Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, Immersive Learning

March 20, 2013

SportsLink oversees social media for March Madness
Telecommunications instructor Chris Taylor is leading a team of students participating in Sports Link as they provide social media content for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Sports Link, the immersive learning experience for digital sports production at Ball State University, will again play a major role in one of the largest sporting events in the country — the 2013 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. 

Turner Sports has partnered with Sports Link for the third consecutive year in the operations of the NCAA March Madness Live social media, known as Social Arena. 

March Madness Live will provide fans with unparalleled multiscreen digital access to the tournament, which kicks off with First Four tonight in Dayton, Ohio. March Madness Live will offer streaming to subscribers throughout the tournament across a variety of screens, including online, mobile and tablet. 

Sports Link's involvement includes editing and producing real-time video highlights, photos and tweets for the Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena. Fans can follow game and tournament tweets, participate in fan chats, watch the games and keep a pulse on all the key moments. Fans can participate in the social commentary by using the hashtag #marchmadness.

As many as 25 students under the direction of Chris Taylor, telecommunications instructor, and Alex Kartman, a graduate assistant, will perform a variety of support and programming tasks, which include assisting in creating and monitoring the 68-team feeds.

In partnership between the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports, March Madness Live will launch from, and, along with Google Play and the App Store. 

For 2013, Ball State Sports Link has set up a remote social monitoring operation on campus identical to the operation in Turner’s digital Event Operations Center. This allows students to get experience using the same workflows and tools for social monitoring and programming as those used at the Turner broadcasting facility in Atlanta — a one-of-a-kind live operations center for digital products.

Turner Sports has chosen to work with Sports Link based on its award-winning collegiate sports productions, its unique immersive approach to sports production education and the caliber of students involved in the program.

Sports Link started preparation for the tournament in February as students researched teams, storylines, social media trends and content. Students participated in two weeks of rehearsals and development time prior to the launch of March Madness Live.