Student-Made Sports Video Goes Viral

From left are Coach Mark Nofri, alumnus Dario Melendez and Moses Webb.

News Story: November 7, 2013

As we write this, a student-made video of a stunning play during Sacred Heart University’s football game against Monmouth on Saturday has over two million views on YouTube. The video was also the lead on ESPN’s Sports Center Saturday night and has been seen everywhere from Fox Sports and Eyewitness News to Yahoo Sports and beyond.

The video is the result of a new project this year where undergraduates in the communication program, graduate students in the MACOMM program and MACOMM alumni who want to beef up their professional portfolios have come together to produce broadcasts of SHU’s football games. In previous weeks, their coverage of the games has appeared throughout Connecticut on CPTV.

The MACOMM program’s decision to buy some new equipment, build camera stanchions in the stadium and offer students the opportunity to produce live broadcasts has been a fortuitous one. Not only have the students captured the Pioneers’ best start in football since 2008, but on Saturday, they broadcast the spectacular double fumble and recovery for a touchdown by SHU’s Moses Webb. Since then, the video highlight, shot with multiple cameras by a team of students, along with play-by-play commentary by MACOMM student Randy Brochu and alumnus Terrance White, has been seen all across the country.

“Being a part of the Big Red Sports team of MACOMM students and undergraduates that captured this special play and came together to share it with the viral world is the highlight of my career. We knew we had something special thanks to a terrific effort by our student-athlete Moses Webb, who showed great resiliency in making up for his fumble by never quitting on the play,” Brochu said. “It only took a few moments to realize this play—a catch, a fumble, a tackle, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown—was a very rare moment. I am proud of Moses Webb for representing Sacred Heart football with the heart to make such a play; I am proud of the Athletic Communications people for doing their part to get it onto the web in such a timely manner, and I am so proud of Big Red Sports for capturing one of the craziest plays you will ever see with such high-quality production value and professionalism. We had one chance to do something special, and we all came together and nailed it.”

Brochu thought the video might get some attention, but what happened stunned him. “Leading Sports Center, being in the Top 10 plays, seeing it all over sports media and garnering more than two million views on YouTube in three days is beyond my wildest imagination. That is the great thing about sports—you never know what you are going to see on any given day. On this one day, in this one moment, we saw something special, and we captured it to share with the rest of the world. That is incredible.”

“This partnership between the MACOMM program and Athletics allows students to work on real productions for their online portfolios while also giving them a leg up on the job market after graduation,” said Jim Castonguay, communication professor. “This model of learning by doing will also be a central component of the new master’s degree in sport communication and media (SCM) that we are launching next fall.”

Castonguay said the SCM program will eventually be housed in the University’s new academic building where students will produce weekly programs from new state-of-the-art studios and production facilities. In the meantime, the model will continue during SHU’s upcoming basketball and hockey seasons.

Distribution of the video also got a boost through the connections of Paul Pabst, an adjunct professor who is affiliated with the Dan Patrick Show, and Bobby Valentine, SHU’s executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics.