From the SVG USA chairman: Community is key to tackling industry challenges

By Mike Davies, SVG USA Advisory Board chairman

When you have your name listed after those of Ken Aagaard, Steve Hellmuth and Tom Sahara, you have a hard act to follow as SVG USA Chairman. Needless to say, I am honoured to be the new Chairman of the Sports Video Group Advisory Board.

I’ve been involved with the Group since its outset, so the temptation is to look back to the beginning, to 2006 when Aagaard, Hellmuth, and a small committee were brought together by SVG co-founders Paul Gallo, Marty Porter and Ken Kerschbaumer to lay out a vision for a new association. The goal was to foster communication and cooperation in this industry, beginning with those of us here in the US. Since then, SVG has become a near-household word in our industry, and I think many would agree that it has become the very basis of this special intercompany community we share.

I’ve always said that, when you work in this industry, you achieve a certain degree of fame. Many people know each other, or at least of each other, and the ‘Bacon Principle’ is far tighter than six degrees in our business. In fact, I hereby introduce the ‘Aagaard Principle,’ which posits that anyone working in sports production is no more than two degrees of separation from Ken and all he has done.

Strong ties bind this industry: we increasingly use SVG as the method of official exhibition and research for our business.

And this SVG community could not be more necessary. Every year, our business speeds up a bit and grows even more complex. The issues facing us today require a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies: UHD, HDR, IP, 5G, and more. And there is another layer as well: we need to understand virtualised resources, workplace safety, and even cybersecurity.

Each of these areas would be a challenge to sort through. But all at once? Shared knowledge will be key as we tackle these challenges, and SVG events — as well as information shared in its newsletter, podcasts, and videos — are important to doing that efficiently.

In so many cases, the goal is to find not necessarily the right answer but the one that best suits the unique challenge presented. The mix of end users, vendors, manufacturers, and service providers within SVG ensures that a given problem is considered from a wide range of perspectives, yielding better conversations with diverse opinions and viewpoints.

And, although our business is about storytelling, it is rooted in technology. The better we are educated about those technologies, the better we all are and the better stories we can tell.

I’m thrilled to continue to be a part of it as SVG serves the information and knowledge needs of our industry. But the community we have formed does more than just share knowledge: we share the burden.

The SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund continues to distribute money to those in need due to illness or catastrophe. After seeing firsthand the difference that can be made in the lives of the people who work with us, I’m further committed to evangelising and supporting the unique and meaningful mission that it accomplishes.

As I look over the lists of our members, our advisory board, and our sponsors — along with the institutions of the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame — I see a huge, global community of which I am proud to be a part.

Mike Davies is SVP of field and technical operations for Fox Sports. He was named the fourth chairman of SVG in April.

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