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How the Chargers Viral 2024 Schedule Release Came to Life


The Chargers did it again.

Each spring, the NFL's schedule release date serves as a benchmark in the offseason and is essentially viewed as a holiday for in-house content teams.

The Bolts, who cemented themselves atop the league in recent years with their anime videos, went a different route but still crushed it in 2024.

The Chargers Sims schedule release video has been viewed nearly 10 million times while also garnering more than 43 million total impressions.

For context, the runner-up team in overall impressions was just under five million.

The schedule release video was also No. 1 among all NFL teams on YouTube and peaked at No. 12 on the site's trending page.

Here's how the viral video came to life:

How and why was Sims the choice for this year's video?

Brainstorming sessions began soon after the 2023 season ended. After a few meetings, a collection of content creators decided to run down the Sims in late February. Once the team fully realized how custom they would be able to make the experience, the Chargers locked in on that as the focal point, with Sims checking every box in terms of the formula they've found to be the most successful over the years. It also helped that the Bolts had two in-house Sims experts on our social media team — Allie Raymond and Hannah Johnson — who could take it to the next level.

Before we deep dive into Sims, why go away from anime after back-to-back incredible videos?

There's no doubt the Chargers could have gone for a three-peat with their anime video. But the squad wanted to show they could have success by going in a different direction, even if that sometimes seemed like an impossible task. Sure, some people might be upset with the change of direction, but the team wanted to keep it fresh and explore something new. The Chargers pride themselves on their creativity and we didn't want to simply rest on something the same idea for a third straight year. That meant pushing and that meant taking a risk, but it paid off.

How did the process begin once Sims was decided as the theme?

Raymond (Director, Organic Social Media )and Johnson (Seasonal Assistant, Organic Social Media) dove in and started playing the game for hours on end to build out specific scenes and characters that are customizable mods. A "joke team" also helped out by pitching ideas for each team on the Chargers schedule that the video could poke fun of along the way. Dozens of jokes and ideas were eventually whittled by a group that included Raymond and Johnson, plus David Bretto (Director, Creative Video), Tyler Pino (Sr. Director, Production) and Megan Julian (Director, Social Media and Digital).

Just how much effort went into creating the video?

For starters, Raymond and Johnson spent roughly 100 total hours inside the game. Their work included around 500 custom items, with more than 4,400 mods downloaded and 35 custom lots that were featured in 20-plus filming sessions. And while the duo was the driving force behind the final product, the team of Bretto, Pino and Julian helped guide the video to the finish line with a run time of three minutes and 29 seconds.

Finally, with so many inside jokes to choose from, which ones stand out?

The Bolts have long believed that Easter Eggs are the key to a schedule release video, as those nuggets poke fun at other teams in a week-by-week breakdown. (Note: the Chargers aren't afraid to put the heat on themselves either). The fun begins right away in Week 1 as a Raiders fan is dubbed in a clown face paint. Along the way, everyone from Taylor Swift, the Harbaugh brothers, Bill Belichick's dog and Nikola Jokic makes a cameo appearance. Some of the notable inside jokes include a dig at the Broncos ownership group along with Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins serving as a DJ at an Atlanta club. In fact, the video is so good that it requires multiple views in order to truly appreciate all of the Easter Eggs hidden inside.

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