While live-streaming is a new frontier for many universities, Grinnell College Sports Information Director Ted Schultz has been webcasting sporting events for years. With international students making up close to 20% of its student body – more than triple the national average – live-streaming is the only way that the fans, family, and friends of many of its athletes can watch games.
Yet, live-streaming sporting events doesn’t come without challenges — particularly at a college like Grinnell, which fields teams in 20 different sports. With back-to-back events to capture, Schultz typically relied on willing students to keep the cameras rolling.
An automated solution to college sports live-streaming
After researching various alternatives, Grinnell eventually settled on Spiideo because it was a complete sports video solution that relies on artificial intelligence to fulfill the manual camera operator role. With footage captured through Spiideo’s intelligent camera system and AI game tracker technology automatically seeing where the action is, the camera is always focused on game play.
With Grinnell required to stream through the conference-mandated SIDEARM Sports, Schultz uses Spiideo’s RTMP function to send broadcast feeds automatically from Spiideo Play to the third-party platform in real-time. All that’s required is to enter the URL and endpoint into Spiideo Play, and the technology automatically streams through SIDEARM to fans around the world, with no need for local servers or trailing wires.
Grinnell has deployed Spiideo’s versatile S-Line cameras across its facilities to cover a total of six sports: men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, football, and volleyball.
In particular, the solution has elevated the viewing experience for fans watching Grinell’s free-scoring men’s basketball team, who recently set the National Collegiate Athletic Association record for three-pointer attempts in a single game. Utilizing a multi-angle camera setup, which combines footage from various points around the field into one feed, Schultz can effortlessly switch between cameras within Spiideo Play’s CloudStudio production platform to provide fans with the best view of the action.
A reliable assistant to Grinnell’s coaches and video team
During a recent break – when student volunteers are often scarce – three events fell on the same day, offering a reminder of the challenges faced when streaming games manually. Not only would finding volunteers have posed a problem but using the old setup, Schultz would have had to lug bulky equipment between venues and waste time setting up and dismantling.
It has been a winner for Grinnell’s coaching staff too. Along with live-streaming through Spiideo Play, the athletics department are using the same camera setups to automatically record training sessions. With footage stored in the cloud, coaches can tag events, analyze play, and create powerful presentations, from anywhere and at any time, to assist players’ development and team performance. Using an iPhone, iPad, or computer, coaches can even pull up video clips immediately after they happen, switching between multiple views to deliver clear visual feedback to players on the field or court while it’s still fresh in their minds.
Spiideo: A solution for organizations of all sizes and standing
As an NCAA Division III school, Grinnell’s athletics department may not have the resources available to those at the top of the college sports pyramid. Yet, there is no less demand for the infrastructure to enable live-streaming and performance analysis among the college’s coaches, athletes, families, and fans.
As a one man team and with camera operation an ‘unwanted job’ among Grinnell’s student volunteers, keeping up with the packed college sport schedule proved challenging for Schultz in the past, especially during school breaks when there were few students on campus to offer support. However, Spiideo Play has been a game-changer, providing a reliable camera operator for any sport and every event — and it doesn’t go home for the holidays or lose focus mid-game.
While many organizations may feel that an automated solution is out of reach, Spiideo is working with customers throughout the sports ecosystem to enable live-streaming and video analysis, from top-tier clubs, competitions, and broadcasters, through to amateur and youth sides such as Grinnell.