In November, ESPN and Full Sail University unveiled the new Full Sail University Sports Lab Powered by ESPN, during a celebration that coincided with the second anniversary of the Sports Lab on the university’s Winter Park, FL campus.
The new Sports Lab is located in building 4D, Full Sail’s latest on-campus educational complex, and utilizes several production spaces including a lab setting centrally located between two soundstages that will be used for student and professional projects, including ESPN productions. The Full Sail University Sports Lab Powered by ESPN was originally launched in 2010 and continues to be ESPN’s first and only sports technology lab at any Florida college or university.
Similar to the original space, ESPN will utilize this state-of-the-art facility for research and development of various new studio and remote technologies, while providing innovative and immersive experiences to the university’s students across various degree programs including Sports Marketing and Media, Film, Show Production, Entertainment Business and Internet Marketing. The new location will feature sports-themed graphics, murals, and inspirational imagery, including posters and mementos from the more than 30 collaborative projects that have come out of the sports lab initiatives between ESPN and Full Sail University to date.
“It is hard to believe we are embarking on our third year in collaboration with Full Sail University,” said Anthony Bailey, vice president, ESPN emerging technology. “Together we have been able to work on innovative projects that have provided Full Sail students hands on experience in the television industry and our fans exciting production elements that bring them closer to the games they love to watch.”
While the physical location on the campus has changed, the mission of this joint collaboration remains the same. The lab will be to develop new technology enhancements such as virtual applications, and to provide students at Full Sail University the opportunity to be mentored by ESPN’s emerging technology team to gain real-world experience. Students who are selected to learn in the lab have the ability to design and execute new studio and remote technologies for ESPN. In addition, students are able to take part in professional production opportunities such as the recent multi-day video shoot to produce the opening sequence for ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs currently airing before each game on ESPN. This was the first project to come out of the new Sports Lab facility.
“We are proud to stand alongside ESPN to announce the new Full Sail University Sports Lab Powered by ESPN. Over the last two years our students have been a valued and vital part of bringing some of the most innovative and impactful visual projects to life under the tutelage of the talented professionals at ESPN. We are excited to announce the expansion of the Sports Lab on our campus and we look forward to continued collaborative efforts between Full Sail, our students, and ESPN in the future,” said Garry Jones, President, Full Sail University.
The announcement of the new Sports Lab facility comes on the heels of the recent ESPN Bristol Initiative where four Full Sail students were invited to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., for an immersive, five-day experience featuring an up-close look at ESPN and its sports coverage. After meeting with ESPN employees and personalities, and learning how technology and design contribute to ESPN’s coverage, they toured ESPN’s campus and helped produce college football programming by “cutting” highlights.
ESPN Technology develops the ideas and applications that bring the fan closer to the game with new, innovative production enhancements. ESPN’s technology team designed and supports two of the most technologically-advanced production centers in the world, the Digital Center in Bristol, Conn. and the Los Angeles Production Center which is the first 1080p capable production facility. In addition, the Emerging Technology Group has developed many on-air advancements over the past 30 years, including ESPN 3D, virtual graphics applications, Huck-O-Meter, and the Emmy-winning EA Virtual Playbook.