Recap: Storytelling with Jonny Greco

Jonny Greco led a hour discussion on Storytelling in game presentation. Lots of great insights, tips and examples from around the world of sports from this Plus Huddle Call.

Great Huddle call this week featuring the EVP from the Seattle Kraken Jonny Greco.  Jonny is a renowned sports storyteller from his time along side LeBron James, John Cena and the Inaugural Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup Finals team.

Jonny outlined what Storytelling in game presentation is, the elements and ingredients you need to focus on and the importance of timing as you create your story.

With examples from the New York Knicks, WWE and Vegas Golden Knights Jonny broke down why we tell stories and how we can be more effective.  These game presentation stories range from getting your fans on their feet with a scoreboard rally piece to pitching your next mascot skit to your boss.

This week the huddle included professionals from the MLS, Major League Rugby, MILB, NHL, NBA, NBA G League, college sports and NFL.

Innovation vs Tradition – the balance of raising the bar and building equity in experiences. “Tradition is tending the flame, not worshiping the ashes.”
-Composer Gustav Mahler

Here is a quick sample of the conversation:

Cameron Hughes: When you talk about your audience giving them something they don’t know they want, how much do you allow that to breathe and happen because of the spontaneity of the moment?

Jonny Greco: You know, it’s it’s a phenomenal question. And we’ve all done it right where an idea that we had gets approved. But we’re nervous. We’re like, I think it’s going to work. I hope it works. A lot of the art in what we do is when we actually run a time out or a promotion, but letting that moment happen and breathe and honoring the reaction like you have to commit to it the minute you just tiptoe in the minute you just put your toes in, the water is lost because you’re not fully buying it.

So if you’re not buying in, the fans aren’t going to buy an either. And sometimes you’ve got to go well past your comfort level. I do think one way to mitigate the risk on this we’ve talked about this before, is just programed to fail. Right. If you’re going to try something new, bookend it with something amazing that always works like we don’t have to.

Like we know Cameron Hughes comes in. It’s going to be a showstopper, right?  I’m not blowing smoke. It’s just the truth. You get the crowd lit, you understand it. You’re a phenomenal performer. Well, you know what we would do in Vegas when would work with you? We would try something before you because we know they’re going to be thrilled with your element.

If YMCA is your thing in your venue, we know they’re going to love that moment. Try something risky before a home run element and you will mitigate some of that risk if it works back to back home runs, everybody wins.

If it doesn’t work, take the time to trust it. Lean be patient because you’re going to have all the balls to say it didn’t work. What happened? What’s going on? Move on to the next thing. It’s like, oh, hold on. Like you have the honor and risk it, but you will protect yourself and the following conversation or text message you get. What was that if you have a home run on the other side of that?

So that’s really important. I love that question again.

The August 18th Huddle call on Plus is with Detroit Pistons’ Game Director Claire Czerniuk. Her rich background as a performer and dancer has helped her elevate and maximize the Dance and Entertainment teams in Detroit.  We will talk about how Claire makes it click in Detroit Rock City and how you can make your teams look their best.

You can join the call as Member of the Plus. We have a One Month Free Trail for everyone, you can sign up here.

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