Grinnell College: Automating live-streaming & video analysis at a DIII university

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 18 teams across 11 different sports. With back-to-back events to capture, Schultz typically relied on willing students to keep the cameras rolling.

If you have a swim meet, a football game, and a soccer match all on the same day, good luck

Ted Schultz Sports Information Director

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.

Schultz now simply needs to schedule an event through the Spiideo Play, and the technology automatically streams the event directly from the Spiideo camera system to fans over the internet, with no need for local servers or trailing wires.

Grinnell has deployed three Spiideo camera setups: one on its American football field, one on its soccer field, and one in its gymnasium to capture basketball.

Along with live-streaming through Spiideo Play, Grinnell’s coaching staff are using the same setups to automatically record training sessions and provide visual feedback. With footage stored within Spiideo Perform, coaches can tag events, analyze play, and create powerful presentations to assist players’ development and team performance.

A reliable assistant to Grinnell’s coaches and video team

During the recent fall 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.

You can set Spiideo Play live streams up on your phone — It’s so much easier not having the equipment to lug around or the manpower. I’ve told people I used to have mild panic attacks about webcasting, and now I don’t have that anymore. It has been such a winner for me

Ted Schultz Sports Information Director

It has been a winner for Grinnell’s coaching staff too, who are now able to access footage from anywhere, on the go. Using an iPhone, iPad, or computer, coaches can pull up a video clip immediately after it happens and deliver feedback to players on the field or court while it’s still fresh in their minds.

With other solutions, you had to finish practice and let it upload before you could go in and watch anything. A benefit Spiideo has over other companies is that you can pull up footage during [the game or practice]. That was a huge selling point for our coaches

Ted Schultz Sports Information Director

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.

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.

The other two companies we demoed with, it wasn’t going to happen because we couldn’t afford it. Spiideo worked with us to get us going

Ted Schultz Sports Information Director