First In A Two-Part Series On New Sports Media
The first time I saw Mike Nacnac was outside Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church in Waipio when he was a toddler.
It was during Mass, but my young son Elijah was restless so I took him out into the fresh air so he could expend some energy. Mike’s mom, Mai Lien, had the same idea for her child.
Through the years, the two boys were in the same Sunday school classes and are now young men.
Nowadays, Nacnac is behind the camera for his own media production company specializing in sports that he started in January.
Generally speaking, he does videography, photography and graphic design for hire.
But before we get into the nuts and bolts of his profession, let’s first take a look at who this 23-year-0ld is.
A Pearl City football linebacker in high school, an ACL injury kept Nacnac out of his whole junior year. And, believe it or not, that injury eventually gave him a keen perspective on things.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” he told Bedrock Sports Hawaii. “I would never have had the motivation and determination to become who I am today if it wasn’t for that injury. It taught me patience and helped deepen my faith. It was God’s way of bringing me closer.”
He went on to play as a hybrid linebacker/defensive back at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, and then at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa.
Nacnac recalls the following lessons that young and hungry football players would be wise to follow:
>> Lesson 1: “To be honest, I was going to hang up my cleats after my senior year of high school,” he said. “I couldn’t picture myself leaving home. My parents convinced me that I should try it out and see how it goes. All the support from my family made my decision worthwhile. I learned a lot and made a lot of friends along the way.”
>> Lesson 2: “In high school, I was coachable, but wasn’t necessarily college recruit material. I had a lot of developing to do. Junior college helped me grow as an athlete and mature as an adult.”
And he kept on going in the sport he loves — even after knee surgery in high school and shoulder surgery in junior college.
Ahhh, but was it worth it in the long run?
Well, the following two items makes the answer a resounding yes. Said Nacnac:
>> Resounding reason 1: “When I transferred to Clarke University, they named me as a team captain and I started every game that 2019 season. I finished the season being named All-Conference linebacker.”
>> Resounding reason 2: “After I graduated in December 2021, I was offered to showcase my abilities at several All-Star camps, showcases, and professional tryouts. I attended one All-Star college football game in Florida. It consisted of players from all college levels. It was an amazing experience. My agent was able to get my name into the USFL Draft Pool, but I was never contacted by any teams since. Now is my time to give back to my community through coaching and through my business.”
Now, Nacnac is back home as an assistant coach with the Pearl City JV team, of which his twin brothers Micah and Micaiah members.
And by starting Nacnac Productionz, the son of parents Mike Sr. and Mai Lien and the brother of former Chargers softball player Micahlynn is already making good use of his associate’s degree in entrepreneurship/small business management and bachelor’s degree in business administration/marketing.
“I grew up in the YouTube era, from when it first started out,” he said. “I was into watching football highlights during my free time. In middle school, I decided to make my own YouTube channel. My mom would film my football games in high school and I would put together highlights of the team. In high school my channel continued to grow as I created more content and by college I was known to many for my work. One of my videos went viral, reaching 30 million views. As of today my YouTube Channel sits at 50,000 subscribers.”
From watching videos to making videos to forming his own video business, what a great progression, especially for a 23-year-old.
“I remember my dad saying before I left for college, ‘When football and school is all said and done, how are you going to give back to your community?’ ” he recalled. “My overall goal was go go back home and help all the athletes of Hawaii get exposure to colleges in the mainland through film. I invested in a bunch of camera equipment and software. I started by contacting local football camps to help give the athletes some kind of video they could use to showcase their abilities. From there I got connected with ESPN Honolulu, which I now also contribute and collaborate with. I also did some work with the University of Hawaii football team this past spring. With the help of some family and friends, my business grew exponentially. I conducted work for sports, weddings, parties, food, clothing designs.”
“Making sports videos allows me to capture moments, something that can be used as a tool for recruiting or something that could be of sentimental value to the athlete” he added. “It allows me to stay connected with sports and create entertainment.”
Below is Nacnac’s business card, followed by one of his sports videos. (Note: Click the link even though it reads ‘Video unavailable’).
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