For the last few days disc golfers around the world were treated to top level coverage of the sport’s top competitors. There was a countless number of individuals who worked behind the scenes to make sure the fans who couldn’t be in Nokia, Finland were able to still be a part of the tournament.
For Event Organizer Jussi Meresmaa and Producer and Tournament Director Jukka Teräs, we would have to think the week went as planned. Even if it didn’t things from our view were virtually flawless. We know how much time you and your staff put into this event over the last 12-18 months. You had a vision for what this tournament could be and you never lost sight of the ultimate goal.
The course, known as The Beast, looked like it was in awesome shape and is certainly a course that raises the level of competition for everyone. You think of the PGA Majors like the US Open and Masters and how the winning scores are often at or just below par. It brings out the best in the professionals. For Paul McBeth and Catrina Allen to win this year’s tournaments, they had to pass a test on each and every hole. One mistake here and there could prove costly.
During the Insider Show after round one, Dave Feldberg talked about how tough the course really is, “I think that was the best I ever played this year three down. I don’t know if the course is harder, but I never made more putts and great shots and scored so poorly and I think it’s because some of the holes are difficult. There is some wind out there and being barely off is the same as being a lot off.”
Meresmaa and Teräs also worked extensively on brining the world’s top companies into the competition. Popular golf apparel brand Cutter & Buck served as the official tailor for the Presidents Cup held prior to the European Open.
Another standout sponsor was Mercedes Benz. Mercedes Benz served as the official vehicle partner of the European Open and provided shuttles all week long to the pros and staff. Mercedes Benz went one step further and offered a Mercedes Benz CLA to anyone who aced hole 17 during the tournament. Granted, you could only use it for two weeks, but who can complain when a company like Mercedes Benz wants to be involved.
The media coverage
The action before, during, and after the rounds were covered extensively on social media with highlights cut down to just 10-15 second clips. This then expanded into great recaps that covered not only the top cards, but what the chase cards were doing as well. With video of the rounds itself still to come, being able to easily digest what happened on the course that afternoon was a great way to cap off the day. We were fortunate enough to cross post the articles by Janne Lahtinen and the rest of the writers. This allowed the same great content reach a wider audience around the world. The action didn’t stop with the written word though.
Each night we were treated to the Insider Show. For about an hour, we were able to hear from a few guests talk about their round, get an in-depth analysis of that day’s action, and get inside the head of the leaders as the tournament went on.
Jamie Thomas from The Spin TV hosted each night and did one solid job as the face of the show. I’ve previously done some live hosting myself and it is no easy task. You have to be aware of a lot of moving parts for a show like that and Jamie rocked it from start to finish.
One of the most important things a host can do is trust the crew working behind the scenes and the crew came through with a great effort each and every night. To quickly produce the highlights and infographics can be a tough task, especially when you’re also juggling multiple cameras and audio feeds. Seeing infographics like the one below raised the bar for post event coverage. High quality photography with easy to digest stats combined to bring content that anyone can love.
Speaking of photography, Eino Ansio did an amazing job capturing the event. Being able to blend in with the course so you aren’t a distraction and still shoot the photos you did is a tough task. From the candid moments to the action shots, Eino, well done!
Finally, being able to watch the last few holes of the final round on either a Finnish TV stream thanks to YLE or an English language version with commentary from Jamie Thomas and Avery Jenkins was a great way to cap the week. The large video production trucks were certainly signs that they weren’t messing around. We’ve only seen a handful of photos of the production crews and the vast amount of equipment and people goes to show just how hard it is to broadcast even 90 minutes of a disc golf tournament. From the multiple camera shots, slow-motion replays, and scoreboards, YLE produced one great product.
Nokia, Finland is home to roughly 33,000 people. The European Open staff is estimating 4,500 people were in attendance on Sunday and over 10,000 people came over the course of the tournament. The galleries on the final day were awesome to see and surely they looked great on national TV. We want to focus on a select group in the crowd: the kids. When Paul McBeth was giving his post round interview to YLE, we noticed who was standing directly behind him. These kids had discs in hand waiting for autographs and you know that Paul was going to turn around and give them exactly what they wanted. Earlier in the week Paul shared this on Instagram showing his commitment to the sport’s next generation:
A photo posted by Paul McBeth (@paul_mcbeth) on
Paul wasn’t the only one getting into the autograph game:
Finally, after winning the tournament, Paul pulled his 14-year-old caddy into the camera’s frame and thanked him for his effort all week long and how he couldn’t have done it without him. Joonas Karin-Oka was on the bag for the entire tournament.
Paul wasn’t the only one with a young caddy. The European Open staff profiled both Joonas and Stig Hangvar who was caddying for Will Schusterick.
The crowds were certainly treated to some excellent disc golf and seeing the kids anxious to get out there and throw is even sweeter. Jamie Thomas and Avery Jenkins mentioned how there was a lot of action around the practice basket all weekend long with fans getting their fix at the course.
The next steps
First and foremost, we hope everyone involved with the European Open takes some time to relax and look back and what they just did. It took a lot of planning and effort and the end result was outstanding. It is easy to start to focus on the next event, but take a little time for yourself here too.
For the rest of us, use this as an inspiration. We all want to see disc golf grow and we all have the ability to do it and if you have one new idea based off of what happened over the last week, take that idea and run with it. What the European Open staff has done wouldn’t be possible with just one person. It takes an army to make a difference and we’re all part of that army. Grab your discs and go throw today.