As issues go on this planet, this is hardly anything, but just because an issue is minor does not mean it should not be given some thought. As a gymnastics fan and videographer I have always believed in highlighting not only what is happening this minute, but what happened before. In a sport like Gymnastics where a routine can be awesome to see decades after it first was performed, I think its important to highlight past years as well as the now. I like to share historic videos and one would think my past six years covering the sport as a credentialed media member in addition to years before shooting from the stands would produce a wealth of content to share. But there’s one problem…
For five years between January 2010 and March of 2014 I contributed to Gymnastike.org as a videographer, traveling to meets after being given the opportunity by Gymnastike head Anne Phillips to be credentialed. This gave me valuable experience and a platform to showcase the collegiate gymnasts around the northeast and beyond. It would have been unlikely that I would have gained the credibility I have, such as it is without Anne and Gymnastike’s help. Anne was awesome, patient with me and supportive, and while I was not compensated for what I did, it was still their reputation on the line allowing me to represent them. The videos taken while credentialed were exclusively granted to Gymnastike which was somewhat fair and I’d imagine standard practice.
Over those five years, Gymnastike and parent company Flocasts gradually added more and more business elements to no doubt make some money off of their content. Obviously the company was formed to make money, this is not a surprise. Though over time these money making efforts became more obtrusive, more advertisements on videos, and exclusives. Admittedly though, that was at least tolerable if not frustrating at times. I realize many do not have such a generous view and I can understand their frustration. Over time, Flocasts hired more people to fill their ranks both at Flocasts and Gymnastike.
Then Joe Battaglia, Content Director for Flocasts, responded to a story about nude photos being leaked (including those of underage Olympian McKayla Maroney) by posting a link to the photo source. Later after outcry the link was removed but the story remained causing further outcry and demands for an apology and beyond. Flocasts took an especially long time to respond. The handling of the situation had nothing to do with Anne or the new staffers at Gymnastike, but was mishandled by Flocasts management and Battaglia who still holds his current job to this day.
After mulling it over, and going back and forth based on largely Battaglia and Flocast management’s actions I decided to end my relationship with Gymnastike and struck out on my own using my site as a platform, worked out a contributing relationship to the Gymternet thanks to Lauren Hopkins.
However, there is frankly a ton of fantastic routines from 2010-2014 that would be great to share. Teams only recently have started putting up their routines on video channels, making in some cases my videos the only source to see these routines. But to show them means linking to Gymnastike and sending them hits and likely a little revenue. I am tempted to do so anyway as it was not Gymnastike’s fault for what Battaglia did, and it certainly wasn’t the fault of the gymnasts who were filmed either. However, the principle of the thing bothers me too. A lot. Any opinions you, the reader, might have would be welcome either in comments, at davegymnastics >< yahoo.com or via twitter @davependrys.
Thanks for reading.
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