Ball State students and staff continued their relationship with the NCAA by producing exclusive content for the 2018 Final Four Social Hub. Director of Digital Sports Production Alex Kartman and students Connor Nichols (junior) and Zach Roy (freshman) traveled to San Antonio to curate, create and deliver content across Final Four social media accounts.
“The relationship with the NCAA is unique and allows students the ability to collaborate and created inspiring content on a national stage,” Kartman said. “I’ve had great opportunity to help with this project since the 2015 Final Four in Indianapolis. Every year the scope multiplies and students continue to deliver for a national brand.”
Nichols added, “Not a lot of people get the opportunity to produce content for the Final Four, let alone people who are still in college. Being able to produce content that would reach a national audience is what made me excited.”
The weekend began Thursday, and didn’t finish until the early hours Tuesday morning with Villanova hoisting NABC Coaches Trophy on the Riverwalk. Throughout the long weekend, Nichols and Roy filmed March Madness Music Fest, Final Four Fan Fest, Reese’s All-Star practices, activities around town. “Connor Nichols and I were able to create fan-based content that highlighted what events and activities were available to the fans such as concerts; fan fest; music fest; open practices; etc,” Roy said.
For the team, the trip with the Reese’s College All-Stars to visit Wounded Warriors was one of the most rewarding. “My Grandpa served for our country, so I have a high respect for veterans,” Nichols said. “Being able to see current and former individuals who served for our country have an amazing day by simply getting autographs from these players meant a lot to me.”
While Nichols and Roy filmed events around town, Alex Kartman operated and strategized the Final Four social media accounts from the Final Four Social Hub in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio. Sports Link students on campus by led by Senior Director of Digital Sports Production Chris Taylor supplemented the work, engaging with fans on social media to create memorable experiences for fans in San Antonio.
— NCAA Final Four (@FinalFour) April 1, 2018
In addition to the Sports Link students, Kartman also oversaw a pair of students from Arizona State, students from Trinity University and a staff of freelance videographers to create more than 200 unique pieces of content over the weekend. Kartman said, “The amount of content created takes a small army of videographers and photographers. It’s an honor to continue to have our students included in the select group of content producers.”
For Nichols and Roy, the experience continued their growth as students in Sports Link. “The opportunities provided in Sports Link transfer to experiences in any situation,” Roy said. “Sports Link helped prepare me for this trip by giving me the opportunity to do everything at Ball State we did in San Antonio.”
“With its equipment and resources, Sports Link has given me the opportunity to succeed and stand out in the sports production field,” Nichols said. “I would not be the editor, storyteller, producer, or the individual I am today without Sports Link.”