College-Sports Community Rallies at Inaugural CSVS

By Carolyn Braff

The first-annual College Sports Video Summit, held June 9-10 in Atlanta, was an unprecedented success. With 450 attendees representing college and university athletic departments, athletic conferences, television networks, and technology providers, the Summit brought together decision makers across the college-sports-video landscape for two days of panel discussions, workshops, and networking.

“SVG did an outstanding job with the conference,” said Richard Wanninger, associate executive director of the Patriot League. “It exceeded my expectations, and I look forward to future conferences.”

The Summit’s opening day featured a keynote address by Chris Bevilacqua, president/CEO of CAA Sports Media Ventures and founder of CSTV. His opening address touched on the past — and future — of college-sports programming.

“There has been a lot of change [since CSTV was launched], and there is a lot more change coming over the next seven years,” he said. “The cards are being shuffled, and there will be some winners and losers, and those who get out in front stand to benefit the most.”

Four panel discussions followed Bevilacqua’s opening address, touching on such topics as Twitter and social media, bringing in-arena content to a national audience, and the rights relationship between networks and universities.

The night of June 9 featured the first-ever Global Media Awards for College Sports. During the ceremony, the winners of awards in 10 categories were announced, honoring excellence in college-sports-video production at both the collegiate and broadcaster levels.

“It was a fantastic show that I know is going to grow bigger and better in the years to come,” said Chris Ostien, senior producer and director for the Mountaineer Sports Network at West Virginia University. “I had two of my productions nominated [for a Global Media Award for College Sports], and I was a proud representative of WVU. The awards ceremony was the highlight of the trip, and I have never been a more proud producer than I was when I saw my clips during the ceremony.”

Day 2 built on the success of Day 1 with a keynote address by Kathleen Hessert, president of Sports Media Challenge. She continued the previous day’s discussion on how to create buzz for a college athletic department through video and social networking, using Twitter as her prime example.

Two panel discussions followed, discussing the challenges of on-campus live-event production and looking at the ROI that should drive video production. Attendees then split into smaller groups for two parallel tracks of workshops, one focusing on the business of college-sports video and the other centered on the technology of college-sports-video production. A special archiving session, hosted by NASCAR Images and Crawford Communications, was also held in conjunction with the workshops.

The final panel of the conference brought the full audience back together to discuss the future of college-sports production technology with representatives from some of the most forward-looking companies in the space, including Turner, STATS Inc., and Wavecam.

“What a great job everyone at the SVG did in putting the first CSVS together,” said Colin Smith, VP of distribution and new media for Raycom Sports. “It was truly a great event. To do that so well in year one is quite an accomplishment. I heard nothing but good things throughout the duration of the event.”

Mark your calendar for the second-annual College Sports Video Summit, to take place in early June 2010.