Sports Link Wins 7th Outstanding Feature in 8 years

The Sports Video Group (SVG) and National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) joined forces May 31 to honor the best in college-sports-video production during the 10th-annual College Sports Media Awards, sponsored by Ross Video.

More than 400 entries were submitted for consideration in five categories (Live Game Production; Live Non-Game Production; Program Series; Special Feature; and Promotion, PSA, Tease, or Marketing Campaign) across four divisions (National Networks, Regional/Local Networks and Production Companies, Collegiate Athletics, and Collegiate Student).

FINAO: The Reggie McGee Story captured the SVG’s Outstanding Sports Feature for the second straight year and the seventh time in eight years in 2018.

Hosted by and Big Ten Network’s Andy Katz, the CSMA ceremony capped Day 1 of SVG’s College Sports Summit at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. Katz kicked off the ceremony with a reflection on the importance of relationships, a theme that would factor prominently throughout the evening.

In addition to advising the many students in attendance on “building trust with your sources, making sure that you’re dealing in the truth, and making sure that you’re fair,” he encouraged everyone to embrace new ways of telling stories.

“You’ve all done a phenomenal job of adapting with the current technology,” Katz said. “It’s something that those in my generation and above [are finding]: if you don’t get on this train, you’re certainly going to be left behind.

“I want to commend all the great work that we’re going to see tonight, because there’s so much great storytelling and great work that’s going on out there. I think the media is far from dead; I think we’re thriving, it’s just in a different form.”

Over the past eight years, Ball State Sports Link has earned top Collegiate Student honors in the Outstanding Special Feature Category seven times and took home its ninth overall pyramid in the 10-year history of the event in 2018.

The story, FINAO: The Reggie McGee Story, details the incredible story of the Ball State Football’s senior and his escape from inner-city Baltimore to Ball State.  The award-winning story was produced by Tyler Bradfield, Connor Nichols and Zach Roy.

Bradfield was quick to pay tribute to the instructors of Ball State Sports Link, including Senior Director, Digital Sports Production, Chris Taylor, last year’s SVG College Pioneer Award recipient.

“At Ball State, we’re very fortunate to have resources and people in place that are invested into features, invested into storytelling, and that starts first and foremost with our instructors,” Bradfield said. “Although, by title, they are professors and directors, I think we would align the term friendbrother, and mentor. They’re the ones that put together opportunities for us, who foster chances to learn. They’re the ones that, when we have an idea, say, ‘Let’s do it.’”

At its core, the CSMAs are all about great storytelling. From the Collegiate Athletics division all the way up to the National Networks division, all honorees paid tribute to the subjects of their stories and to the relationships that helped them tell those stories.

CBS Sports Coordinator Producer Craig Silver accepted the award for Outstanding Live Game Production by a National Network.

Accepting the final statue of the night, Outstanding Live Game Production for a National Network, CBS Sports Coordinating Producer Craig Silver took time to reflect on Loyola Chicago’s improbable Final Four run before turning his attention to the students in the room.

“Every time you pick up a camera or a microphone, go to an edit room, sit in a truck, you’re representing those letters on your chest, you’re representing yourself. But, most important, no matter how big or small the production, there’s somebody out there watching, and they care about that team and those players more than anything else in the world,”Silver said. “It’s your duty to cover it and present it in the best way possible.

“I’ve had the great honor of being here last year and this year, and, from what I can tell, the present is terrific, and the future is even brighter because of all of you.”

The SVG College Pioneer and Technology Leadership Awards were also given out during the 2018 CSMA ceremony, honoring Clemson University’s Rick Bagby and Texas A&M University’s 12th Man Productions, respectively.

College Sports Media Awards winners and finalists are selected by a blue-ribbon panel of industry peers and celebrate the very best in college-sports-video production.


Turner Sports/CBS Sports | NCAA Final Four Feature – Loyola 1963

Longhorn Network | Orphan No More

University of San Francisco | Behind the Mask – Joey’s Journey

Ball State University (Ball State Sports Link) | Failure Is Not an Option

Excerpts of this story originally appeared on More from Sports Video Group

Author: Chris Taylor

Senior Director of Ball State Sports Link & Digital Sports Production | Lecturer of Telecommunications | 2019 Dean's Faculty Award Winner | 2017 Recipient of SVG College Sports Summit Pioneer Award | Storyteller | Producer | Emmy Award Winner | Sports Media Junkie | Social Media Strategist | Certified Bob Ross® Instructor | Country Music Enthusiast | Goldendoodle Owner | Follow me on Twitter @BallStateCT

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