Livestream Your Football Games in 3 Steps

Regardless of when your sea­son starts, livestream­ing your foot­ball games will prac­ti­cal­ly be a require­ment this school year. Learn how easy it is to con­nect your fans and raise funds with livestream­ing — with­out break­ing your budget.

Livestream Your Football Games in 3 Steps

Regardless of when your sea­son starts, livestream­ing your foot­ball games will prac­ti­cal­ly be a require­ment this school year. Learn how easy it is to con­nect your fans and raise funds with livestream­ing — with­out break­ing your budget.

For an increas­ing num­ber of teams, their fam­i­lies and their fans, Friday night foot­ball will look a lot dif­fer­ent this school year. There will be chal­lenges along the way, includ­ing stay­ing con­nect­ed. That’s where livestream­ing comes in. 

Your foot­ball fam­i­lies and fans can still cheer on their favorite team, even if they can’t fill the stands. Plus your team has the option to raise funds through your streams (we’ll get to that later). 

We know it may seem daunt­ing to pull off, but we’ve put togeth­er a very sim­ple process for you to fol­low. There’s no need for an expen­sive third-par­ty stream­ing ser­vice — you can prob­a­bly set up your foot­ball team’s livestream with hard­ware you already have. We’ll explain how.

1. Use Your Camera Setup

    However you record, there’s no rea­son to change it — you can use the same set­up to livestream. If you don’t have some­one assigned to own the record­ing process from start to fin­ish, now’s the time to find that stu­dent-ath­lete or assistant.

    Top Pick: iPads in the Press Box

    Dedicate an iPad or iPhone to livestream your games from your press box. With some­one assigned to livestream­ing duties, they can ensure your angle cap­tures the field of play. But con­sid­er hav­ing them cap­ture footage off the field too, like pregame, half­time, and (if vic­to­ri­ous) postgame cel­e­bra­tions. These moments will give your fans an even bet­ter expe­ri­ence from afar. Using iPads also affords the option of using a cel­lu­lar con­nec­tion for most plans. If cel­lu­lar con­nec­tion is not avail­able, you will need to con­nect to your sta­di­ums WiFi or use a hotspot. 

    Plan B: Camera + Adapter 

    You could also use a stan­dard dig­i­tal cam­era. To livestream, you’ll need to send your cam­era feed to a com­put­er. A few extra sup­plies, like a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder and an Apple Thunderbolt 3 Male to Thunderbolt 2 Female Adapter, will get the job done. And bonus — you’ll have more con­trol of audio and visu­al ele­ments in-game. You’ll also need Wi-Fi in your press box for this setup.

    2. Pick Your Streaming Platform

      Why not stick with a plat­form that you and your fans are famil­iar with? Especially if your foot­ball team has a good fol­low­er base. 

      Top Pick: Facebook

      A lot of foot­ball teams already use a com­bi­na­tion of Facebook and Twitter to keep fans up to date. Now all those years of updates are going to pay off. But even if your team is new to social media, don’t wor­ry — Facebook doesn’t require a set amount of fol­low­ers to start livestreaming.

      We’ve put togeth­er a quick start guide on how to livestream with Facebook. In less than 10 steps, you’ll be ready to stream.

      Plan B: Periscope or Twitch

      These are great third-par­ty stream­ing alter­na­tives if you have expe­ri­ence using them. Both Periscope and Twitch spe­cial­ize in livestream­ing and are opti­mized for mobile record­ing devices. Both options have an easy process to get started.

      Alternates: YouTube or Blueframe

      If you’ve decid­ed to record with a cam­era and adapters, YouTube is a great option. But if you’re record­ing with a mobile device, YouTube requires a min­i­mum of 1,000 chan­nel sub­scribers to livestream. Learn more about how to stream with YouTube

      Hudl’s part­ner­ship with BlueFrame is anoth­er option to lev­el up your livestream­ing expe­ri­ence. BlueFrame offers a pay-per-view rev­enue share oppor­tu­ni­ty for your school when stream­ing with a cam­era to their software.

      3. Fundraise through Your Livestream

        After you select your record­ing device, assign some­one to own the stream­ing process, and choose a plat­form, you can decide if you want to mon­e­tize your livestreams.

        Top Pick: Digital Donations

        Even if your fans are at home, you can still bring them aspects of the game expe­ri­ence. Just like when they arrive at the gate pri­or to kick­off, you can cre­ate and dis­trib­ute tick­ets for each game. (Only this time they’ll be digital.) 

        Use Eventbrite to offer fans the abil­i­ty to sign up and com­mit a dona­tion or tick­et pur­chase for each game. Bonus: Eventbrite has one of the low­est fees com­pared to mar­ket alternatives. 

        During the game, you could use a pay­ment pro­cess­ing plat­form you’re already famil­iar with. PayPal offers a ser­vice called Money Pool that would assign your team a share­able link to be used for group dona­tions. There’s also GoFundMe or sim­i­lar low-fee alter­na­tives.

        Fan engage­ment is impor­tant. Here are some ways to increase your rev­enue poten­tial before, dur­ing and after your livestreams.

        • Create sig­nage dur­ing the game: Even if your stands are emp­ty, they can still be put to use. Place signs in areas that can be seen dur­ing your livestream to offer instruc­tions and encour­age­ment to donate. 
        • Compete on and off the field: Your fans are com­peti­tors too! Try hav­ing con­tests with with your biggest rivals on the field to see who can raise the most.
        • Giveaways from home: Lots of crowd­fund­ing plat­forms offer incen­tives for dona­tions, includ­ing give­aways. This is a great way to get some team merch in the hands of fans. 
        Plan B: Sponsorships 

        A tried and true method for fundrais­ing is to acquire a spon­sor­ship from your local com­mu­ni­ty. This will ensure your team gets the funds they need with­out requir­ing your fans to donate each game. Using sig­nage in your emp­ty stands is an easy way to pro­mote your spon­sor. Check out our guide to select­ing a local spon­sor

        Here’s a few more ways to max­i­mize your rev­enue with livestreaming.

        Keys to Success 

        Just like your team, your livestream set­up will need a pregame walk­through. Here’s what to remem­ber on game day. 

        1. Set up your stream an hour or two before kick­off to pre­vent delays. 
        2. Execute a pregame dry run to ensure every­thing is run­ning correctly. 
        3. Ask for help from your school’s IT depart­ment or AV club if you run into issues.
        4. Promote your livestream a week ahead of game day to ral­ly your fans. 
        5. Engage your fans through­out your livestream to max­i­mize your rev­enue and ensure the best fan expe­ri­ence from home.

        Need livestream­ing for a dif­fer­ent sport? Check out our com­pre­hen­sive guide to livestream­ing. And don’t for­get to review our resources for remote coach­ing