August has been quite a month for Little Leaguers and now the regional champs head over to Williamsport, Pa., Aug. 20-30 for the 2015 Little League World Series presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (ESPN/WatchESPN, beginning Thursday, 1 p.m. ET).
ESPN’s Creative Services team of designers and animators have created great graphics and animations to be used during the telecasts (see a sample in the video below). Bob Bates, ESPN’s art director, provides insight into how the Creative Services team executed such a fun project for ESPN’s and ABC’s coverage.
What makes these creatives unique for LLWS this year? What was the inspiration behind it?
It’s unique in its age-appropriate perspective of the sport. Before starting the project, we researched what kids are interested in terms of social media, games, movies, etc. We went so far as meeting with local Little Leaguers here in Bristol, and a frequent response to what they like to do aside from baseball was play video games. With that in mind, a concept was developed to create a game-within-the-game environment that felt like it belonged within the fun, carnival-like world that is Williamsport.
How did your team work at turning a vision into some very impressive graphics/videos?
Our team of designers and animators, Adam Konyndyk, Amy McCluskey and Matt Gasiorowski, went through a storyboarding process to create a language and style for the package. Again, the goal was to create this game-within-the-game environment, and with that in mind they were all able to conceive some fun and unique ways to integrate these concepts into workable television elements.
Why do you think viewers and Little Leaguers will really enjoy these new graphics? Which is your favorite one?
The world that we created really presents Little League in a light and age-appropriate tone, which is something we really have not done before. In terms of our favorite graphics, it would be hard to choose just one from the group of Endstamps and Rejoins we created. They truly encapsulate the concept that we were striving for, from the use of a Ferris wheel and ticket booth to come back from break, and a shooting gallery to go to break.
This package is very unique compared to others due to the fact we’re catering to a younger audience of sorts, yet still keeping in mind many adults and parents will be watching, too. With that being said, we felt it was more appropriate to create this fun environment that contains many elements that both young and old can enjoy.
Visit ESPN MediaZone for the full schedule of the 2015 Little League World Series.