Ball State Sports Link to assist with NCAA's March Madness Live

Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, Immersive Learning

March 12, 2012

Ball State University's Emmy-winning Sports Link program will again play a production role in one of the largest sporting events in the country — the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. 
 
Turner Sports has partnered with Sports Link, one of the university's many immersive learning experiences and a national leader in sports media and production, for a second year in a row in the operations of the NCAA March Madness Live social media functionality, known as Social Arena.
 
NCAA March Madness Live is available from www.NCAA.com/marchmadness, the Apple App Store at www.apple.com/itunes and Android Market at http://market.android.com.
 
Under the direction of Chris Taylor, telecommunications instructor, and graduate assistant Alex Kartman, as many as 25 students will be performing a variety of support and programming tasks, including:

  • researching and collecting tournament trivia
  • creating daily trivia programming for use inside the March Madness Live products and the March Madness Live Twitter feeds
  • assisting in creating and monitoring the 68-team feeds found only in the March Madness Live products
  • monitoring and participating in fan-generated clip grabbing and sharing
  • editing and producing featured game clips for the Social Arena
     

In addition, senior Kyle Binder and junior Josh Blessing will serve as the student team's executive social producers for the event. The two will have the opportunity to assist social operations center staff March 17-18 at Turner studios in Atlanta.

For 2012, Ball State Sports Link has set up a remote social operation on campus identical to the social monitoring operation in Turner's digital Event Operations Center. This allows students to get experience using the same workflows and tools for social monitoring and programming as will be used at the Turner broadcasting facility in Atlanta — a one-of-a-kind live operations center for digital products.

The content of the Social Arena will be visible to fans within all of the March Madness Live products as well as on the NCAA's March Madness Facebook page.
 
Turner Sports has chosen to work with Ball State's Sports Link program based on its award-winning collegiate sports productions, its unique immersive approach to sports production education and the caliber of students involved in the program.
 
Turner Sports has been committed to involving college students and programs in communications and production in its NCAA.com productions, including its coverage of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The continued growth and expansion of Turner's digital coverage of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament offers students an enormous opportunity to learn.
 
Ball State Sports Link started preparation for the tournament in February as students researched teams, storylines, social media trends and content. The students participated in two weeks of rehearsals and development time prior to the launch of March Madness Live on March 11. The tournament spans 23 days through the NCAA championship game April 2.

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