Skip to main content

The Story of What Goes Into the Ravens' Massive Media Day

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

By the time the sun rose Monday morning, Ravens Media Day was well underway.

The planning for this annual all-day event begins months in advance. Over the weekend, the indoor practice facility had been transformed into a movie set with lights, cameras, and props to capture hundreds of images that fans will see throughout the 2024 season. The setting looked more suitable for Tom Cruise or Denzel Washington, but the stars were players like Roquan Smith and Derrick Henry.

Mark Andrews was the first player to arrive at the Under Armour Performance Center around 6 a.m. Once Media Day begins, movement within the building is non-stop. Players were shuttled quickly from one location to the next, with limited time allotted for each player. There were photos to shoot, interviews to conduct, and creative content was generated all day.

It took cooperation from many departments in the organization to pull off the visuals that made players look like action heroes. Everything had to be accomplished working around players' physicals and team meetings.

When the day was over, the results were well worth the stress.

"It's like a football play. When a particular player comes in, we're running this play and everyone knows what they have to do," Director of Photography Eddie Coughlan said. "It's a very well-orchestrated thing.

"I can't give enough shoutouts to all the internal people who helped. Public relations, community relations, marketing, equipment, everyone who helps get players to the set. It's a very cool day. It's a lot, it's stressful, but it brings people in the building together because it takes so many people to make it happen."

For the first time, stuntmen were used on Media Day, which gave players like Justin Madubuike, Odafe Oweh, Lamar Jackson and Smith a chance to get physical while acting out scenes. Rehearsals were done over the weekend using stand-ins for players, so that Monday's photo sessions would run like clockwork.

"We put them in a make-believe world and let them throw people around," Coughlan said. "Justin and Oweh were like, 'You mean we get to hit these guys?' They loved it. For the stuff we asked Lamar to do, he had a great time dancing around the set, moving the way he moves. He was ready to be Lamar."

Ravens Productions has been nominated for 132 Capital Emmys and won 57, and was nominated for a record 17 awards for the 2023 season. Everyone in Ravens Media brings new ideas to the table.

Many images created on Media Day will be shown on the videoboards at M&T Bank Stadium during pre-game introductions and throughout games during the 2024 season. It creates a game-day atmosphere that is unlike any other.

On Monday, the Ravens held their 2024 Media Day where players were in pictures, videos, and more.

As the NFL continues to expand its broadcast partnerships, Media Day grows every year. Crews from WBAL 98 Rock, ESPN, CBS, FOX, NBC, NFL Films, NFL Prime were at the Under Armour Performance on Monday getting footage and soundbites that will be used for their broadcasts.

"Media Day getting bigger every year is a good thing," said Senior Vice President of Communications Chad Steele. "It means the league is strong, and our fans love the things we do. When you see these ideas and images come to life on Media Day, you have a vision of how it will look, but when you see the finished product, it's like 'Wow, that's really cool'. The bigger Media Day gets and the more we do, it's a good thing for us as a franchise."

To handle the high volume of requests required for Media Day, Vice President of Public Relations Patrick Gleason begins talking to players weeks in advance.

"Marquee players like Lamar, Mark and Roquan know what to expect," Gleason said. "It's a lot for them to do, but they're professionals, they go into it with fantastic attitudes, and I think they enjoy it. We have a fantastic group of guys in our locker room."

After arriving to work at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Social Media Manager/Digital Host Cassie Cherigo interviewed 38 players on Media Day. Some of her segments feature props and non-football questions that encourage players to tap into their sense of humor.

"Our guys have fun with it, which I hope livens up the day," Cherigo said. "With things like 'What's in the Box,' the guessing games for players, you have to give them the energy that you want to get.

"I think my first couple of years, some parts of Media Day were a foreign concept to some older players. Now a lot of guys, especially from the Power Five conferences, are used to this. A guy like Roger Rosengarten probably did something like this for the national championship game alone. There's an understanding of what we're looking for, and our players see the videos and think they're funny."

When Media Day ended Monday afternoon, it took about four hours to break down the set and clean up, leaving the indoor practice facility looking the way it normally does by Tuesday morning. Another Media Day was in the books.

"In November, you'll see a promo pop up on TV and there's Mark, or Lamar, or Justin, and something they shot in June at Media Day is debuting," Gleason said. "There's an element of pride when you see the final product. It takes you back to how important Media Day is and how many people made it happen. Our incredible equipment staff prepares full game day uniforms for darn near every player on the roster in early June, which isn't easy to do.

"I always enjoy when we debut our intro video at the stadium. I like to watch the fans and their reaction to what they're seeing for the first time in the stadium. Seeing that takes you back to Media Day. It's something that a lot of people poured a ton of energy into."

Related Content