The FutureLabs team, along with our partners Made By Doing and Octagon, have just finished delivering 48 unique Mastercard Player Of The Match trophies, each embedded with a one-of-a-kind song that tells the story of each match. Every step in our journey was a blend of teamwork, creativity, craftsmanship and some pretty resilient rugby spirit.
We kicked off the journey from Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City with essential gear in hand: MacBooks and some minimalist audio recording equipment packed into our carry-on luggage.
On touchdown in Paris, we united with a diverse creative team from around the world. From Australia, Vietnam, the UK, New Zealand, and New York, these were faces with which we’d had virtual meetings for months now, but were only just now getting to meet in person for the first time.
For Pat Mileto (FutureLabs) and Richard Hollingum (Made By Doing), a quick train to London and back was required to bring the final set of trophies to the studio.
Amidst the aroma of freshly baked croissants and baguettes, we managed to squeeze a little bit of sight-seeing and live French jazz in between rehearsals.
We quickly settled into our home for the next couple of weeks: a stunning recording studio filled to the brim with every piece of equipment an analog music enthusiast could dream of. Moog synths, Junos, reel-to-reel machines, 1950s hollow body guitars — you name it, it was there. An amazing place to be for a team of creative people.
With artists crafting live lyrics and rehearsals buzzing with excitement, we prepared to capture the heartbeats of the Rugby matches in musical form. We’d planned and workshopped this workflow as much as we possibly could, but leading into our first realtime rehearsal, it was finally time to take a deep breath, settle into our workstations and put it to the test.
It quickly became clear that an A+ team had been assembled. Everyone involved — studio engineers, project managers, highlight clippers, recording artists, and so on — was focused and up for the challenge. By the time the rehearsals were complete, we were ready to proceed with confidence into the first match of the finals.
Game day was a frenzy of activity. Recording artists SONGO and Philippine writing and recording their lyrics in both English and French, our team clipping match highlights and studio producer James Cook manning the mixing desk, recording and mixing vocals at world record pace.
Meticulously mixing live recordings, commentary snippets, and artist renditions, we crafted tracks that encapsulated the essence of each match. Whilst Pat Mileto (FutureLabs) covered the two roles of Stream Technician and Highlight Clipper along with Alessia Ferrero (Octagon), Sarah Glover (GCD, Octagon) curated pieces of broadcast commentary to tell an exciting but cogent story in our custom-built web platform.
One-by-one, pieces of commentary came through to my workstation, where I would download and compile the final audio track, mixing commentary highlights with vocal recordings and stadium ambience. When the final whistle blew it was pens down for some, but for others in the production team it was full steam ahead as we mixed the final audio, rearranged and edited clips to get the timing just right, and then finally played the composition to the room for feedback and approval.
When we got the green tick, the song was uploaded to our platform and embedded into the Player Of The Match trophy down at the stadium and delivered to the much-deserving recipient.
Over 53,000 kilometres travelled, 2500 highlights captured, 48 trophies delivered and 1 very unique project.
When all was said and done, we’d successfully delivered 48 unique trophies for every match of the Rugby World Cup, and built some amazing memories with an A+ team from just about every part of the world.
That's a snapshot of our post-Rugby World Cup adventures in Paris. Stay tuned for our detailed case study, where we'll dive deeper into the intricacies of this unforgettable journey. Thanks again to our partners at Mastercard, Octagon, Made By Doing, FRUKT, James Cook, SONGO, Philippine and Surkin. We’re looking forward to the next challenge!