Filming for sponsors

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Bassmaster Marshal

It’s always good when you can kill two birds with one stone, and I got the chance to do that this week by using the break between Elite Series events to schedule a day of filming for PRADCO. I like to make sure I stay sharp during our off periods, so this got me back into fishing, while also generating marketing content for my sponsor.

Days like this are very different from a tournament day because it’s not about catching a lot of fish; it’s about catching a few good ones and then working on getting the material your sponsor needs to promote their products. There’s a lot to it, but of this 8-hour day, they may pull marketing content for the next year.

Most of my sponsors are pretty laid-back, so they mostly leave it up to me to schedule these filming days. There are times when a sponsor needs something sooner than later, and I always make every effort to deliver what they need when they need it.

But I’m fortunate because a lot of my sponsors are close to where I live, so I can work during the day and be back in the evenings to go to my kids’ ball games and other family stuff.

I think it would be interesting for fans of the sport to look behind the scenes and see how much effort companies invest in creating good marketing messages. This can be really enjoyable work, but there are definitely factors beyond your control that can make it challenging.

Weather is usually the biggest concern. The fish may be biting, but it may be too windy for good audio. Cloudy skies can also present a challenge because sunny shots are usually most attractive. Some of the best fishing conditions can be the dimmest, but that’s not ideal for filming.

Whenever possible, we try to work in remote areas, but anytime you’re filming on public waters you have to understand that everyone has the same right to be out there. Just because I have a video camera on my boat doesn’t mean I’m any more important than anyone else.

Sometimes, I can get one filming session done in three to four hours and if the fishing’s really good and we have nice conditions, I can get two done in a day. But then there are times it takes two days to get the exact content we want. 

You just have to stay after it and realize that the effort will produce the kind of material that will benefit your sponsors. It’s all about selling product, and the best way to do that is to show folks how an item is used to catch fish.

Most sponsors will provide a shot list that outlines the points that they want covered. I typically start out with my own way of saying things while I’m being filmed, but it helps to be able to look at that list and make sure I’ve covered everything. 

I may get out there, get busy fishing and forget to mention a few details; so I always refer to the list to make sure we’re getting everything we set out to get.

I think that, throughout this process, what I like best is the opportunity of teaching people how to fish. PRADCO does a lot of one-minute tip videos for social media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people comment and thank us for explaining a point that directly applies to something they’ve faced.

To be effective at helping my sponsors create strong marketing messages, I focus on keeping everything honest and clear. I try to let my real voice come through by putting things in my own words. That’s how people know me, I want my marketing work to sound just like I would if you talked to me at a tournament, a seminar or at the boat ramp.

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