Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:52 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
FOX Sports Digital (FSD) partnered with YouTube to create the FOX Sports Digital VideoFest, a great example of how established media can tap into YouTube's vast online video talent pool. For the Digital VideoFest, YouTube selected 12 of its channel creators and brought them together for several days at YouTube Space LA. Creators were challenged to produce a pilot for a potential web series, with the winner chosen by a panel of 4 FSD executives. The Digital VideoFest was sponsored by Ford Fusion, with the winner receiving a $1 million development deal.
The winning entry came from AVByte, which created a catchy one minute "This Week in Sports" musical. Pete Vlastelica, FSD's SVP, Digital told me that a rollout schedule for the show hasn't yet been determined, but the pilot will be promoted during the Super Bowl pre-game show this Sunday, sponsored by Ford. It will also be promoted through other FSD online/social channels. AVByte has over 400K subscribers to its YouTube channel, with its "Hipster Disney Princess" video gaining over 9.5 million views.
Kathleen Grace, head of creative development at YouTube Space LA, explained how the facility is the ideal environment for these types of collaborations. YouTube Space offers creators studios, equipment, workshops and insights about YouTube's audience. For Digital VideoFest no money changed hands between YouTube and FSD, which are corporate neighbors in the Playa Vista complex.
Kathleen said YouTube Space is interested in working with brands and media companies that want to access YouTube's massive ecosystem of creators. Sounds like the Digital VideoFest is just a start.