Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

March 17, 2014

Ball State University’s Sports Link, the immersive learning experience for digital sports production, will again play a role in one of the largest sporting events in the country — the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

As many as 25 students under the direction of Chris Taylor, a telecommunications instructor and director of digital sports production, and Alex Kartman, telecommunications instructor and assistant director of digital sports production, will edit and produce real-time video highlights from all 67 games of the tournament for the Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena.

NCAA March Madness Live will provide college basketball fans with unparalleled multiscreen access to every game of the tournament, bringing fans more than 150 hours of live basketball on more devices than ever before. With streaming video, highlights, stats, news and social engagement throughout the tournament, NCAA March Madness Live will provide live coverage of all 67 games.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Ball State Sports Link has worked with Turner Sports in the operations of the Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena, a forum to extend the conversation surrounding the games. Fans can follow game tweets, view Instagram photos and — for the first time — Vine videos. Fans can also participate in the social commentary by using the hashtag #MarchMadness.

Produced by Turner Sports, NCAA March Madness Live will introduce redesigned product features, including a new bracket layout, a redesigned GameCenter experience, a new Bracket Challenge game and enhanced social features. These will be available to consumers for the first time on the Windows Store, as well as the Apple App Store and Google Play.

This year, March Madness Live platforms include,, and the Amazon App store for Android and Kindle tablets. In addition, fans can watch games via live streaming on TNT, TBS and truTV's digital platforms as well as participating television provider websites.

Also, for the first time during the National Semifinals on April 5, March Madness Live will provide three distinct feeds of both games to provide new viewing options for fans — live streaming of the traditional game coverage provided on TBS, along with streams of the team-specific presentations offered via TNT and truTV.

In addition to Sports Link’s work with March Madness Live, the Ball State program has launched a new class within its digital sports production major to assist the NCAA national office with its digital strategy.

Students researched and produced exclusive video content (#MarchMoments and #SocialSpotlight) for the @marchmadness account on Twitter as well as the social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

“We are excited to partner with the Ball State Sports Link program on this new initiative,” said Nate Flannery, director of NCAA digital and social media, championships and alliances. “Not only does it provide our men’s basketball social media platforms with valuable content, it also gives the next generation of content producers first-hand experience.”

Earlier this year, Ball State opened its new digital sports production center in the Ball Communication Building. The 1,500-square-foot facility was modeled after the Turner Sports Digital Event Operations Center. The center allows students to get experience using the same workflows and tools for social monitoring and digital programming as those used at the Turner Studios facility in Atlanta — a one-of-a-kind live operations center for Turner Sports-produced digital products.