From Sam Borst-Smith’s missed free-throw game winning assist, to the Men’s Football team’s heartbreaking loss against Hobart, and every sport in-between, UR’s student broadcasting team—or “the stream team,” as they are called by their boss, and director Kris Shanley—is there to capture it all.
The group is comprised of “students who have shown interest and are pretty passionate about broadcasting varsity athletic programs over the internet,” Shanley said.
The stream team currently broadcasts Women’s and Men’s Soccer, Men’s Football, Women’s Lacrosse, and volleyball. Whether from the press box at Fauver Stadium, or at the top of the bleachers in Louis Alexander Palestra, the stream team records the event, and gives live play-by-play recaps and color commentary for the use of family, friends, and fans of the University.
“[Something] that makes us unique is that we do have a live broadcast.” Shanley commented. “If you watch some other schools that don’t have broadcasters, it’s really hard to follow the game. If you can imagine it, [not having broadcasting] is like watching March Madness and turning your volume down; it’s hard to watch.”
While the ability to show the games online was an important aspect leading to the creation of the stream team, Shanley cites the students as the reason for why the stream team was put together
“For me, [it seems] as if students are really passionate about this.” Shanley said. “And although we [didn’t have a major], when we first started, that dealt in this realm at all, it was finding students that were passionate and enjoyed doing it .And it’s great for student development.”
While UR does offer a journalism minor, the University does not have anything relating to sports broadcasting, which poses a problem for students who want to gain experience in that realm. The closest opportunity exists for english majors as they have the ability to intern at National Public Radio affiliate WXXI.
The history of the team goes back to Class of 2014 alumnus Nate Mulberg, who had a passion for sports communication and broadcasting. Originally, Mulberg developed a sports department within student radio hub WRUR, but after not having the financial support to house stable broadcasts, Mulberg opened up a collaboration with Shanley.
While Shanley has the ultimate say on who is on the stream team and who is not, during the event, the students run the show.
“We have meetings in order to organize around the games, they [the students] come grab their set equipment, which includes a camera, soundboard, and computer, go to [the game’s location], set up the equipment, log on to the Internet, hit play—and we go.”
The students that work on the broadcasting team all come from various backgrounds and are involved in different things on campus. “One is with URTV; half are varsity athletes and the rest aren’t,” Shanley said. “We have men and women, so it’s a mixed bag of folks who do it.”
One participant is Senior Nina Fogel, the current schedule coordinator of the stream team. She joined because she believed “it was a job that needed to be done.”
“These student athletes don’t get the recognition and accolades that Division I programs get, but they work hard and people who care about the players and the school deserve to see how their team is doing,” Fogel said.
The variation of student who participated allows for the stream team to be completely unique in what each individual brings to the table.
“I think what makes our program unique is that it is run by students,” Shanley said.”They set up the equipment, they do the broadcast. They know our athletes by being in class or being in other organizations with them, so they can add a personal touch to our games.”
In respect to the skills learned and the applied personal touch on the job, Fogel remarked that her four years on the stream team have “made [me] think about sports in a different way.”
This group of young communicators provides a unique outlook and in turn is an asset to UR.