The expanded opportunities in broadcasting sports at IU
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When Mark Cuban gives you five million dollars, you name a building after him. Cuban’s donation signals the growing industry that is sports media.
On June 5th, 2015, it was announced that Billionaire Mark Cuban, an IU alum, was giving IU $5 million to create a “first-of-its-kind, cutting-edge, student-focused video, broadcasting and technology center,” according to the IU Athletics website. The building will be fully operational in the spring of 2017. The new center, in addition to Franklin Hall becoming the new home for the Media School, has created a tremendous number of opportunities for students.
Andrew Rosner, an Assistant Athletic Director at Indiana University, talked to students from the High School Journalism Institute (HSJI) about the opportunities that the IU athletic department provides for students.
“The IU athletics department, where I work, created a partnership between the Cuban Center through the new Media School,” Rosner said. “We partner with them to provide internships for us. We have 20 to 25 interns putting in 20 to 25 hours of work a week.”
No matter what your specialty is, these internships offer opportunities in various departments including graphic design, video, broadcasting, web and social media. To participate in the overall production, you don’t need to be an upperclassman.
“If you want to be an on-air talent, for example, you can come to IU and literally your freshman year call on television an IU baseball game,” Rosner said. “Not a lot of schools are going to be able to offer you that.”
For many people considering entering the sports media field as an on-air talent, being in front of the camera as soon as possible is important.
“That’s important because you get four years of experience,” high school junior Andrew De Paolantonio said. “It catapults you into the real world.”
The real world experience can also involve working for entertainment companies. The Big Ten Network offers student-run broadcast opportunities for all Big Ten schools.
“[Big Ten Student U] is over 100 students that we are able to offer opportunities to. That ranges from camera operators to on-air talent,” Rosner said. “There is about a crew of 100 students that we utilize to broadcast our Big Ten Network games.”
According to the Big Ten Network, BTN Student U broadcasts over 500 live events ranging from big events like football to even field hockey. Indiana junior Will DeWitt, who is currently majoring in sports media, talked about his experience at BTN Student U.
“As a journalist, you have to be able to do it all. You have to be able to write, you have to be able to produce content, like audio and visuals, some video,” DeWitt said. “I did do a little bit of BTN Student U, which is real fun. I did some of the behind the scenes work. So I learned how to work a camera.”
Being able to use different skills in different areas media content makes students more desirable for employers. In addition to his time at BTN Student U, DeWitt has podcasted or wrote for WIUX, iuhoosiers.com and Assembly Call. Will’s podcasting experience includes having his own podcast for WIUX, the school student radio station, producing/co-hosting the podcast for Assembly Call, an IU basketball podcast and post game show, and starting his very own Chicago Bears podcast.
“I like to create my own stuff and be my own boss,” DeWitt said.
While DeWitt likes how he was able to create his path, he believes his most valuable experience is working for iuhoosiers.com.
“The iuhoosiers.com for writing has been big because I’ve got to work with some really good writers and they taught me better ways to cover games,” he said.
DeWitt’s experience is by no means ordinary, as opportunities are abound for the growing industry that is sports media.