The journey to Brazil 2014 began with 166 hopefuls from around the globe, all bidding to take their space on the world’s stage. With the World Cup pool draws made and the tournament just under 200 days away, SNTV is gearing up to play a leading role in Fifa’s quadrennial showdown – but behind the scenes, rather than on the pitch.
Since our cameras first switched on in 1996, SNTV has gone from strength to strength and become the world’s leading sports video news agency, whose sole ambition is to get our customers (and their viewers and readers) inside the story, whatever the sport, wherever it’s happening.
The Fifa World Cup is one of the biggest global sport spectacles and Brazil will be our fifth. Of course, a gig that will be watched by just under half of the world’s population (46.4 per cent of the world watched the South African World Cup) isn’t the easiest of tasks, which is why we have been planning for 18 months.
As soon as the London 2012 Olympics finished, we opened our own dedicated bureau in Rio. This gave us the opportunity to remotely plan for the tournament from our London office, whilst being delivered accurate and intelligent local insight. To cope with the appetite for content, a crew of 40 will be on the ground in Brazil under the stewardship of our Managing Editor, Andrew Parkinson. In addition to camera crews and editors, we will have a number of ‘local fixers’ and specialists that know each national squad and their support teams better than anyone else.
Naturally, covering a tournament in a country as vast as Brazil proposes some logistical difficulties – transport connections, proximity of stadia, liaison with officials and potential hostility. However, having learnt from our previous experiences at World Cups, we know what to plan and look out for. We will get there early. The first week in particular is breakneck in terms of speed and scale due to the number of ‘prep’ stories and all 32 teams with news to cover. We understand the importance of our relationship with National teams and the significance of covering stories not just in Brazil, but around the globe. We want to be there with you whether you are in Trafalgar Square or the Red Square to share your story and celebrate your team making it into the knockout stages.
We are often asked how we do it. How do we get the story? The answer is through harnessing our industry experience, which has spanned over nearly two decades. We are real journalists in the truest sense. We use a variety of sources that keep us as close to the news as possible. Over time we have built up an extensive network of reliable personal contacts, we follow news wires, leverage our close relationship with the Associated Press and monitor social media. We use the latest technology to gather, edit and send our materials as soon as possible
More than anything and like the participating teams themselves, for us the World Cup is about passion, preparation and dedication. We believe that our 40-strong professional and highly trained crew, along with our local knowledge will enable us to deliver high quality sports video content, without compromise, delivered to our broadcast and digital customers before the back pages have even been sent to print.
Martin Kay is the managing director of SNTV.