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In order to understand what the future of sports journalism might look like, I traveled 300 years into the past to understand what makes sports journalism desirable and how those features have adapted over the years to meet user needs. My research journey included interviews from both professionals and unprofessionals in the world of sports journalism, as well as more quantitative data, like reports and published journals.
In defining a direction for this project, I segmented the audience into five kinds of sports fans. I also outlined each fan's wants, needs and frustrations before narrowing in on the "fanatic" as my target audience. From there, I created a persona story, possible user stories and feature mapping to help fashion the kind of experience a fanatic might want to have and how ESPN might go about creating that.
Taking notes from early forms of interactive and immersive multimedia, like gaming systems and streaming platforms, I created an opportunity map, brand model and product vision statement to help guide the implementation of "The Fan Experience." Using ESPN's visual identity and UX/UI design framework, I modeled an example of The Fan Experience's homepage and the categories of stories it might provide.
After concepting "The Fan Experience," I wondered why no one had trailblazed this idea yet? It seemed so silly to me that with all this technology and consumer demand, there was still no platform dedicated to interactive and immersive sports storytelling. After further exploration, I realized that no one had capitalized on the potential of this category because traditional sports journalism aims to relive rather than reimagine. Perhaps creators are in need of a framework to help them reimagine?
Contrary to The Fan Experience, a brand-driven adventure for consumers, I created Switching Seats as an ideation generation tool for sports journalists, creatives, storytellers and beyond to reimagine the stories they're trying to tell. A working prototype, Switching seats actually has more than 16,000 combinations of real ways to reimagine stories with regards to point of view, structure, interactive and immersive techniques. Because I believe in the power of Switching Seats, I'm working on a trademark to help make this concept a reality.
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