Home Production team Minnesota Lynx production team builds on NBA team and Timberwolves’ lessons from the season at Target Center

Minnesota Lynx production team builds on NBA team and Timberwolves’ lessons from the season at Target Center

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The franchise plans to bring back field activations soon

After a year filled with calls for gender and race equity, it’s time to celebrate the 25th season of the WNBA. Similar to At the ball stage, On the grill, On hardwood, At the ice rink, and In the field, SVG’s In the W shines a light on the efforts, technology solutions, and creative ideas of a handful of the league’s production teams.

Basketball in Minnesota is a year-round activity, and with the NBA Timberwolves and WNBA Lynxes, the hoops are flocking to the Twin Cities. Both franchises provide plenty of opportunities for the Target Center production team to develop new ideas, but after 2020 seasons riddled with COVID, the Lynx team is building on lessons learned during the Wolves schedule.

“We started the Timberwolves season without any fans in the building, but by the end of the day we were almost 2,000 fans in the building,” said Alyse Danikowski, Manager, Game Production, Minnesota Lynx. “Since we spent months entertaining only ourselves on the video board, we went through the whole process to remind ourselves how to put on a show again for the spectators.

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The Target Center control room still observes COVID rules with plexiglass dividers.

When the sports calendar arrives in the spring, the basketball world gets carried away. With the delayed start of the NBA season, production teams struggled to balance the content of the two leagues. At the end of the Timberwolves’ schedule, Danikowski and his company were faced with a wave of games kicking off the Lynx 2021 campaign at Target Center. The week following the Lynx’s first preseason game on May 8, a series of tough competition began.

“We had a really crazy time when we had a Wolves game on Thursday, a Lynx home opener on Friday, and then Wolves games on Saturday and Sunday to end the season,” she said. “We tried to move forward by working long hours for a few days, so everything went pretty well. We had a few video panels behind the benches for the Wolves season and had to design the content for Lynx’s first two games before those were taken down.

Two professional teams in one building can get a bit complicated, but one of the many benefits that come with such a situation is leveraging the production team. The organization is able to bypass some of the efforts to upgrade new crew members. Given the nature of professional sports, there isn’t much of the offseason in Minnesota. While other production teams have the option of moving away from the control room, this Minnesota-based team is getting extra work.

“We are really lucky to have the same incredible crew for Wolves and Lynx,” says Danikowski. “There is usually a time at the start of the season when you try to get back into the flow of brainstorming and creating. [ideas], but we don’t have that since we go from season to season.

Some of the same: media day content, pre-recorded videos fill the video board

Newly Acquired Aerial Powers on the Set of Media Day

With many lessons learned from last summer’s WNBA “Wubble” season and the recent Timberwolves schedule, in addition to having the same production team, the Lynx are set up for the most success possible under the unique circumstances. today. In terms of content for the Target Center video panels, the Lynx team operates with a full day of videos and photos. Since COVID-19 restrictions still hamper immediate player access, preseason Media Day has been one of the few opportunities to collect content. Although this year’s shoot did not include impressive shots of a drone, the staff still created a dramatic environment at the Target Center for stunning material.

On site, the team uses Media Day content to generate introductory videos and portraits and implements them in the daily rotation on game night.

“We haven’t entered the realm of live entertainment in our building yet,” notes Danikowski. “We’re still showing a lot of flashbacks and previously recorded performances at halftime and quarter breaks. We still have our mascot, Prowl, on the same stage we had [the Timberwolves’] Crunch, and since we have a lot of new players in the offseason and in the draft, we do a lot of features for the players.

Those who did: kudos to the Minnesota Lynx production team

Alyse Danikowski of the Minnesota Lynx poses before the team’s home opener against Phoenix on May 14.

While the production plan has been devoid of many real-time elements, the strategy is to improve by the time the season resumes after the Olympics break. Until then, Danikowski; Senior Director, Game Entertainment, Sheridan West; Josh Harms, Senior Animated Film and Video Producer; and Animated and Video Feature Film Producer Maggie Frost will spend the rest of July and the first two weeks of August recharging, resetting and preparing to deliver high-quality shows from the four-time WNBA champions.

“Our team is extremely good at what they do,” says Danikowski. “I am fortunate to work where I work and with the people I work with.

The Minnesota Lynx will kick off the post-Olympic game of the season with a home game against New York Liberty at Target Center on Saturday, August 15 at 7 p.m. ET.



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