After the National College Football Championship game at Raymond James Stadium, I decided to catch up with a former Daktronics employee, Mike Dewsnap, who currently works with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your work history?
Mike: I left The University of Georgia after 11 years in July to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL as a Gameday Producer. In my prior role at the University of Georgia as the Executive Producer, I oversaw all game-day productions as well as ESPN SEC Network live productions. This included football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, baseball, and softball. I also produced post-season NCAA Regionals, Super Regionals, and Championships hosted by The University of Georgia. Daktronics also gave me additional opportunities to work at the Men’s College World Series in Omaha, NE, NCAA Final Four in Atlanta, GA, and the Men’s SEC Basketball Tournament in Atlanta, GA.
- Q: Were there any advantages you feel you had from being a Daktronics Event Producer before getting your job with the Bucs?
Mike: Absolutely. Producing college football in front of 90,000+ fans on Saturdays definitely prepared me for Sundays in the NFL. During my time at UGA, I managed many different types of live events. This gave me a much larger background in live entertainment. By working with students, I gained the skills to train much more efficiently and manage multiple events at the same time.
- Q: Going from being a college event producer to the NFL, what are some of the biggest differences that you’ve noticed between the two?
Mike: NFL game-day rules are much different than NCAA rules. As a producer in the NFL, you have a lot more responsibility and you have to watch for more things throughout a production. You have to be more precise with your decisions as the game production moves much faster and you also have multiple displays doing different things throughout the game. In the NFL you are working with professional athletes instead of student athletes. You are allowed to promote an individual athlete instead of focusing strictly on the team. College your focus is recruiting and entertaining students and alumni. NFL is a business and the focus is more on entertaining a broader fan base.
- Q: You helped with the College Football National Championship earlier this year, tell me a little about what that was like and how it was different than your usual events.
Mike: The College Football National Championship was a grind as soon as the Outback Bowl finished. Van Wagner arrived the next day and we had 6 days to load and script the entire show. Five producers were used throughout the production. One producer was assigned to produce the pregame show with a live set and talent. The main producer took over after that and had an assistant producer in the control room guiding the production crew. A replay producer was used to work with the replay operators on building highlight packages throughout the show. I took on the role as the graphics producer and focused on the operators running the 4 video towers triggering stats, milestones, and animations throughout the show.
- Q: What other types of events do you help with other than football games and what is that like? Mike: USF Bulls football plays at in the stadium in the fall. They bring in their own production staff and we just support the show. Same goes for the Outback Bowl and Monster Jam events we recently had. Coming up we will be hosting a U2 concert and Gold Cup Soccer featuring the USA Men’s Soccer team.
Thanks to Mike for taking the time to chat and we wish you good luck with your upcoming events!
This article is by Matt Anderson
in College Sports Marketing.
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