Some time in the near future, Brandon Clemens would like to go sideline to sideline, covering sporting events for a major television network. In order to develop his reporting skills, the telecommunications major from Goshen, Indiana, is working as a member of Sports Link.

An Emmy Award-winning program, Sports Link allows students to produce sports-related content for the university's multiple platforms such as radio, television, and the Internet as well as a variety of mobile communications formats.

"The main thing I like about it is that it’s a real experience because we find the stories and create shows from scratch," Clemens says. "Sports Link also teaches us versatility. In today's media, news outlets want to do more with less, which means as an on-air talent I need to be able to shoot video, edit, and produce. Sports Link gives me an opportunity to do all of those things." 

The immersive learning class builds upon Ball State's growing number of emerging media options. To maintain a focus on cross-platform promotion, students repackage the feature stories they create for local use at Ball State and send them to local news stations and outlets in the hometown of the featured player—on any platform the station may require. The students are reaching a national audience by producing content for Fox College Sports and March Madness on Demand, and they provided video packages for the Mid-American Conference during the fall 2010 football season.

In addition to sideline reporting and learning how to use various cameras, students also are immersed in game broadcasts by operating the university's production truck.

"With the advent of 24/7 sports networks, regional networks such as FSN and the Big Ten Network, and an acceptance of Web-streamed video for viewing, the need for trained personnel in sports production has never been higher," says telecommunications professor Tim Pollard. "Potential employers, as well as companies looking for freelancers, are looking for people that they can count on to come in on day one and produce material for multiple platforms."

Related Links:

College of Communications, Information, and Media

Department of Telecommunications

Immersive learning