SVG College Summit Brings Video-Production Industry Together in Atlanta in the Midst of Unprecedented Change

More than 500 college-sports-video pros came together for the two-day conference

As the college-sports industry undergoes seismic change, the video-production portion of the community came together this week for the annual SVG College Summit in Atlanta. With more than 500 college-sports broadcasters, athletic-video producers, technologists, and representatives of a wide variety of universities, collegiate conferences, and technology vendors in attendance at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, the Summit served as an invaluable confab for the community to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

Chaired by Justin Brant, associate athletics director, Crimson Tide Productions, University of Alabama, this year’s event comprised two days (May 29-30) of informative panels and presentations, production-training and career-development workshops, technology exhibits and demonstrations, and plenty of networking opportunities for attendees. In these unprecedented times — as the industry begins to confront the potential repercussions of the new revenue-sharing model with college athletes — the 2024 Summit was more important than ever.

The 2024 SVG College Summit drew more than 500 attendees in Atlanta.

Mainstage Sessions: ‘New Media Department,’ Hook ’em Horns Keynote, Paving a Career Path for Students

This year’s Summit kicked off with a high-level panel titled “The New Media Department: Blurring the Lines Between Broadcast and Creative” and featuring associate athletics directors from Alabama, Harvard, and Oklahoma. In collegiate athletics, the roles within and the demands upon internal media departments have evolved and expanded. From live broadcast to social to in-venue to OTT, the session delved into how staffs are evolving, content plans are changing to best maximize teams and student-athletes, and how it’s all fitting together.

SVG’s Brandon Costa (far left) moderated the opening panel with (left to right) Alabama’s Justin Brant, Harvard’s Imry Halevi, and Oklahoma’s Jacob Potter.

This was followed by a case study (presented by Spalk) on how the University of Wyoming and other schools are deploying virtual and cloud production tools, such as Spalk’s Virtual Commentary Studio.

Next up, the Keynote Conversation featured Jeff Hanel, assistant athletics director, video production, University of Texas at Austin. A massive facility construction in Austin, as well as the rebuilding of an in-house athletic-department arm, will help take UT into its next generation as it arrives in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) this fall. Hanel shared an insider’s perspective on how he and his team built their staff and designed their multiple-control-room live-production headquarters. He also explained how university athletic departments are setting themselves up to thrive in a new era of live-content demands, a competitive creative and social-media space, the volatile world of NIL, and more.

Spalk Co-Founder/CEO Ben Reynolds (right) chats with the University of Wyoming’s Dennis Trapani during one of the case-study sessions.

Day 1 of the Summit closed out with the 16th-annual SVG College Sports Media Awards Ceremony, hosted by ACC Network analyst Roddy Jones. Presented in association with NACDA and sponsored by Ross Video, this year’s CSMAs celebrated the best creative content over the past year. Check out all of this year’s CSMA winners HERE.

ACC Network’s Roddy Jones hosted the 16th-annual SVG College Sports Media Awards in association with NACDA.

On Thursday morning, mainstage sessions resumed with “Eyes to the Future: Paving a Path to a Career in Sports Video for Your Students.” The lifeblood of college-video operations, students daily receive invaluable experience working on live shows, but how can university leaders better provide them the skills and the network necessary to take them into the career of their dreams after they graduate? Leaders from Program Productions and Warner Bros. Discovery offered their advice and their eagerness to extend a bridge to the future of the industry.

A case study presented by Imagine Communications and Gopher Digital Productions explored how the University of Minnesota successfully deploys a full ST 2110 IP system.

Midway through the morning, the Summit program split into two breakouts focused on Live Production and Creative, respectively.

Live Production Breakout: James Madison’s New Broadcast Center, the Rise of IP and NDI, Auburn Goes ‘Behind the Broadcast’

The Live Production track offered an insider’s look at the design, construction process, and technology at James Madison University’s new broadcast facility. Increased on-field success and a move to the Sun Belt Conference have JMU rising through the college-athletics ranks at a blistering pace. The new space helps the Dukes meet the demands of the conference’s ESPN+ opportunities and takes JMU Sports Network’s live broadcasts to a new level of quality.

A Day 2 panel on transitioning facilities to IP and NDI featured (from left) SVG’s Ken Kerschbaumer, Georgia States’ Chandler Apple, Vizrt’s Chris Burgos, Diversified’s Patrick Daly, Quince Imagin’s Liam O’Hanlon, Notre Dame Studios’ Scott Rinehart, and Ross Video’s Stefan Tribble.

