IMS Productions is headed to college.
Last month, the local video production firm best known for its broadcast work with the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 signed a deal to provide a customized production truck for the Pac-12 Networks, the broadcast arm of the Pac-12 Conference.
The truck, dubbed Killer Frost, will be used for nearly 100 Pac-12 live sporting events in the current school year, including baseball, softball, lacrosse, water polo, and track and field competitions.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources pegged it as a low- to mid-six-figure annual deal.
“With IMS Productions’ remote broadcast expertise and their commitment to building a unique, West Coast-based IP-transmission mobile unit for our network, we are well positioned to continue our innovative, efficient broadcast methods for years to come,” Jonathan Leess, executive vice president of operations for Pac-12 Networks, said in a statement.
Leess added that the Killer Frost “offers a seamless and economical solution to elevate the broadcast-quality of [Pac-12 Networks] shows."
IMS Productions only worked on IndyCar events and some Indiana Pacers games until 2009—a year after Robby Greene became president of the Hulman & Co. subsidiary. Now the company has more than 70 clients and 200-plus employees.
IMS Productions’ client list includes the likes of Ford, Professional Bull Riders, Home Shopping Network, Butterball, WNBA’s L.A. Sparks, Global Rally Cross and Mecum Auctions.
Greene told IBJ that IMS Productions has grown primarily by word of mouth as word spread about the firm’s prowess in shooting live outdoor events.
Ken Ungar, the IndyCar Series’ former chief of staff, said Tony George laid the groundwork for IMS Productions’ expansion while he was head of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
George served as president and CEO of Hulman & Co. and its affiliates, including Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. and the IndyCar Series, from 1989 until June 2009.
“Tony George consistently approved investments that are paying benefits today,” said Ungar, who now runs Charge, a locally based sports marketing firm.
“IMS Productions has a very good reputation," Ungar said. "The advantage they have is they have national-caliber staff and national-caliber equipment. Their [high-definition] trailer is as good as any out there. They’ve made smart investments and have had good management. It doesn’t surprise me at all that a major college network would want to tap into the type of expertise they have.”
The Pac-12 deal is not only a good-sized piece of business, but should also be a solid marketing vehicle for IMS Productions to grow its business, Ungar said.
"The Pac-12 is a high-profile conference with schools like UCLA and USC," he said. "It should be a good showcase for [IMS Productions] to demonstrate their capabilities."
IMS Productions, Greene said, “used its existing assets to custom-build Killer Frost to meet the IP production model specifications and broadcast needs for Pac-12 Networks.”
IMS Productions provides “state-of-the-art, broadcast-quality cameras and other equipment” that allows the conference to televise live sports events, Greene explained. Pac-12 Networks is responsible for providing on-air talent and much of the production crew needed to broadcast their events.
IMS Productions is composed of two divisions; the Productions Group and its Mobile Unit Group, which supplies remote broadcast solutions to network television and other clients.