When you think about GoPro content, chances are it lands somewhere between an insanely impressive action sports moment, an eagle’s eye view of the world, life as a toddler, or maybe just your buddy’s bike ride to work set to Iron Butterfly.
But the brand’s own content strategy is evolving, including a move last October to bring in former vice president of creative development and operations for HBO Sports Bill McCullough to serve as executive producer of GoPro sports content. McCullough says GoPro’s content strategy is ultimately to tell the best, most immersive, and most compelling stories, but they’ve learned that character-driven pieces are some of the best performing stories. As a result the brand is looking for opportunities to deliver more of that episodic content.
“The Olympic Games represents not only a huge opportunity to reach a wider, more diverse and global audience, but also to discover and deliver those episodic stories we’re looking for,” says McCullough.
Starting on April 5, GoPro is unveiling Two Roads, a new nine-part video series that follows nine Olympic athletes and one coach on their journeys to Rio. A new episode will air every other Tuesday on the GoPro channel. The series features tennis doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan, hammer thrower Britney Henry, diver Kristian Ipsen, American rugby speedster Carlin Isles, track and field’s Trenten Merrill, beach volleyball star Casey Patterson, pole vaulter Allison Stokke, fencer Miles Chamley Watson, and gymnastics coach Liang Chow.
Then on April 11, GoPro is launching a second new series called Finding Missy, a two-part profile of Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin. The series will take viewers inside Franklin’s life, from mental conditioning in Oahu, Hawaii, to college in Berkeley, California, to top-level training in Denver, Colorado.
McCullough says that the Olympic Games are an opportunity for GoPro to tell stories and shine a spotlight on sports that perhaps don’t often get the superstar treatment from traditional media outlets.
“We are fascinated by the athletes of these sports and knew they had compelling stories to tell,” says McCullough. “We also knew the unique nature of some of their events–diving or the hammer throw, for example–would make for some equally compelling visuals. We wanted to be the ones to bring their stories to the masses.”
With hundreds of athletes from around the world using GoPro to shoot and share their videos, McCullough says the process for deciding on which ones to feature was pretty clear. “Our process for selecting Olympic athletes and hopefuls was very similar to that of our typical athlete partnership process. We’re interested in working with athletes that are authentic users of our products, who have an amazing story to tell, and who want to work with GoPro to tell it.”