CSVS Q&A: Bryan Bray, Director of BaylorVision, Baylor University

In anticipation of the second-annual College Sports Video Summit, to be held June 8-9 in Atlanta, SVG has assembled a distinguished group of college sports-video experts to serve as the advisory board to help shape the event and ensure its relevance to the industry. Leading up to the two-day summit, SVG will check in with all the members of the board to discuss their involvement, what they hope the Summit will accomplish, and how CSVS can help the industry move forward. This week, Bryan Bray, director of BaylorVision at Baylor University, explains how he expects CSVS to provide a better college-specific technology showcase than NAB and how CSVS is a great face-to-face meeting place for the entire college sports-video community.

Why are you involved with the College Sports Video Summit?
I feel it’s important to spend time with your peers and to do as much professional development as you can. I feel that SVG has quickly become one of the leaders in gathering people together that need to talk to each other about what we do, to learn from each other, and to share experiences. This event is a great opportunity to get hands-on demonstrations and connect with the people and the gear that you will be using, specifically targeted to our industry.

I’ll be going to NAB this year, but I’m going to have to weed through a lot of stuff to see a few things that I really want to look at. I can go to [CSVS] and see that all in one place and not have to work my way around the floor to see the few things that I want to see that are specific to my industry.

What do you hope the event will accomplish?
I hope that I get the opportunity to learn from others in how they get their job done, and I hope to help others that are maybe behind me. There’s always somebody in front of you, and there’s always somebody behind you, so you should always reach down and help the next guy and hope that the guys in front of you are willing to share the knowledge and experience that they have.

With budgets constantly tightening, how can colleges use video to become more cost-effective?
I think understanding what your entire strategy is all the way across the board is crucial: what’s your marketing plan, what’s your school’s marketing plan, what are you trying to accomplish overall, the big picture. Then you have to try to utilize everything you have to help the big picture. As administrators and athletic directors of universities see that you are sending the university in the direction it wants to go with its ability to reach out to fans, I believe that support usually comes, once they see that you are helping the university’s messaging.

As far as stretching your dollars and stretching your gear, that requires being as knowledgeable as possible. Making sure that you can multitask and multi-use your gear is critical. We do that here at Baylor; we own six cameras, we have four venues, and we do 150 events a year. We don’t have to have 18 cameras to facilitate that work, so we’re able to take extremely good care of our gear, do our upkeep, and do the most we can with what we have available to us. The university sees that, appreciates that, and generally helps us when we have needs because, when we ask for something, they understand that we’re doing the best that we can with what we have.

What are you most looking forward to at CSVS?
Quite frankly, it’s the one time a year that we get to crawl out of our basements. The interaction with my peers, getting to hang out with a guy face to face, shake his hand, and have an opportunity to physically be around the people that you talk to all the time, e-mail, and Facebook with; those relationships are invaluable.

As I spend more time in this industry, that’s the enjoyable part, the friendship part, and the knowing that I’m not the only guy doing this. We spend a lot of time by ourselves, or just in our groups, so it’s nice knowing that there are other people going through the same thing you are and you can lean on them, talk to them, vent to them. Having a face to that, a personal relationship with these guys, helps me do my job better.

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