Watched To The Max Day: UpTake’s GiveMN Live Stream Sets Record

One of the highlights of the Give To The Max Day video livestream was watching school principals dive into a tank with sharks. Videographer Bill Sorem followed the divers and talked to them before and after their swim.

Click on the photo to watch school principals swim with sharks as they raise money on Give To The Max Day

Story for The UpTake by Mike McIntee/Video by Bill Sorem

Not only did people donate a record $17.1 million to charities during Nov. 14′s “Give To The Max Day” in Minnesota, but a record number of people watched video coverage of the event online, as well. More than 65,000 people watched a portion of the 15-hour marathon video event, nearly tripling last year’s record number of 23,444 viewers.

This year’s livestream was longer and more ambitious than in previous years, with three live video locations. The event started in the Mall of America’s rotunda, switched to the newly opened CoCo in Uptown Minneapolis, and then finished up with a late night concert at The Triple Rock Social Club.

As it has for the last four years, The UpTake produced the live video coverage of the event. The UpTake’s Executive Director Jason Barnett says he suggested doing the live video coverage when GiveMN was brainstorming the original Give To The Max Day five years ago.

“We’ve been live-streaming events since 2008, we’re experts in the field and we stream all sorts of civic events,” Barnett said. “An event like this is much bigger than most of the events we stream, but it fits our mission of telling stories that are important to our community. GiveMN likes that we are a non-profit organization, producing media for them as we help demonstrate the potential of non-profits, even ones as small as we are. It is a good match for everyone.”

Barnett says more people are watching for many reasons: Awareness of the annual event is growing, he said, more people have access to broadband, and people now expect live video of events like these. But he says the biggest reason is that people want to help. “The people of Minnesota care deeply about their friends and neighbors, and this event is all about helping our friends and neighbors. They want to see the best of Minnesota.”

One new wrinkle regarding this year’s event was the idea of having school principals literally “swim with the sharks” to help raise money for their schools. Happily, no principals were harmed in the making of this event!

Click to watch a video of principals preparing for the dive, swimming and then talking about their experience.

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