The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
It’s a big day for www.goalWA.net as we announce a partnership with Touchline Sports Systems to provide exclusive video content to our website! Much of what Touchline sends us will be local soccer highlights you can’t see anywhere else!
“Video Buzz” has been one of the most-popular features since www.goalWA.net debuted in July of 2011. Now we are clicking that feature up a notch with a new partnership with Touchline Sports Systems. Touchline will share some of their best soccer highlights exclusively with goalWA.net going forward.
Washington youth soccer fans and Seattle Sounders fans alike will be excited to learn that we will be sharing highlights from Sounders Pre-Academy matches. We’ve posted our first two in this story, with more to follow. Touchline can often be seen shooting matches at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, amongst other venues.
The partnership with Touchline came about after conversations between goalWA.net and Harry Samkange. We agreed that working with each other could not only benefit our efforts but would also be a cool thing for soccer fans and players.
I talked with Samkange, who along with Dennis Sanchez Sr. is a co-founder of Touchline Sports Systems, so I could learn about their business and services. See our quick Q & A below.
David Falk: How did “Touchline” begin?
Harry Samkange & Dennis Sanchez Sr., Touchline Sports Systems: We started with the idea of providing video as a learning and coaching tool. Our sons were involved in soccer at the youth level and had also been selected for the National Team pool at the U-14 level. We were surprised at how few coaches and parents were using video as a learning and teaching tool, even at the so-called elite levels and so decided to offer our own solution.
What are your customers looking for / most interested in?
Flexibility and value for money – in video media, delivery format and filming solutions. Some customers are interested in highlighting the performance of one player and so we have a solution where we put two cameras on a game – one focused on the overall action, the other on tracking a specific player and the playing radius around that player. We can then combine the videos in a picture in picture format so that they can see how their individual play relates to the overall match context. We have others who just want game film to share with their team, or to review on an individual basis. Some prefer discs, some want video that’s online and shareable so we try to provide the best solutions for our customers. We want to make sure our customers get the solution they want, so we try and take a little more time to understand what the customer’s expectations are – how they want to use or view the video, if they want or need to share it and how they want to share it. All those things make a difference in terms of the solution we’ll recommend.
Because soccer doesn’t stop, you have to really stay ahead of the game in order not to miss anything. There’s also the challenge of providing enough of an overall view of the game so that the action makes sense and the viewer can really see the entire game. Too many times videographers want to go for the close up, which cuts out all the important things happening off the ball that really make the game what it is. Getting this overall view is harder than it seems, however, and is almost impossible to do unless you have special equipment to get you above the field high enough to give you the right view. We have a couple of cranes that allow us to get more than twenty feet in the air so that we don’t get blocked by linesmen or excited parents. Filming in the Northwest is also a challenge as we have lots of rain and wind to contend with, and we film all year round in heat and cold. The equipment has to be able to handle that, and so do we.
Where do you see your business heading / developing towards next?
We want to be the solution of choice for parents and teams who want a high quality video solution that’s tailored to their needs and their budgets. Soccer is really our single sport of choice, and we’ve put a lot of work and thinking into how to best deliver a video solution for soccer specifically and not baseball, basketball or other sports. We also want to make it affordable for and accessible enough that ordering up a video of your game doesn’t seem a daunting prospect from a cost or convenience perspective. We’ll continue to look to the web to help us make access and solutions for our customers simple and easy, but we also love the interactions we get on the sidelines with parents, players, officials coaches and fans. If you see us out there filming, come on up and chat with us about how to get your game.