ESPN Powers New, Larger Sports Lab at Full Sail

ESPN and media-arts–technology school Full Sail University have officially opened the new iteration of “Full Sail University Sports Lab Powered by ESPN.” The launch was on the two-year anniversary of the initial Sports Lab joint venture, which also was located on the university’s Winter Park, FL, campus.

A conceptual design of Full Sail’s new Sports Lab

Located in Building 4D, Full Sail’s recently constructed on-campus educational complex, the new Sports Lab features several production spaces centrally located between two existing soundstages that will be used for both student and professional projects, including ESPN productions.

As with the original space, ESPN will use this facility for research and development of various new studio and remote technologies. It will also used by the university’s students across various degree programs, including Sports Marketing and Media, Film, Show Production, Entertainment Business, and Internet Marketing. The new location features posters and mementos from the more than 30 collaborative projects that have come out of Sports Lab to date. These include a recent multiday video shoot to produce the opening sequence for ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs currently airing before each game on ESPN, the first project to come out of the new Sports Lab facility.

Although the physical location on the campus has changed, the mission of the collaboration remains to develop technology enhancements, such as virtual applications, and to provide students at Full Sail University the opportunity to be mentored by ESPN’s emerging-technology team. Students selected to learn in the lab have the opportunity to design and execute new studio and remote technologies for ESPN, as well as to take part in professional production opportunities.

The launch of the new Sports Lab facility comes on the heels of the recent ESPN Bristol Initiative, in which four Full Sail students were invited to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, CT, for an immersive, five-day experience featuring an up-close look at ESPN operations. After meeting with ESPN employees and personalities and learning how technology and design contribute to ESPN’s coverage, they toured the Bristol campus and helped produce a college-football highlights reel.

Anthony Bailey, VP, ESPN emerging technology, said in a statement, “Together, we have been able to work on innovative projects that have provided Full Sail students hands-on experience in the television industry and our fans [with] exciting production elements that bring them closer to the games they love to watch.”