Michael Brown, Chief Technical Officer (r); Larry Brown, President (c); and George Mcleod , Vice President (l)

Michael Brown, Chief Technical Officer (r); Larry Brown, President (c); and George Mcleod , Vice President (l)

360 Replays uses a broadcast technology that captures 360-degree live-action images. The result? Instant coverage of the action…… at any angle. 

Imagine the allure of that concept to sports enthusiasts and officials and you begin to see the incredible potential of this cutting-edge technology. 

The company is based in Brandon, having been founded by a father-son duo of local residents: son Michael Brown, who developed the technology (called VantEDGE) and father Larry, who is the President. 

As well , Larry’s business partners, George McLeod and Dean Esler of Brandon, were instrumental in getting the project off the ground.

The Browns have attracted some major partners, including Ralph Mellanby, who brought the country Hockey Night in Canada for 25 years and is a veteran Olympic hockey producer. 

After first seeing the system Mellanby commented:

“Perhaps this is the most innovative thing I have seen in broadcasting in the past 25 years.”

Another major partner is Glenn Norman, one of the senior executives at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The response from various exhibitions and trade shows has also been great, but the company must now raise money to incorporate the current trend and marketplace demands of High-Definition.

Explains Larry Brown, President of 360 Replays:

“The marketplace is worldwide and we are beginning to garner a great deal of attention from the Sports and Broadcast world .We have spoken to many sports organizations and they all say the same thing: ‘We think you really have something here and we need to see this in High Definition’. HD is now the standard and we must upgrade from our current SD technology. It is not a matter of development anymore; we have done the leg work. The issue is now purely a financial one.  We already have begun working on another technology that will be integrated with our HD VantEDGE platform as well as our ongoing revenue stream business models.” 

Once the integration is complete Brown believes the sky will be the limit for 360 Replays:

While our initial intent was to develop the Vantedge system for sports it soon became apparent that there were many other uses of the technology, such as the Fashion Industry, Music Video’s, Television and so on. What makes our system so different is that it can be used for broadcast as well as broadband for the web and new phone apps.

Enter the Manitoba and Brandon Chambers, which were only too happy to help raise the company’s profile in its quest for funding. 

Nathan Peto, the Brandon Chamber’s General Manager, felt 360 Replays was a story that deserved to be told:

“360 Replays exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit in Brandon and Manitoba.  They are a cutting-edge company that is setting the pace for technology and innovation in their respective field and we feel they are on the cusp of changing sports broadcasting in a major way.” 

Peto approached Dan Overall, MCC Director of Policy and Communications, who thought helping out the local chamber member was a no-brainer. 

Explains Overall:

“I think a key benefit of membership in the chamber is enhanced profile – enhanced profile amongst our 10,000-strong chamber network and, where possible, through our contacts with the media. Of course, it’s a bit easier to get media attention when a company’s product is as remarkable as 360 Replays’.”   

The MCC approached the Winnipeg Free Press with the possibility of a story and the result was a half-page spotlight in the paper’s Saturday edition. The article, entitled “360-degree TV born in Brandon: Company hopes eye-popping technology Olympics-bound”, was written by Martin Cash. In the article Cash says 360 Replays may have:

“…  the sexiest broadcast technology on the planet.” 

Larry Brown talks some more about his goals and the challenges the company faces:

“I very much want to see this Manitoban spawned technology stay right here where it belongs. The Province has stepped up with helping us in offering 30% tax credits for Manitoba investors. Getting the word out has been a difficult challenge for our company. I had always thought the difficulty would be in the development of the technology but in hindsight that has been the easy stage. It has proven most challenging to find people with a willingness to get behind new technology investment-wise as most investors seem to follow more traditional investments that they may be comfortable with.” 

The 360 Replays President added: 

“I cannot begin to express my thanks to the Brandon and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce as they were instrumental in getting the attention of the Winnipeg Free Press which led to the article.”   

Watch out in 2010 as 360 Replays will be profiled as one of Manitoba’s Cül Companies. 

Key links:

The VantEDGE technology before it is raised at Atlanta's Philips Arena

The VantEDGE technology before it is raised at Atlanta's Philips Arena