Lamar’s Big Red Sports Network Aims To Stand Out From Crowd
Clint Burges doesn’t want to run just any old digital network. The director of video operations at Lamar University knows that, in the crowded Texas college sports landscape, the Cardinals need to be creative to stand out.
For him, that meant a repackaging of the athletic department’s digital video content and a higher quality not just in live event coverage but in postproduction and feature storytelling.
“We hope we are doing things that others aren’t doing,” says Burges, who’s entering his second decade working at the university. “We try to raise the bar by looking at things that aren’t being done and saying, How can we do that?”
This academic year, Lamar’s Big Red Sports Network officially launched BigRedSN.com. The site gives LU fans another way to stay connected to Cardinal and Lady Cardinal athletics throughout the season.
On the live-event front, BigRedSN.com will air more than 100 athletic events throughout the year, well ahead of the goal the program set for itself in August.
For football and basketball productions, Big Red Sports Network uses a recently revitalized control room. Revamped with the help of local A/V solutions consultant BAi Austin, the control room features a Grass Valley Indigo switcher (12 inputs, HD-SDI) and a Buf Technology Sport integrated replay system.
The summer’s big investment to expand programming came in a custom-built mobile flypack built around a NewTek TriCaster, which allowed the video team to begin live-streaming soccer and volleyball with plans for baseball, softball, and more in the spring. That same kit is used for additional programming, including coaches shows and special press conferences. Burges is looking to use the set to become the first program in the Southern Conference to live-stream a full tennis match.
At events, Burges and his team deploy Panasonic AG-HPX300 cameras with FUJINON lenses and AJA converters.
In addition to live programming, Lamar has been putting a greater emphasis on features and postproduction content. Instead of filling the digital network’s lineup with small postgame interviews with short shelf lives, Burges wants to create strong, on-demand features with an emphasis on personalized storytelling.
“At the end of the day, people want content that is moving and compelling,” he says. “You’ve got to put your efforts behind something that’s going to connect your viewers to your program.”