Storytelling is a team sport, according to legendary NBC executive Dick Ebersol

Talking to Dick Ebersol, “the most powerful person in sports,” is like taking a masterclass in storytelling.

Ebersol recently joined in a video from his home in Telluride, Colorado to talk about him. new book, Saturday night through Sunday night.

Ebersol’s memoir gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at his co-creation saturday night live A Pioneer of Olympic and Sports Coverage with Lorne Michaels NBCImpressed by the frequent appearance of “storytelling” in his books, I contacted Ebersol.

Ebersol’s book provides a fascinating history of television sports, but is invaluable to professionals in any field who need to create content and present ideas that engage, motivate and inspire audiences. provide great insight.

“My priority was story, story, story.”

Sports on TV are very different today than they were before Ebersol left its mark. NBC’s Sports and Olympic coverage. For most viewers, it’s hard to fathom that at one time her college football games were broadcast only from her one camera set up in the announcer’s booth. Under Ebersol’s first boss it started to change, ABC President Loon Arledge. Ebersol credits his Arledge as a pioneer in reinventing televised sports into a storytelling medium.

Ullage reimagined sports broadcasting in 1960, leaving his now-famous note:

“Every game will be an epic story to tell,” says Ebersol. “Our way of engaging viewers of unfamiliar sports was to tell the stories of the athletes in action – pique their curiosity and instill a deep-seated interest in them.”

the mission of ABCSports It was to tell the story to the audience. To that end, Arledge added a camera mounted on the riser to provide different angles. Meanwhile, a moving handheld her camera captured the action on the side, and a huge boom his microphone captured the sound of the field.

“he [Arledge] I wanted the crowd to see and hear the cheering in the stands, players celebrating touchdowns on the sidelines, and coaches yelling at referees for bad calls,” Ebersol wrote.

Ebersol is ABC As an Olympic researcher, it’s a position that didn’t exist in any network. The year he was 1967 and the internet didn’t exist yet. That meant Ebersol had to travel across America and Europe to find the best stories for announcers like Jim McKay to share with the public. wide world of sports And the 1968 Olympics. Ebersol interviewed athletes, coaches, and their families to learn as much as they could about their personal stories, stories that would appeal to a wider audience.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better storytelling teacher than Jim and Rune,” recalls Ebersol. “They were my mentors. I was blessed.”

The lessons Ebersol learned from those teachers came back to him in 1989 when NBC asked him to head the network’s sports division. Ebersol called a meeting of about 100 people to articulate his vision. “Going forward, NBC Sports will focus on storytelling.”

He said viewers need to know the athletes, their backgrounds and the challenges they must overcome in order to play on the NBA, World Series, Super Bowl, Olympics and other big stages.

“Storytelling was not a course they were teaching at NBC,” recalls Ebersol. “My priority was story, story, story.”

Storytelling is a collaborative effort.

Ebersol’s experience and insights should remind leaders that storytelling is a collaborative, ‘team sport’.

Storytelling plays an important role in every organization. Universities share inspiring alumni stories to attract the best applicants. A startup entrepreneur shares his origins story to attract investors and motivate his team. And businesses of all sizes are sharing customer success stories to attract more customers.

As a leader, you may be the one sharing your story in presentations, notes, articles, and interviews. But storytelling is a team sport, so finding those stories and putting them together into compelling narratives should be everyone’s responsibility.

Yes, marketing and publicity can turn those stories into assets and share them across platforms, but leaders need help identifying stories from business trips, and sales reps need to stay fresh from meetings. We need to come back with customer stories and case studies.

According to Ebersol, the Olympics are a “crucible for storytelling.” Most viewers only watch when they care about athletes and hear stories that resonate with them. Similar laws apply to any business. Customers and employees who are inspired by your story are more likely to connect with your brand.

Build your storytelling team to beat the competition.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2022/09/13/storytelling-is-a-team-sport-according-to-legendary-nbc-executive-dick-ebersol/ Storytelling is a team sport, according to legendary NBC executive Dick Ebersol

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