2019 Sports Link Year In Review

As we welcome 2020 and a new decade, it’s important to look back on an incredible 2019 for the national leader in digital sports production programs, Ball State Sports Link.

Below, you’ll see how our students produced over 18,000 minutes of programming, generated over 10 million impressions of content across multiple platforms, landed coveted jobs and internships, plus continued to win national awards.

We also have grown our program in student numbers, diversity, corporate sponsorships, external projects and now, a global reach, with our new partner school in the United Kingdom.

What follows are some bullet points as we look to 2020 — and remember 2019 — from our corner of the world in digital sports production at Ball State University.

New for 2020…

Sports Link Legacy Scholarship Endowment
A year ago, we started a drive to endow the first scholarship in Sports Link, just one of a handful of endowed scholarships in our department’s 40-year history.

In a year’s time, thanks to the support of many and largely with donations from our young alumni, we reached the initial $25,000 endowed level in a year’s time. The first SL Legacy Scholarship will be awarded in 2020.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Legacy Scholarship, click HERE. Select ‘Other’ from the list of funds provided, then type in the #7457 Sports Link Legacy Scholarship to designate your funds.

Transatlantic Storytelling – Sports Link Goes To Wales
TCOM 497: Transatlantic Storytelling commences in January with 12 students and an embedded, international field experience with a 12-day trip to Wales. Our students will collaborate directly with students at Cardiff Met for feature stories on Welsh athletes and a produce documentary with digital and linear international distribution.

While on the ground in Wales, they will also experience live national sporting events, and if timing works, produce a live stream with Cardiff Met students of a varsity sport. Our Welsh colleague, Joe Towns, penned a terrific letter to Ball State.

Save The Date: Feb. 3, 2020
An extension of our high school workshops and seminars, Sports Link will host a high school sports media workshop on campus. On this date, between 50-75 students from the Metro Interscholastic Conference (Warren Central, Center Grove, North Central, Pike, Carmel, Ben Davis, Lawrence North, Lawrence Central) and the MIC Network, will be at here. 

Sessions include pathways to college, a team-building workshop with some of our head coaches and afternoon workshops on live sports production, storytelling and social media brand.

In 2019, students in Ball State Sports Link …

  • dedicated over 50,000 combined hours to producing digital and linear sports content.
  • produced over 18,000 minutes (300+ hours) of sports programming (audio and video) to digital AND linear platforms.
  • produced over 6,000 minutes (100+ hours) of live sports to an ESPN platforms.
  • recorded over 10 million organic impressions of content across all social media platforms.
  • recorded over 2 million organic video views of content across all social media platforms.
  • recorded over 125,000 engagements of video content across all social media platforms.

In 2019, the Ball State Sports Link program …

  • Grew to over 50 students in the program, including 45% from out-of-state and 46% women and/or of minority classification.
  • Continued our summer workshop series to include 11 different high schools and over 200 high school students who attended a camp session or workshop learning about CCIM, TCOM, Sports Link and Digital Sports Production.
  • Created a new studio show, Every Athlete Matters, syndication with WIPB and 11 additional cable providers or networks in state of Indiana, southwest Michigan and west central Ohio. The show is be available in every county in Indiana.
  • Created an Olympic sports radio package which brings student- produced broadcasts to commercial AM/FM distribution through Woof Boom radio, 102.9 FM and 1340 AM. The package will feature 10-12 live events each semester.

  • Our initial voyage into the world of Esports in Spring 2019 proved wildly successful and engaged a cross-campus partnership with students in the Esports club. The vast growth of this industry in sports production, its sponsorship and audience size potential warrants us to continue in this path and grow. It also aligns with conference and NCAA growth of Esports at the college level, but more importantly, provides a skill-set in the marketplace for our students.

  • Since 2009, students in Ball State Sports Link have garnered over 125 state or national awards for sports production, including 49 Emmy and/or Student Production Award nominations (22 wins) and 37 Sports Video Group/Best of College Sports Media nominations (10 wins).

  • Since 2009, Students have won 39 Indiana Association of School Broadcasters first-place awards, 18 Indiana Society of Professional Journalists first-place awards, as well as 13 Broadcast Education Association “Best in the Nation” honors and two “BEA Best of Festival” awards from all entry genres.

  • Sports Link graduates can be found at ESPN, Turner Sports, Raycom Sports, MLB, Indy Car, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL and NCAA Athletics Departments.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our students at Ball State. If you are a high school student interested in attending Ball State, click HERE.

If you are a student, student-athlete, administrator, colleague, coach, industry partner, parent, fan or alumni, we appreciate you.

Happy New Year!

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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