Shortly after the live practice the 49ers held at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday, August 5, the organization announced that they would soon be rolling out a new digital series titled “Brick by Brick: All Access with The San Francisco 49ers.” It would be under the leadership of Robert Alberino, VP and Executive Producer of the team. Alberino, who first discussed the project on the #49Problems podcast, spoke of how it would be a series that looked to give fans a never-before-seen insight into the team. The roll out was done via short teaser on the team’s Twitter account with an accompanying video featuring GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan.
When Robert Alberino was asked about the approach to what they are taking with the content they put out via 49ers studios he was quoted saying:
“We sit here at 4949 (Centennial Blvd) and we talk about how we are [going to] connect with the fans or what kind of content we are [going to] do or what kind of cool stuff we are [going to] do with the players. The question that immediately comes up for us is “what do you want to see?” “If you were a fan what would you want to see?” “What would you want to hear?” “Would you want to be spoon fed or would you want some really good hardcore football stuff?””
The series has been compared to “Hard Knocks” & “All Or Nothing” in terms of the type of footage that fans will get to see on their beloved 49ers. The series will appear on the team’s website as they attempt to move towards a digital distribution model. The comments from the organization indicate that they have done various studies into how fans consume their information and it indicates that with the increased importance of social media that going to a digital model was their best avenue to receive the highest level of consumption possible.
Word from the organization is that three-part series will be a combination of different forms of footage that will give fans a look at the first training camp under Lynch and Shanahan. From interviews with players, coaches and executives to “Mic’d Up” segments that was recorded during practice sessions and preseason games, the goal is to give a more in-depth look into the team.
The basis of the name comes from a tweet GM John Lynch crafted early in his tenure. #BrickByBrick has become a mantra for this organization and for the fan base. It's an understanding that every move; whether it's a draft pick, free-agent signing, front office move or trade is done with the mentality that done in the name of returning the organization back to the upper echelon of the NFL. It's also a message to the fans that no matter how much momentum they have gained since the hiring of Lynch and Shanahan that it is a process. As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day” and that championship teams are not built in one offseason.
The series is another sign of the confidence that this new administration walks into the building with. There are no delusions of grandeur, no false hope that they are selling everyone. It’s just a belief in themselves that they can turn this organization around and that unlike the past few seasons they do not need to work in the shadows. They can bring the fans into the process and give them a level of transparency about what their goals are and the process upon which they are employing to meet those goals.
You could argue that they understand that the best way to garner the level of support they will need as they rebuild the organization is to bring the fans into the fold and make them apart of the process.
It also allows the organization to “control the message”, it's no secret that in the last seasons the team has dealt with issues of leaks so much to the point where HBO’s “Ballers” a football-oriented TV series took a shot at the 49ers and their past issues. A show like “Brick by Brick” allows them to control the amount of information that gets out the public. Allows them shape the narrative of what is publicly said. As much as “Brick by Brick” is a way for fans to receive in-depth footage of the team it's a sale pitch intended to change the perception that the fans and the media have about the team.
As Alberino and Preside Al Guido eluded to during their respective interviews on the #49Problems podcast the organization is looking to push the envelope in terms of engagement with the fans. “Brick by Brick” is the next step in that process and it will be fascinating to see what they have next in store for the fans