Barstool Sports: A Sound Partnership

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Barstool Sports is one of the most influential digital sports media brands in America. It’s known for captivating content that is distributed over multiple platforms, including web, apps, podcasts, radio, video, social and events. Over its rich 16-year history, the media company has built a fiercely loyal and incredibly engaged following made up of more than 26 million monthly subscribers. That massive audience is responsible for putting Barstool at the top of several media charts. To deliver high-quality content that aligns with the Barstool brand, the company and its more than 250 employees are supported by only the best technology available.
 
Barstool_2.jpgIn 2019, Barstool relocated its headquarters to a new space in New York. Coincidentally, Yamaha UC — based in nearby Sudbury, Massachusetts — was in the process of forming a marketing partnership with the media conglomerate. The move and the partnership provided the perfect opportunity to bring the two brands together on a much more exciting level. Yamaha UC would outfit the new headquarters with its leading audio and video conferencing equipment to help Barstool achieve a great meeting experience across the company. In addition, Yamaha UC would sponsor Barstool’s podcasts and videos, targeting the company’s millions of subscribers, which include savvy end-users as well as IT and AV professionals who may benefit from superior quality meetings within their own organizations.
 
“We have people not only in the office but also out reporting from the field,” said Pete Overmyer, head of media technology and production at Barstool. “While we absolutely have to be able to quickly and easily communicate in meetings happening at headquarters, we also wanted to extend that experience to sales calls while out on the road. They’re both vital to our success as an influencer and brand.”
 
Beyond high-quality, natural audio, the solutions also had to meet their requirement for ease of use and deployment — another core tenet of Yamaha UC’s brand. With solutions that are IT- and user-friendly, Barstool would cut down on the time it takes IT to install and set up each system. In addition, it would allow users to start meetings faster and reduce calls to the service desk.
 

 “Ease of use is incredibly important,” said Overmyer. “We envisioned technology where anybody can come in and get started without any training.”

 
Yamaha UC sat down with Overmyer to learn what kind of spaces would be in the company’s new headquarters and features they required to enable a great deployment and user experience. With a firm understanding of those needs, Yamaha UC provided the company with a customized conference package. Before each solution was implemented, it was tested and configured to ensure it would meet Barstool’s high standards.
 
IMG_4856.jpgFirst, the Yamaha UC provided Barstool’s sales team with YVC-200 portable USB + Bluetooth personal speakerphones. The YVC-200 creates a portable yet professional conference phone that delivers high-performance audio. The device leverages Yamaha's acoustic echo cancellation and human voice activity detection to boost productivity when meeting remotely or in an open workspace. The unit features an intelligent microphone that delivers full-duplex conversation without sound dropouts and a powerful speaker that produces audio that feels as if every remote participant on the call is in the room. Best of all, it’s easy to use. A sales member only has to pair it with their laptop or mobile device via USB or Bluetooth and they’re set to hear and a be heard clearly.
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In the company’s 10 private call rooms and four conference rooms, Yamaha UC’s Revolabs FLX UC 1000/1500 USB and VoIP conference phones were installed. The preferred audio endpoints for many UC service providers today, the series is designed to satisfy the critical requirement of high-quality audio for virtual meetings originating from offices, huddle rooms, and medium to large conference rooms. The UC 1000 and 1500 models bring in VoIP capability in addition to the USB connectivity. Because they’re designed specifically to make it easier for teams working from multiple locations to hear each other clearly, they met Barstool’s criteria for simple, effective, and clear communication and collaboration.
 
Finally, two CS-700 Video Sound Bars were specified in the executive offices, providing a powerful combination of industry-leading audio and video conferencing technology. Designed for huddle rooms, the Yamaha CS-700 helped Barstool achieve the best audio possible along with user-friendly video and collaboration capabilities. Its adaptive beamforming microphone array perfectly captures conversation while the unit’s four Yamaha speaker elements provide the highest degree of audio intelligibility. Finally, a wide-angle HD camera ensures far-end participants can see everyone in clear detail. Users can quickly connect to any UC platform via a single USB. Because they don’t have to connect and operate disparate video, audio, and collaboration components, Barstool users can start meetings quickly, be more productive during calls as well as eliminate the burden of having to enlist IT to set up calls. The fact that the solution comes in a simple and smart wall-mounted unit, meant deployment and installation were a snap.
 

“Yamaha UC was extremely helpful, even as we were in the middle of transitioning to our new office,” said Overmyer. “We were able to set up and configure some of the devices even before we moved. Once at our new location, deployment went smoothly, and every device works reliably. The sound quality reflects the Barstool’s brand.”


 Barstool is also testing the SIP CS-700, the ESB-1080 Enterprise Sound Bar and Collaboration Kit for some new rooms they are building out. The SIP model of the CS-700 integrates PBX and UC applications, allowing users to bridge telephone calls and web conferences while achieving the same high-quality audio from all communication channels from one easy-to-use system. The Yamaha Collaboration Kit bundles an AI wide-angle USB camera from Huddly, a leading manufacturer of award-winning, AI-powered conference cameras, with the ESB-1080 Enterprise Sound Bar. The kit provides clear, dynamic, full-range speaker output for conference rooms and boasts intelligent features from Huddly, including Huddly InSights analytics API and a Genius Framing camera feature that automatically detects and frames participants in its field of view, eliminating the need to manually control the camera.