And we had to, as the video or VT production requirements were immense.

Our in-house VT Production team created multiple VT ‘shorts’ and stings for broadcast ‘in-bowl’ on stadia screens – everything from cricket rule explainer VTs to ‘scoring’ stings to player profiles, plus live feeds from our in-vision hosts and fan vox-pops outside and inside the grounds.

We also created high quality ‘Fan Energy’ edits (like the one at the top of this post) before and during the first innings of every one of 48 match days; to broadcast during the interval. All our VT production was integrated with the wider social and broadcast delivery of the tournament across multiple partners.

8 – Sweat The Detail Schmetail!

The production requirements for our Sports Presentation program were immense, from creating a 20ft high replica trophy to tour all 11 host cities to building our own designed hashtag printers and mosaic printer kiosks to giant CWC2019 branded deckchairs, half-cricket-ball seats, hundreds of face-painting fan-brushes and huge quantities of kit for our venue teams’ production offices.

In addition, our planning and execution of complex and highly sensitive opening flag and trophy ceremonies and mascot walk-ons were rigorously rehearsed on the morning of every matchday with our teams of Cricketeers.

9 – Think Big

The ICC ambition was to deliver ‘the world’s greatest celebration of cricket’. We wanted to meet and exceed that challenge.

Having a number of show-stoppers in our program were essential and these included:

  • Face The Pace; a unique 360 AR film which enabled fans, wearing Oculus headsets provided by our Cricketeers, to experience what it’s like to be a test-class batsman facing down a world-class fast bowler in a packed Oval stadium
  • Hashtag Printers; we took the bold and highly cost effective decision to buy all the tech outright and build our own hashtag printer units. This decision paid-off in spades, with the hashtag printers immensely popular with cricket fans throughout every matchday
  • Look To The Sky; Not only did our opening ceremony at the Oval feature an acrobatic Aerialist (suspended 40ft high from a helium balloon) deliver the trophy to pitch-side, but for the Lord’s final we arranged for the The Red Devils Freefall Display Team to parachute from low altitude for a spectacular delivery of the match day ball to the delight of fans
10 – A Design For Success

CWC2019 created an impactful and highly adaptable brand design for the tournament. We had to apply this design template without exception across the vast array of activations we created.

We partnered with Sports Presentation Design expert and long-standing RSANE collaborator, Clare Knowles of Total Design. Her design flair, appreciation of production methods and attention to detail were invaluable and ensures we applied the CWC2019 brand to the letter.

Want to find out how Red Sky at Night Events can help you? Contact us

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©Stand By – Official CWC2019 Tournament song by Loryn & Rudimental. “Stand By”, the Official Tournament Song is available to listen and download from Spotify, Google Play, iTunes and others


ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 promises a matchday experience like no other with an interactive sports presentation programme for all fans.

Red Sky at Night Events (RSANE) set to deliver the tournament Sports Presentation programme for the Greatest Ever Celebration of Cricket.

Expected to be the third most-watched sporting event in history, the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup (CWC19) will be staged in England & Wales 30th May -14th July, comprising 48 one-day internationals in 11 stadia between 10 competing nations.

Unprecedented demand for matchday tickets during the initial ballots should see near capacity crowds throughout, with an estimated 1.5 million cricket fans expected to witness the live match spectacle.

CWC19 and RSANE will deliver fan activation and sports presentation on all matchdays for three vital stages; walking routes from city centre hubs to stadia, off-pitch stadia concourse and fanzone areas and in-bowl activities which covers everything from the opening ceremony to pre-match and mid-innings entertainment to multi-media content production and energising the in-match atmosphere.

Head of Tournament Sports Presentation Annabel Graham gave a hint of what fans can expect on matchdays. “Our incredibly varied programme will inform, entertain, excite and even surprise fans throughout matchdays. Young cricket fans are in for a treat with hands-on interactive skills challenges and kid-friendly materials. We’ve catered for cricket ‘newbies’ with quick-guides explaining cricket rules and game-plays. Fans of all ages will love the varied entertainment set to keep the matchday atmosphere energised from dawn till dusk.”

Graham added “Working with our Sports Presentation partner Red Sky at Night Events, we’ve developed an innovative and highly interactive fan activation programme that goes beyond the boundary.”

RSANE MD Jenny Gilmour commented “The sheer range and depth of fan engagement fielded by CWC19 has required a vast amount of planning and, to help us deliver on matchdays, our teams will be supported by the World Cup Cricketeers, the wonderful volunteer army now recruited and with whom we’re working closely. From innovative digital and social interactions to fun-packed activity areas in the stadia concourse to selfie-walls, kid-friendly materials and ‘in-match’ entertainment, our mission is to deliver fans an unforgettable and high-octane matchday experience.”

Gilmour reflected on her agency’s latest challenge “Since our formation 17 years ago, we’ve been at the forefront of sports presentation, developing innovative matchday concepts for clients as varied as the SRU and RFU, Rugby Football League, the Ryder Cup Europe and British Cycling. Following-on our widely acclaimed sports presentation delivery for the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, we were delighted to be appointed last year as a tournament partner for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.”

Gilmour added “This is an exceptional summer for Red Sky At Night Events, with our teams set to deliver Sports Presentation at two World Cups; the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 plus the fan activation and in-arena presentation for the prestigious Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool.”

In recent years RSANE has led the field in sport presentation delivery, most notably through its video creation and production capabilities, its well-earned reputation for digital adeptness and innovation and its strengths in blending matchday activations and content creation with social and web engagement. Another feather in the agency’s cap is the vastly experienced core RSANE team, whom Jenny Gilmour has fielded for more than a decade and who bring a combined 150+year’s event management experience.


Netball is Now – We're in the zone for the Vitality Netball World Cup

Red Sky At Night Events are gearing-up to deliver the Sports Presentation program for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019, which takes place at ACC Liverpool arena from 12-21 July 2019.

With sixteen international teams from across the continents competing for netball’s ultimate prize, demand for tickets has been intense and capacity crowds are expected throughout the 10 day event.

Tasked with developing a fan activation and sports presentation program that lives up to the billing of ‘the best World Cup in female sport’ was quite a challenge and one Red Sky At Night Events MD Jenny Gilmour and her team more than relish:

“Having delivered a widely acclaimed sports presentation program for the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, our mostly female team were massively energised by its impact on women’s sport globally. And along comes the Vitality Netball World Cup; we felt it was a perfect fit with our vast sports event experience, our creative flair and our multi-discipline skill-set across technical production, talent management, show-calling, fan experiences, media creation and digital.”

Gilmour added

“Women’s international netball is a fast-paced and exhilarating spectacle with a massive global fan base. Working the past 12 months with the events’ many partners, from Sky to the host city Liverpool, we and our client, the Vitality Netball World Cup, have created a many-faceted and interactive program of fan activations and event production that will delight netball fans and we hope help achieve the ambition to be the best World Cup in female sport.”

For more information about the Vitality Netball World Cup https://www.nwc2019.co.uk/