“Grand Slams Sports,” a sports commentary show produced by a team of four communication students throughout the semester, has won an International Student Broadcasting Championship award this past November, according to the International Student Broadcasting Championship website. The ISBC, according to their website, is a platform that is dedicated to talent discovery and development on a global scale, according to the ISBC. The competition is intended to serve as a launching pad for students seeking career advancement and development. Director and Editor of “Grand Slam Sports” and sophomore communication major Evan Porterfield was the recipient of the People’s Choice Content Creator Award for the social media content made for the show. Porterfield said that it all started as an idea.
“… It wasn’t an official thing,” Porterfield said. “And when Rick [Dunkle] saw our first show, he liked it. So then we started doing it weekly.”
Producer of “Grand Slam Sports” and sophomore communication major Charles Foster said the team set a goal to make it unique to other sports commentary shows out there. By talking about why things are happening rather than focusing on what is going on in the sports world, according to Foster, it makes for a show that does it a little differently from the rest. Going into the show, however, the team of then-three students needed a video editor—then, Porterfield entered the mix, according to Foster.
“… We wanted to go into detail about who played well, what strategies went into the game, because we all believe we were very informed in sports and that our opinion, we want other people to hear it,” Foster said. “And we have very differing opinions. So we thought it’d be a good dynamic to go out there and you know, do a little something different than other sports shows.”
Porterfield said that, when he found out he won the People’s Choice Content Creator Award, he was excited and that he was most proud of the professional development that he is building during his time at UIndy. Foster said he was ecstatic that the show received international recognition.
“I think some people might have thought that we wouldn’t really succeed just because it was kind of just a thought that we just made happen,” Porterfield said. “And we didn’t really go through the most official process. So I was excited because it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, we proved the people who didn’t think we’d be a thing that we’re actually a thing and we can create a show.’”
Porterfield said he loves the editing side of making a show happen—especially the analytical side of content production. According to Porterfield, little things such as where people are sitting in a video can affect how many people keep watching.
“‘Why did people click off at this specific moment in the video? How can we edit it or change it up a little bit differently to keep people’s attention?’ That really interests me… makes me excited,” Porterfield said.
General Manager of UIndyTV and WICR and Assistant Professor for the Communication Department Rick Dunkle said that producing a show takes a lot of preparation, and the amount of preparation varies depending on the kind of show. For example, according to Dunkle, a political show would require a different depth of research and information gathering than a sports show—especially since those involved in “Grand Slam Sports” are already knowledgeable about sports. Dunkle also said that, as a mentor in the production process, he was ecstatic when he learned Porterfield won the award.
“Even when we found out about the competition, it was kind of neat,” Dunkle said. “Just in the way that they were framing it in terms of… this was just straight up like, ‘This is a competition.’ This is the first international one that we’ve participated in and Evan winning it for social media, getting that People’s Choice Award, you know, just spoke to everything we’ve been talking about the previous semester where, you know, their episodes are great. They really are, but when you look at the social content they’re putting out, it’s a step above.”
Foster said the team is going to continue to post after a month-long break. He said they will continue to make the show even more interesting by adding more hosts and additional people in the backroom. According to Porterfield, some upcoming social media content includes things like TikTok and other short-form content.
“We’re definitely going to be bigger and better than it was before,” Foster said.