Is content ‘the new arms race’ for LSU Athletics? Why its creative team is pointing the camera toward the crowd

It’s Saturday night in Death Valley, and LSU fans roar in excitement as their team makes its first touchdown against the Army football team. Giovanni Lamonte sits in the Skyline Club, as high up in the stadium as one could go. Behind him, the first fireworks of the night explode.

In front of him sits his camera, the same one he uses for every game. He tries to hold it still as the people around him jump for joy. His job is to film them, to get their reactions to every amazing play.

Lamonte works for LSU’s South Stadium Productions creative team as a producer and videographer. While everyone else pays attention to the game, he’s paying attention to them.

“I was a fan first. I am still a fan but coming into work here, there’s a switch that you have to flip. You can still get excited for the team. It’s something that I really can’t explain unless you’re in the situation. But once you know you’re working for the university and everything you do is for the team and no longer as a fan, you’re seeing it from a different perspective,” Lamonte says.

Lamonte is also a producer for the LSU Gymnastics team’s social media videos and is known for his videos on TikTok. But tonight, he’s part of an elite team of six videographers capturing the football players and the crowd.

“For me personally, I’m going to be in the stands roaming. I kind of ask for that assignment just because I don’t like to sit still for too long,” Lamonte says.

Emily Dixon remembers when LSU’s Sports Productions team was only a small group of three. Now, she’s in charge of creative services at South Stadium Productions and leads people like Lamonte in what she calls “the new arms race.”

“It seems like it used to be facilities and who had the biggest stadium and flashiest things in their (operations) building. (Now, it’s) how can we showcase our brand and our student-athletes,” Dixon says.

During the games, Dixon sits in the press box taking notes on the plays of the game. She knows that alongside Lamonte’s video, her notes will help create legendary content.

“You bring a camera into the student section, and you feel like a celebrity. People are stopping and saying, ‘Come take a video of us.’ I remember being on the opposite end of that and being like, ‘This is so cool. We might get on a hype video or on the jumbotron.’ So I try to remember that every time I’m up there,” Lamonte says.

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