Construction Begins On Sports Link Facility Expansion

Ball State University has started construction and renovation to expand the physical footprint of Sports Link and its sports production program on campus.

The expansion will add approximately 1,000 square foot to the existing Sports Production center located on the second floor of the Ball Communications Building on campus. The expansion is scheduled to be completed this Fall and functional early-to-mid semester.

The original facility, which opened in 2013, will now expand to include additional edit stations, more collaborative creative spaces, a conference room and a studio to originate live social media (and other) programming.

Combined with Sports Link’s original classroom/NCAA social lab and equipment room, both on the first floor of Ball Communications, the program will have over 2,500-square foot of operating space in the College of Communication, Information and Media.

In addition, the sports production program and Department of Telecommunications will introduce an Esports production concentration along with the hiring of a Director of Esports and Head Coach of the University’s varsity team. The University will join 12 members of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) during Fall semester for the 2020-21 season in the newly created independent Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC).

Sports Production offers skills and applications using digital technology to create sports content for distribution across multiple platforms. Emphasis is given to live event production to ESPN platforms and storytelling.

Sports Production prepares students for careers in a developing and changing sports media arena. Using the immersive learning model of Ball State Sports Link, Sports Production specializes in multiple areas.

Students learn to produce a broad range of content from live remote productions, live-to-tape events, television programs, student-athlete features, Facebook Live shows and social media content creation.

Other facets of the program include Sports Link Digital Radio, social media management and analytics, podcasts and the use of mobile technology and interactivity via the web.

Students gain industry-accepted experience in the following areas:

 Live game, cross-platform productions with the use of Ball State’s 40-foot HD production truck
• Producing content from a centralized, fiber control room for ESPN and other platforms
• Producing content with the use of a Tri-Caster 8000 series
• Producing live content for social media platforms (Facebook Live)
• Studio show and feature story production and storytelling on multiple platforms
• Post-production, editing and color grading
• Engineering and broadcast operations
• Archiving and logging footage
• Operation of field and live production cameras, mobile production units
• Operation of replay machines (EVS, Dyno and 3Play)
• Operation of broadcast graphic systems (Ross Expression, Chyron, Live Text)

• Non-linear editing with Adobe Premiere or the equivalent
• Building and design of graphics and animations in Adobe Creative Suite
• Cross-platform delivery methods, formats, compression and encoding
• Producing sports content for cross-platforms including broadcast, online, mobile and tablet applications

For those who are interested, additional tax-deductible financial support of both the new SL/DSP facility and the overall student program can be made through Ball State’s University Foundation, selecting “other” and contributing to the Sports Link #7418 account.

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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