How Streaming Helped Narvik Stay Connected To Their Fans During The Pandemic

Ice Hockey, Technology
Photo: Christina Paulsen

Covid-19 has left a financial black hole hanging over the global sports industry, estimated to be as large as 40% by PwC. While multi-billion dollar broadcasting deals have provided vital relief to the world’s biggest leagues, those that typically rely on ticket sales to get by have faced a far bigger test.

In the spring of 2020, the Narvik Arctic Eagles – a top tier Norwegian ice hockey team on the coast of the Arctic Ocean – found themselves in a difficult position: an empty stadium, canceled games, and the challenge of staying connected with their fan base.

With the Nordkraft Arena sitting empty, the club sought an innovative solution to overcome the struggles caused by the pandemic.

Keeping fans connected: Live streaming with Spiideo Play

“We have missed our fans tremendously,” Cesilie Markussen, General Manager of the Narvik Eagles, says. “We started looking into streaming our matches online to stay connected to our fans and supporters.”

Narvik considered various options but chose the Spiideo solution in part due to familiarity with the company’s technology, which the club was already using for video analysis.

Spiideo Play is a cloud-based solution that works in tandem with Spiideo Perform, the video analysis system. Both solutions rely on Spiideo’s fixed camera systems to capture the field of play, stream, and upload footage. This meant that the required technology was already in place, allowing the club to connect their Spiideo Play account and start streaming their matches almost immediately using the same system.

“It was just so easy to start streaming with the same system and it’s fully automatic and no need for a camera operator.”

Cesilie Markussen, General Manager, Narvik Eagles

Using Spiideo Play, the club can now schedule streams, set their pricing, and sit back as the built-in AI game tracker technology follows the action. Through the Cloud Studio, users can add graphics and commentators to the live stream, providing fans with a complete TV broadcast experience. 

During the disruption, Narvik took the opportunity to share the streams on social media and with opposing teams to reach both sets of fans.

“Our fans enjoyed seeing and following our team again via our Spiideo Play-stream. Many of the players also shared it with friends and family who live in another town or country, which was highly appreciated.”

Cesilie Markussen, General Manager, Narvik Eagles

Quick and effective visual feedback

Spiideo Play isn’t the only function that Narvik uses. The team also uses Spiideo Perform to free up time for coaches and analysts, improve tactical and opposition analysis, and enhance player development throughout the club. As Narvik Head Coach Mikael Kvarnström says: “Now we can focus on coaching instead of finding a camera operator to film every training and match.”

It’s well known that visual feedback is the best way to develop players. Standing on the ice and having footage ready to view on an iPad allows coaches to deliver feedback quickly and more effectively.

“Now I can see all the angles of the rink and important situations directly on the iPad, which is a great improvement. When the players see the recorded situation on the iPad themself, it pushes the coaching even further.“

Mikael Kvarnström, Head Coach, Narvik Eagles
Photo Photo: Christina Paulsen