The conversation then turned to how facilities are transitioning to IP and NDI with a panel titled “The Only Constant Is Change.” With demands on the number of live productions that athletic departments deliver each year growing, technology continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. Leaders from Diversified, Georgia State, Notre Dame Studios, Quince Imaging, Ross Video, and Vizrt addressed how the industry shift to IP and NDI is impacting collegiate athletic departments and aims to make their lives easier.

After lunch, Auburn University’s War Eagle Productions took attendees “Behind the Broadcast” for its production of live gymnastics. With gymnastics rising in fan popularity, the event provides a challenge for telling an engaging, linear live story for viewers at home. Representatives of War Eagle Productions shared the intricate details behind their live gymnastics broadcasts and what advice they would give for those broadcasting such events.

Next up, a case study covered how Amagi’s video-clipping solutions, combined with ShotTracker’s sensor-based technology, transform the game experience by capturing real-time stats, analytics, and video.

The Live Production breakout closed with a “Tools of the Trade” panel focused on how the latest in cameras, graphics, replay, encoders, and audio are enhancing live college sports broadcasts. Featuring speakers from Canon, Georgia Tech, Matrox Video, Riedel, and UT San Antonio, the panel offered a smart list of takeaways for the summer as attendees departed the Summit.

Creative Breakout: Clemson, UCF, South Carolina in “Show Us Your Timeline” Sessions

Ever see a piece of content and think “How’d they do that?” The SVG College Summit’s Creative Breakout was built around three “Show Us Your Timeline” sessions presented by Clemson, UCF, and South Carolina and intended to answer that very question.

First up, one of the top creative teams in the industry, Clemson Athletics, offered insight into how it produced and edited the 2023 Clemson Football Fourth Quarter Video. Attendees got an inside look at the creative choices behind this electric video that fires up 82,000 Tigers fans each autumn Saturday in Death Valley.

Next, UCF’s #Content team shared the details of its 2024 Big 12 Conference Schedule Campaign. Attendees were offered a look behind the plan from strategizing to execution.

Closing things out, the creative team from the University of South Carolina’s women’s basketball team shared content highlights from the Gamecocks’ perfect season.

In addition to these “Show Us Your Timeline” sessions, the Creative Breakout featured a panel dubbed “Execution Is Everything: Workflows for a Smooth Gameday” with speakers from Michigan State, Harvard, and Venue Edge. The panel delved into the schools’ social- and digital-content creation and distribution workflows from a single massive event to a crossover weekend filled with multiple events all over campus.

The workshop also included a panel titled “How the Latest in Camera and Audio Tech Are Enhancing Our Content” and featuring LSU, Northwestern University, and Sony. Sports creatives require a specific toolset to achieve their goals, and this session addressed how acquisition gear is meeting the needs of today’s talented creators.

In addition, a case study from Tata Communications and The Switch demonstrated how schools can take advantage of cloud tools to help manage budgets and resources while deploying state-of-the-art technology. Using MIMiC Cloud Video Services platform, The Switch is working with CBS Sports Network and college-conference partners to create a fully managed IP/cloud-based video network.

Beyond the Stage: Facility Tours and Leadership Training Academy

As a part of this year’s SVG College Summit, SVG offered a series of tech tours, including at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

During the morning prior to the start of the Summit, SVG offered a series of exclusive, video-tech–centric tours of some of the most exciting video-production facilities in the Atlanta area: TNT Sports’ Techwood Facility, Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s Control Room, and the Georgia State Convocation Center.

In addition to the SVG College Summit’s main sessions, this year’s event offered a Leadership Training Academy workshop on Day 2 conducted by the Gargano Leadership Group. Headed up by Chris Gargano, a veteran of the sports-video industry on the professional-team front (New York Jets, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Raiders), the meeting was a crafted workshop designed to help you improve your communication skills, better serve and understand your staff, and create a more positive culture for production teams.

This year’s SVG College Summit was made possible by Title Sponsor Ross Video; MVP Sponsors Canon, Diversified, Matrox, PRG, and Riedel; All Star Sponsors Audio-Technica, Devlin Design Group, LiveU, and Sony; Ace Sponsors Allied Broadcast Group, Appear, Avid, Calrec, Chyron, Clear-Com, Daktronics, EditShare, Evertz, Fingerworks, Hitachi, IHSE USA, Imagine Communications, IPV, Joseph Electronics, JVC, Lawo, Leeward Software, MultiDyne, Panasonic, SNS, Telestream, Teradek, The Studio – B&H, Vislink, Vizrt, Wasabi, and Wisycom; and Event Sponsors Amagi, BeckTV, Clark, CTi, MPT, Kiswe, Net Insight, Signiant, Spalk, The Switch, and Venue Edge.

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