The Lions are roaring to go digital.
For the first time ever, Live Oak High School has purchased and installed a pair of automated cameras to capture live outdoor and indoor games for those unable to attend in person.
It’s the new way of life right now given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that earlier this week forced the California Interscholastic Federation to delay the reopening of training camps across the Golden State.
Yuba, Sutter and Colusa County prep sports teams are shut down until at least Jan. 1, maybe longer, according to an earlier statement this week from CIF.
So what can schools do now?
For starters they can prepare for the future, and Live Oak has been doing that, Athletic Director Mike Owen said.
Livestreaming was an idea spawned by Owen in 2019, but he said it wasn’t financially feasible at the time.
“They lowered their price,” he said. “For us it’s in our best interest because if we can’t have fans hopefully we bring the game to them as best we can.”
It works simply with people creating an account through https://www.nfhsnetwork.com and then bookmarking your teams to follow throughout the year. Currently, Live Oak is set up to have people watch live games, as well as ones from years past.
Owen said the school plans to livestream football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and wrestling right now.
There will be a running clock and scoreboard that is updated in real time through the Pixellot camera that has multiple lenses – one to capture the score, the other for action.
Owen said a play-by-play announcer may also be added for running commentary.
He’s hoping this venture also becomes a revenue source for the school.
“There’s ways for us to make more money through advertising on the screen,” Owen said.
He could possibly help convert the physical advertising he gets through banners at the football games to digital ads that are run during the livestream events. It would be a supplemental source of income for what is lost during a time when fans cannot physically come to the games.
Owen said Live Oak has taken the next step with the completion of an all-weather track surface and the implementation of these cameras.
Now he’s hoping he can show it off soon while people are remaining safe at home.
Live Oak Principal Troy Walton said if there is one positive repercussion from the pandemic it’s the administration’s ability to create a better digital platform for moving schools into the future.
“In the COVID era people can sit in a safe environment and watch their grandkids play,” Walton said.
For more information visit Live Oak’s livestreaming page at https://bit.ly/2IdsCWG.