College students help design, run first social media center for Super Bowl

Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, Emerging Media, Immersive Learning

January 24, 2012

 Ball State University students are playing a key role in a social media effort to assist visitors to Indianapolis before and during the 2012 Super Bowl.

Over the last several months, the students assisted in the development of the 2,800-square-foot social media command center — the first such facility specifically for a Super Bowl. The facility was created by Raidious, an Indianapolis Internet marketing firm, in partnership with the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee.

About a dozen Ball State journalismtelecommunications and information and communication sciences students are participating in the effort to offer the online concierge service, helping visitors around Indianapolis in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Nearly half the collegians working at the center are from Ball State with two other local universities supplying student employees.

John Strauss, a journalism instructor overseeing the Ball State group, said the service will operate on official Super Bowl social media channels including its Twitter feed. The service is designed to respond to questions from the public as well as relay questions and developing issues to the host committee, law enforcement and other organizations.

"We were invited by Raidious because of the university's commitment to emerging media and media design research," he said. "The students played a major role in helping Raidious test the system during the recent Big Ten Conference football championship game, providing feedback and suggesting workflow and other improvements.

"We have some of the best students the university has to offer working on this project. They are very excited about the opportunity."

A second group of students, under the leadership of Michael Holmes, director of Insight and Research for Ball State's Center for Media Design and a communication studies professor, will analyze the center's strengths and weaknesses in the next two weeks.

Holmes said the command center is an example of the "the ubiquity of social media and the absolute necessity for companies, organizations and communities to use these tools to improve their relations with their customers, audiences and citizens."

The center is operating out of Raidious' downtown office on Meridian Street, a few blocks from the Lucas Oil Stadium and the Super Bowl Village.

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