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Unique, enterprising video stories win Tour de France viewers

John Leicester and Samuel Petrequin demonstrated that a phone in the pocket can be a powerful device for short-form video storytelling, providing a model that can be applied to other major events. In addition to their daily race coverage, the Paris-based sports writers shot a series of nearly 20 videos from the Tour de France, using iPhone and GoPro to create short-form, customer-ready products. The videos drove traffic to their comprehensive text coverage of the race itself and “Taste of the Tour,” their daily cross-format series of entertaining, informative and entirely exclusive cross-format stories exploring the people, places, cuisine and hidden tales in the regions crossed by the Tour.

They shot video and interviews in the early morning, before starting long days of work covering each stage, then edited their video stories in the car as they drove hundreds of miles to the stage finish, where they then leapt back into action. On Twitter alone, the video series racked up close to 300,000 views. And none of this was done at the expense of the race story: The New York Times, for example, systematically used Petrequin and Leicester’s text coverage in its print edition throughout the three weeks.

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