Question. What is the fastest growing sport in the USA?
When asked this question most people would be quick to respond with American football, basketball or baseball.
You may be surprised to hear that rugby union is in fact the fastest growing sport in the United States.
During the last five years, the number of rugby participants has increased 14 percent year-over-year to climb to a total of 1.2 million participants throughout the country.
American TV network NBC has been airing rugby matches since 2009. NBC started airing the matches when it was announced that rugby would be apart of the 2016 Olympic Games and in 2014 NBC televised the United States Eagles game against the No. 1 team in the world in the New Zealand All Blacks. It was the largest audience ever for an international contest in the USA as close to 62,000 fans packed Soldier Field in Chicago. The packed house signals that the growing popularity of the sport is in fact legitimate. In 2016 a new professional league PRO Rugby North America was launched.
With the world’s third biggest sports event, the Rugby World Cup being held in England and Wales in 2015, USA Rugby approached international AV provider Atlas AV to produce 7 short behind the scenes films to be broadcast on the official USA Rugby YouTube channel throughout the tournament.
To keep the behind the scenes feel of the videos, footage was filmed by the USA players and management while on tour in England and supplied to Atlas AV to edit. This was where the challenge within the project began. The USA team was travelling around England between Brighton, Leeds, London and Gloucester. Each day they would film behind the scenes footage while on tour and then upload this via DropBox giving the Atlas AV editing team small time frames to edit the videos and get them uploaded in time to be relevant to the continually moving tournament.
The Atlas AV post production video editing team worked with the supplied footage and produced quick turn around videos to help American rugby fans follow the team with match highlights, access all areas footage from the team changing room and player tunnel during matches, as well as official Rugby World Cup community events such as the teams official visit to the US Ambassador Residence Reception and Tower of London Ceremony of the Keys event as well as the players visiting a school for children with learning difficulties.
Along with the video editing service, Atlas AV also provided a camera crew to help film behind the scenes footage of USA v South Africa at the Olympic Stadium, London.
You can view all 7 videos in the series here