In Crush It!, author Gary Vaynerchuk repeatedly speaks about passion and I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss in how it relates to this company, Huddle Productions. Passion is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a “strong desire or devotion to some activity.” I think we are all familiar with this word.
But how do we define it and relate it to our lives or our jobs? Perhaps some insights into the characters behind Huddle Productions will shed some light. Take Chris Yates for example. I have known Chris for 25 years and since the day I met him, you knew he was passionate person.
Chris did not wait to graduate college to begin his career. He started it while in college, gaining valuable experience that would set him apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a great story and I know I won’t do it justice here, so when you meet Chris, be sure to ask him about it.
In a nutshell, Chris was passionate about sports. And even though one of his claim’s to fame is intercepting Heisman Award winning quarterback Tye Detmer, Chris recognized that he wasn’t big enough or fast enough to play professional football. So while in college, he began his 20+ year television career on Public Access TV. For those of you old enough, you’ll remember that Public Access TV received its notoriety on Saturday Night Live when Mike Myers and Dana Carvey created the characters for Wayne’s World, which was later turned into two, well received movies. Remember this, though – Chris did this 3 years before Wayne’s World came out. Chris created his first sports TV program in Austin, focused on the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys, who at the time conducted their training camp in Austin.
I was fortunate to be a very small part Chris professional start: helping him film various events and interview various sports starts. It must have been quite a sight to see a college kid using very antiquated equipment stand toe-to-toe with the big boys in the national media and professional sports. At the time, Chris did the majority of the filming, interviewing, editing, and production. And the reward for all this hard work? A 2:00 A.M. time slot on Saturdays that each and everyone one of us stayed up to watch.
Chris parlayed this experience into a career that saw him start as low as one of the lowest markets in the nation Laredo (market 198) to working all the way up to one of the best Dallas (market 5). Along the way his creativity landed him 3 EMMY’s and numerous Katy, and Associate Press awards including the Sportscaster of the Year Award.
In 2007, Chris saw the proliferation of social networks and new distribution channels and joined forces with others who shared his passion to form Huddle Productions – a social media company specializing in video. In the short history of Huddle Productions, Chris has re-channeled that passion and energy into his company. In doing so, he has even earned another EMMY!
Chris’ passion stood out throughout his media career and it continues now with his own company, Huddle Productions.