Justin W. Sanders caught up with US Olympic Committee digital media director Lauren Pasquale to hear about another key component: this year’s very first TeamUSA dedicated YouTube channel. Pasquale discussed the challenges of creating original content and properly displaying treasured archival footage on a channel that would garner nearly 30,000 subscribers by the Games’ end and almost 9 million views.
Why did TeamUSA decide to create a dedicated YouTube channel?
PASQUALE: The genesis of the idea has been around for quite some time. We have the rights to use archived [Olympics] footage in the United States, and there are so many great moments from the Games – the platform for YouTube is so enormous and the reach is so vast that it seemed like the perfect way to release all this content.
What challenges did you face in setting the channel up?
PASQUALE: One of the biggest concerns we had was with the way we used the footage. We wanted to make sure we presented it in a way that really respected the value of the footage, but made the greatest moments available for fans. You can’t really go on and watch every single game of the 1996 women’s gold medal [victories], so how should we package the content? Once we got through the footage question then the question was really about production. We decided to present four series of original programming that you can only get on the TeamUSA YouTube channel.
Did this channel work to bring more sponsorship interest to TeamUSA or was it geared more to increase viewer awareness?
PASQUALE: I would say both. We [wanted] to increase the digital platforms on which consumers can get TeamUSA content; by doing that we’ve opened up another avenue for sponsorship.
What is your relationship with Summer Olympics broadcaster NBC?
PASQUALE: They’re one of our most important partners. We definitely had conversations with them. It’s important to make sure that all the content across all platforms is being presented in the right way and [the TeamUSA YouTube channel] is just another way for fans to broaden their viewing experience.