In expectation of its first TV series, TeamWorks expands facility, staff

When Chicago Bull Jay Williams visited the United Center in December, for the first time since his debilitating motorcycle injury last summer, TeamWorks Media was right there with him.

TeamWorks was the only TV crew inside Wrigley Field the day after the Cubs lost game seven of the National League championship to the Florida Marlins.

“The most poignant moment of the series for us was when we panned across the field to the empty stadium,” said TeamWorks president Kevin Krebs. “[Cubs coach] Dusty Baker came walking out on the field with his young son, threw him the ball and he hit it. The tyke running around the bases, it’s cold, dark and windy, and we’re the only ones there to capture it.”

The three-and-a-half-year-old company, which is Midwest production bureau for ESPN and NBA Entertainment, expects major growth in the coming year. They’re expanding their staff and their West Loop facility, and expecting to land their first series.

TeamWorks is in series talks with ESPN, ABC Sports, and Spike TV, and hope to have word by spring or summer. “Spike TV is particularly interesting to our office because the majority of us are guys in our 20s and 30s,” Krebs said. “We see ourselves as the epitome of the Spike TV demographic, and our ideas really resonated with them.”

Krebs anticipates TeamWorks’ staff growing to 25 by mid-year from its current 16. “There will definitely be some ramp up on the production side, with cameramen and producers and editors, and we’ll also be adding people in IT, accounting, and sales,” Krebs said.

TeamWorks plans to move into its expanded space by March 1, adding some 6,000 square feet to their current 3,000 square foot facility. They’ll be adding an HD edit suite in addition to their two Avid suites. And they’re building out one of their conference rooms to enable conversion to a live studio on-call.

“We’ve gone live to satellite from our office in the past, but now we’ll be ready to turn on a moments notice, everything will be pre-wired so it’s pretty much plug and play,” Krebs said.

Krebs, a former VP of the Windmill Group, launched TeamWorks in 2000, along with partners Tom Smithburg of the Bulls and Jay Sharman and Todd Gordon of Fox Sports Net. The company has doubled its revenues each year, expanding into integrated marketing, DVD production and web design, and taking on non-sports clients like Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Proctor and Gamble.

“For us, it’s been all about growing our company for the long term, not positioning ourselves to get bought out, but positioning ourselves to be a leader in the industry for a long time,” Krebs said.

“We plan on being here, coming in to work every day and embracing whatever challenge that day holds for us. That’s the fun part.”

See ? by Ed M. Koziarski,