CSVS Q&A: Brad Baker, Director of Video Production, Georgia ISP Sports Network

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, Brad Baker, director of video production at Georgia ISP Sports Network, discusses why CSVS is the perfect industry meeting place.

Why are you involved with the College Sports Video Summit?
I think it’s important for people in our industry to get together. We’re an idea-driven industry, and, any time a group of professionals can get together, especially creative professionals, and share ideas, brainstorm, and share experiences, that is for the greater good of everybody. It helps push our industry forward and pushes everybody to try to be successful and excel in their profession.

What do you hope the event will accomplish?
I would love to come back with some new ideas, new things to think about, maybe some new directions to explore. My whole goal with college sports video is to try to be the best video in the country. I want Georgia ISP Sports to be the bar that everybody looks at to try to reach. The only way to do that is to explore new areas, try to push the envelope a little bit, and come up with ideas that are new and refreshing. I think being around a group of professionals where everybody is sharing new ideas, brainstorming, and trying to reach the same goals — I think everybody has the same goals that I do — that’s the point of the event, and that’s what I hope to come out of it with.

With budgets constantly tightening, how can colleges use video to become more cost-effective?
I think video is still a new thing for many schools. I came from pro sports, where, by the time I got to pro sports, video had already been embraced. By the time I got to the college market, it was eye-opening to see that video was this foreign thing that was abstract and no one knew how to handle yet. It’s my hope that colleges will learn to embrace this more and utilize this more.

I think the model of pro sports is a great model for colleges to look at. They basically use their Website and their video department as the PR and marketing spokesperson for the team. Right now, a lot of colleges still operate under sending out press releases and utilizing newspapers, which is all good, and I think you still need to do that, but they haven’t embraced the concept of using video to get their message out. Not only do I think that’s beneficial to the school in a large way of reaching a bigger audience, but I think it can help streamline things and help keep budgets and costs down.

What are you most looking forward to at CSVS?
As far as meeting people, I’ve gotten to know a few people in the college world from going to CSVS last year and NAB this year, so I’m looking forward to catching up with a few old friends and definitely making contacts and networking.

The two things that really interested me were the Ties That Bind session — I think that is going to be a great seminar — and, because we do so much Web-video production where I am, the Web-Video Production seminar, [which] I think is going to be fantastic. That’s one that I’m going to be taking a lot of notes at and hoping that will spark some brainstorming and discussion amongst everybody.

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