Stream Dream: Miami University Live Video Highlights 2010 Recruiting Class

In what is believed to be a first of its kind, Miami University of Ohio streamed more than six hours of live recruiting announcements and appearances by 50 current athletes and special guests on Feb. 3.

Dubbed “Miami Savings Bank RedHawk Recruiting Live,” the video introduced 2010 signees for soccer, field hockey, and women’s track and field to alumni, fans, and friends of Miami University worldwide. Social networking was also part of the mix, with fans able to use Twitter accounts to send recruiting questions to football head coach Michael Haywood and his staff.

“It was a six-hour live reality show that had periodic announcements of recruits,” explains Mike Pearson, of Miami University Athletics media relations. Each athlete was interviewed for five minutes along with the position coach. A one-minute profile of each athlete was also streamed.

“The beauty of streaming this event is the flexibility, and we could expand a segment if needed,” says Pearson. Two stationary cameras and a handheld unit were used to shoot the event, which was held in the football office.

The idea was the brainchild of Miami University Director of Broadcasting Steve Baker. Originally, it was going to be a one-hour segment, but he and Pearson soon realized that they could just as easily go live for a much longer time and have a more relaxed and informative event.

“The goal was to have fun,” says Pearson. “We have several kids in Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, and other places, and this was a way for their parents and hometowns to tune in and see the signing.”

Baker switched the program using an EDIROL by Roland V-8 production switcher. Cameras used include a Panasonic P2 camera, a Canon GL2 camcorder, a low-end Panasonic mini-DV camcorder, and a Sony Hi-8 camera.

An important part of the program was the profiles of incoming students. Produced by the football team, they were all converted to MPEG files and played back using Powerpoint. Graphics that promote football season tickets and other aspects of the program were similarly played back.

Baker relies on Sony Vegas 9 for editing projects. “As an old radio guy, I find Vegas to be more like the audio software I used,” he says. “I can stack things, drag and drop, or extend things. I use Vegas almost exclusively.”

Between segments, viewers were treated to 200 short videos created last year to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the university and featuring highlights from years past.

“Next year,” says Pearson, “I think a whole bunch of schools will do this, as we had other schools tune in to see how we did this.”

The program will be rebroadcast on the Miami University cable channel next week.

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