SVG Announces Sports Broadcasting Fund at Sixth-Annual League Technology Summit

Today, more than 800 sports-technology professionals gathered at SVG’s sixth-annual League Technology Summit at the New York Hilton to discuss the most top-of-mind issues in sports production. The day-long series of seminars began with the unveiling of the SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund, an effort that will support individuals in the sports-broadcasting family who are in need.

“Last year, about this time, one of our freelance technicians, Jeremy Schultz, was involved in a tragic fire in his home in South Carolina,” explained Ken Aagaard, chairman, SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund. “He ended up having 90% burns on his body, his family lost the house, lost their clothes, and they had nothing. We as a group in the industry gathered together and wanted to do something for this young man and his family.”

Steve Hellmuth, Ken Aagaard, and Ken Kerschbaumer

With Aagaard spearheading the effort, Jeremy’s Fund raised a great deal of money to help the Schultz family, but Aagaard quickly realized that Schultz is not the only member of the sports-broadcasting family who is in need of monetary support.

“We decided to put together an SVG fund to be able to help those people in need that are in our business,” Aagaard explained. “We’re really kicking this whole effort off today. We had a brief meeting yesterday, we’re putting together a board, we’re going to have an executive committee, and tonight, at the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame ceremony, all the proceeds from the table sales will be our first donations to this fund.”

The SVG Sports Broadcasting Fund will grow over the next few months, with the help of all SVG members and sponsors. After tonight’s Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame induction, SVG will donate $108,000 in proceeds, which will serve as seed money for the Fund. More information can be found at sportsbroadcastingfund.org.

“For me, this is a very exciting moment,” Aagaard said. “I’ve been in this business 43 years, and it’s an opportunity to give back. Over the years to come, there are going to be a lot of worthy candidates who are going to need our help. We’re starting this fund as of today. We’re going to look forward to all the help that we can get from all of you.”

SVG Chairman Steve Hellmuth continued the State of SVG session by discussing the bright digital future of sports leagues, conferences, and media companies.

“The digital future of sports leagues or conferences has a lot to do with first executing the fundamentals really well,” he said. “Live statistics, accessible in studio and at the venue, well lit facilities, integration with social networks, accessibility to your archives — all these fundamentals have to be there to platform the networks and other partners to do really superior jobs in broadband and linear. The discussion is no longer about what technology we’re going to use; it’s really about workflow.”

Hellmuth also discussed the second-screen experience and the growing age of clarity. In this era, consumer sets have never been better, satellite and cable delivery have improved, and the high-quality HD product at home has led every league to begin integrating the home experience into the live experience with instant replay.

“I think replay is an important part of getting it right,” he said. “The question is, how do you fit it into your live telecast so you don’t slow it down?”

Hellmuth focused on the importance of workflow, particularly the need for broadcast and IT to start working together: “We have to have our broadcast engineers walk down the hallway and hug the IT guy or gal. They have to work together significantly. It’s been a focus of SVG to bring those two together.”

SVG Editorial Director Ken Kerschbaumer rounded out the opening session with a discussion of several new training and education initiatives. In addition to an improved partnership with the Broadcast Education Association and SMPTE, SVG will be working on SVG VIP, a mentoring program called Veterans in Production. The program will match up current professionals with military veterans interested in joining the industry to help them develop résumés, find opportunities, and tailor their interviewing skills. More information can be found at www.h2h.jobs and www.employerpartnership.org.

Click here for SVG’s comprehensive coverage of the 2011 League Technology Summit!

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