Lights! Camera! Hoops! A new course prepares students to produce live sports events

By Dale Johnson Posted: August 10, 2018 6:00 a.m.

Students will gain practical experience producing live sporting events.
Students will gain practical experience producing live sporting events. Photo: Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies

It used to be that going to a sporting event was simply a matter of watching athletes compete.

But in recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on the “fan experiences” – and includes such elements as video replays, fan participation, and social media interaction.

Now the U of R is offering a course to teach students production techniques, including interviewing, video editing, and post-production.

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New course shows students how to create material for webcasts and social media.

“The goal of the course is to provide students with an opportunity to learn about hardware and software, and the skills needed to produce a live event. The course also provides actual hands-on experience in the production of live events, primarily sporting events held here on campus,” says Dr. Harold Riemer, Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

Riemer says the latest course offering is consistent with the concept of preparing students for careers in sport and recreation management and addresses the ways in which the fan experience has changed since the Faculty’s launch in 1985.

“The in-game or live experience for the fan and the online experience for the viewer of web broadcasts are now important parts of many sports organizations, and they are directly involved in producing this content. As a Faculty we have responsibility to help prepare our students for this reality and, because we spend a great deal of time producing live sporting events – in game experiences and broadcasts of those games – at the University, we have a unique opportunity to introduce students to this dynamic part of the sport deliver system,” Riemer explains.

The course was piloted last winter, and Riemer says the addition of the large video screen in the Main Gymnasium provided opportunities to be even more creative when broadcasting events and creating a better in-game experience.

“This coming academic year, the University will produce 36 live athletic events in the Main Gymnasium alone, where we host men’s and women’s basketball games, and women’s volleyball games. These games, as well as our hockey games at The Co-operators Centre, are broadcast and also have an in-game experience that needs to be produced,” Riemer says.

The course includes weekly lectures, as well as a lab section which includes an average of nine hours per week engaging in work-related activities. As well as the live media productions, the course looks at generating content for publishing via social media channels and webcasts.

Riemer says it’s not only Sport and Recreation Management majors who are interested in the course.

“There are students all over this campus – in different faculties and programs – who are really interested in various aspects of live event production. Some students in Journalism may be taught these skills, but often those opportunities are not open to students from other faculties. This course is open to everyone across campus,” he says.

For more information about SRS 181AA – Junior Practicum in Live Event Production, click here.