A High School Sports Series That Doesn't Involve Nike?Season in the Balance. (I'm saying that a lot lately. Web series is the new last year's YouTube contest?) Anyway, nice series about a high school lacrosse team, (The Canandaigua Braves), that were given $60,000 worth of gear and then followed around and recorded. (See clip after the jump.) Production quality is as good if not better than the usual reality fare. Props to Momentum Worldwide and Tangerine Films. No cell phone quality footage of cafeteria fights. (Maybe on the DVD extras.) Think Friday Night Lights with lacrosse sticks.
Aside from the name, there's more than enough branding that lets you know who's paying the tab. Still, the vids have enough requisite high school drama. (Past clips here.) To the Nike point. Good move by New Balance to position themselves as more than just a running shoe, edging towards multi-sport brand, and eventually lifestyle brand.
For the most part, the series is tight and is far more genuine than a lot of webisodes I've seen. But there's a few minor adjustments I'd make:
- The metalcore soundtrack feels in the way at times. The drama of Friday Night Lights works in the silences; Those parts with just ambient noise doing its thing.
- Music integration is a missed opportunity. If you DO want something cranking as mentioned above? Fine. But why not offer a way to download or buy the clip(s) for that week's episode. Via iTunes or any download site.
(This is something I'm seeing on many other sites and campaigns though, not just here, in that, there is a surprising lack of integration between music and everything else someone uses in their lives. As if people only hang out on Facebook, (or wherever), but don't listen to music?)
- Speaking of sharing... ton of options from Digg to Facebook, but nothing leading to Twitter. Made more ironic because they have a Twitter set up for just this campaign.