SPEAKERS > Chris Taylor

Ball State University
Senior Director of Sports Production

A creative storyteller and producer with over 22 years of experience, Chris Taylor is in his 11th year in 2020-21 as senior director of sports production (Ball State Sports Link & Esports) and associate lecturer of telecommunications at Ball State.

His graduates can be found at ESPN, Turner Sports, Tupelo Honey/Raycom, MLB, Indy Car, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA Athletics Departments across the country.

In 2019, Taylor was awarded a Ball State Benny Award. The Benny Award is the Alumni Association’s top award for service to Ball State University or the Alumni Association. The award gets its name from the statue of Beneficence, the University’s long-standing symbol of unselfish contribution of one’s talents, energy, and time.

Also in 2019, the Ball State Sports Link program grew internationally, with a five-year partnership with the United Kingdom’s only sports broadcast program at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff, Wales. In 2020, Taylor and students travelled to Wales to produce Transatlantic Storytelling, a feature-length documentary on sport and culture in Wales.

In the classroom, the sports production academic concentration is the first of its kind by any college or university in the nation. The nationally renowned program offers skills and applications using digital technology to create sports content for distribution across multiple platforms. Emphasis is given to live event production to ESPN platforms and storytelling.

The Sports Production concentration prepares students for careers in a developing and changing sports media arena. Using the immersive learning model of Ball State Sports Link, Sports Production specializes in multiple areas. Students learn to produce a broad range of content from live remote productions, live-to-tape events, television programs, student athlete features, Facebook Live shows, and social media content creation.

Other facets of the program include Sports Link Digital Radio, social media management and analytics, podcasts, and the use of mobile technology and interactivity via the web.

Working closely with ESPN and Ball State Athletics, the program produces over 300 hours of sports programming, including over 150 hours of live sports to ESPN platforms yearly, with students in all crew positions.

Since 2009, students in Ball State Sports Link have garnered over 150 state or national awards for sports production, including 59 Emmy and/or Student Production Award nominations (28 wins) and 49 Sports Video Group/Best of College Sports Media nominations (10 wins).

His students have also won 47 Indiana Association of School Broadcasters first-place awards, and 21 Indiana Society of Professional Journalists first-place awards, as well as 21 Chris Taylor | Senior Director of Sports Production | Ball State Bio Summer 2021 Broadcast Education Association “Best in the Nation” honors, and four “BEA Best of Festival” awards from all entry genres.

In June 2017, Taylor was honored with the Sports Video Group/College Sports Media Summit Pioneer Award. The national award recognizes innovators in video production and technology at the university level who have advanced the industry at large.

A former college sports information and marketing director, Taylor has served on numerous state, local, and national organizing committees, including for the NCAA Final Four and other NCAA Championship events. In addition, he has guided Ball State’s involvement as social and digital media producers for NCAA March Madness and other NCAA Championships since 2011, working with the NCAA and Turner Sports.

In 2014, Taylor also guided the social and digital real-time operations – utilizing students – for the 96th PGA Championship and the 2014 Ryder Cup. He helped lead a team of Ball State students to the London 2012 Olympic Games, producing multimedia stories for national media outlets, as well.

Taylor is active in his campus and local communities, including serving as the executive producer and mentor of 7th and 8th grade students as part of Muncie’s Inner City Educational Basketball League in 2015 and 2016 – a league based on academic achievement and playing time as part of the 21st Century Scholars initiative.

Taylor is a graduate of Ball State University with his bachelor’s in telecommunications (production option) and a master’s in sports administration.

Featured in: Thursday, June 24 Agenda