What Next for The Bear Pit TV?
We’re at the end of the season and I felt this was a great chance to tell you all about the future of the channel and to thank a lot of people for what they’ve done for us so far.
When I started The Bear Pit TV in August with a couple of friends and we did our first game for Tottenham away, I couldn’t have imagined what it would all eventually lead to. The day itself was a sunny one in the capital; I interviewed random fans for the first time, and captured the game and the resulting mayhem from a last minute Diouf equaliser.
Moving forward to right now we’re at the end of the season, and in fitting fashion last night it also ended in absolute chaos as Andy Wilkinson put away his first ever goal, and true to our word, we were on the bloody pitch.
Ever since The Bear Pit TV took off it’s still surreal when attending games people say hello and come up to you, commend you for what you’re doing, and stop to have a proper chat about the club. I want to take a moment to thank everyone I’ve spoken to and the pals I’ve made along the way (you all know who you are).
Midway through the season we also had Dave come on board as another presenter because I took a new job, which requires an amount of weekend work so I can’t make every game unfortunately. If we want regular content and to keep viewers then we need someone at games, and Dave’s come in and you lot took to him very well, which again is something I have to thank you for. Dave’s also done very well since he’s been doing videos for TBPTV and I can only see him growing with the channel.
Not only that, but quite recently we launched our website. We have a host of bloggers who I can wholeheartedly say give their all and put everything they can into the pieces they do for us. And I hope that with the way the channel is going they can soon be rewarded in some way for the massive effort they put in.
We had interviews with Wilko at his house where Dave and me went along, and those were hopefully the first of a host of player interviews in the future. It was again a surreal moment, interviewing and chatting with a club legend in his own home. Some people say never meet your heroes, but I can safely say Andy was one of the most down to earth and polite people I’ve ever met. Again I also have to thank Andy and Emma for letting us into their home, and probably more so Emma for constantly pestering her!
Most recently I also attended the Facebook Football Awards on behalf of Stoke City for our Manager of the Season and Team of the Season nominations. No ideas how we had those nominations by the way, how many of you have set up accounts on Facebook and voted for us over and over again! But that is yet another example of how The Bear Pit TV is helping get a voice for the club out there, I don’t speak on behalf of all of you I know, but I do my best as a representative!
But it’s not all been an easy ride and surreal moments. We’ve faced continuous issues with Twitter and had a period of a month were we were suspended because we were apparently using KFC Big Bash cricket content…. Yeah, your guess is as good as mine, because I’ve never seen Bojan do a spin bowl to left stump.
Not only that, but when you first start out we’ve had technical issues that have sometimes ruined videos that would have been a pleasure to watch, especially one with Nello that was a belter. But all this comes with your first venture into media, and I would say that going into pre-season and next season, it’s going to be taken up a notch.
The club has also knocked us back at every request, when we’ve asked for some club access, player interviews, or just a conversation in how we could help out. I can understand their approach about letting in an external media outlet, but I also understand how stretched their media team can be, and we could certainly help ease that workload in some way working in conjunction.
I also have to mention the guys at Stoke Loud & Proud. We keep each other on our toes and have a fun rivalry both being Stoke pages run by completely different people. There’s been a lot of banter back and forth this season (especially regarding flaming cheetahs), but it’s good to see that our prominence has made everyone significantly up their game, which can only be good for Stoke fans when everyone’s trying to provide better coverage about the club. I did also see they had a microphone in their hand yesterday, and one of my favourite lines in life is “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Next season it’s going up a gear. There’s going to be more content, more videos, more interaction, and most importantly more fun. I’m not too serious, as a lot of you may know, and that’s what our channel is, a casual laid-back take on Stoke City and the fans. We don’t want to see a serious Sky Sports News type channel do we?
We also have our affiliation with Ball Street, as much as it may pain a Stoke fan to see, I have to thank Robbie from Arsenal Fan TV who picked up our channel and helped us grow as part of the Ball Street network. Being a part of Ball Street brings the majority of our opportunities, and you’ll be seeing something very exciting next week!
As I write this we’ve just confirmed our first sponsor (Partners Barbers) for the 2016/17 season, and we will also be acquiring some more. This means that the channel will now have some resources to help us improve. Better equipment (We still record on an iPhone), better content, and better opportunities.
If you own a local business, or know anyone you want to recommend, then please do put them in touch and I’ll come and give you a presentation that blows your socks off, I might even bring you a Wilko mug as a bribe.
That’s also reminded me I have to say thanks to our ever-present and always daft designer, Joe Barbieri. He does all the artwork for our channel, and from the great work he’s done he’s recently been picked up to do artwork for the club itself, and if you’ve seen an image of a footballer without eyes then that’s probably him.
Also a final thank you to all my personal friends who have pitched in and been the cameraman when they’ve had to be or come to games to help film and do bits here and there, especially in the early stages, it wouldn’t have happened without you.
But that’s me signing off. For the fans, by the fans, with the fans, The Bear Pit TV has only just got started.
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