Behind The ScenesESPN.comNBA

Follow Warriors-Rockets tonight on ESPN via Shelburne’s use of Instagram

Storytelling continues to take several unique and creative forms.

ESPN NBA Insider and senior writer Ramona Shelburne has been part of a special project for SportsCenter coverage this week of big NBA games for the Golden State Warriors. She gathers stories, anecdotes and moments along the way and shares them socially, experimenting with different combinations of photos, videos and short-text narratives.

Front Row asked Shelburne and Eric Neel, deputy editor, to learn more about the project that continues for her coverage tonight of the Warriors-Houston Rockets game (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). She is filing an Instagram story for SportsCenter tonight.

What inspired the project?
Neel: Ramona, Jena Janovy [ senior deputy editor] and Hilary Guy [ESPN coordinating producer] and I were kicking around ideas about the Warriors, and wanting to think in terms of an approach to storytelling that might be a good fit for the atmosphere and attitude that surrounds the team. We were also interested in capturing aspects of the Warriors’ culture – big and small, high profile and below-the-radar – in an as-it-happens way, sharing moments that felt fresh, and taking advantage of Ramona’s reporting and her eye for revealing scenes.

We were thinking of the Instagram space as well as the Shortstop upload stream on something like this as an opportunity to engage in different forms of storytelling around a rich subject. At the same time, we’re thinking of Ramona’s reporter’s notebook, full of her unique insights on the game and the people who play it, as a resource for better understanding one of the most interesting teams in sports.

How has it been working on this project?
Shelburne: Eric and Jena kept stressing to me that I needed to be experimental and open-minded in my thinking about this. That I should just try a mix of video and text and photos. Go long, go short, make one post pithy and the next a bit deeper. I didn’t realize what that meant until I started doing it, but it’s totally true. We’re just trying something new and figuring out what resonates as we do it. Some things I thought would work well, absolutely did. Some don’t, and some are just logistically tough.

Each day I’ve done it I’ve adjusted from the last one. I’m finally feeling like I’ve wrapped my head around how to do it right. Done right, the whole package should feel like a deconstructed episode of “Hard Knocks.”

Back to top button