Marist Hosts Inaugural Sports, Comm, Tech Summit

More than 100 undergraduates, faculty, and industry leaders from around the Northeast gather for Center for Sports Communication event

POUGHKEEPSIE (March 30, 2015) — On Saturday, March 28, the Marist College Center for Sports Communication hosted the inaugural Sports, Communication, and Technology Summit at the College's Poughkeepsie campus . This day-long event brought together more than 100 undergraduate students, faculty, and industry leaders for a robust discussion of the unique skills and training needed for success in the broadly defined domain of sports communication technology. Seven colleges and universities from around the country were represented at the event.

The day began with a presentation of the event’s case study competition, where student teams were asked to explain ways that communication technology can be used to improve the live-arena sports spectating experience for people with various disabilities. The competition, which also required submitting a written solution, was judged by academic and industry professionals. The team from St. John’s University won the inaugural competition.

Following these presentations, a panel featuring Chip Foley (right, below), vice president of High Point Solutions and former vice president of Forest City Ratner Companies and the Barclays Center, and Frank Golding (middle, below), former vice president of YouTube Sports North America, focused on the impact of communication technology on both the live and mediated sports spectator experience. Moderated by Center for Sports Communication Director Keith Strudler (left, below), the panel addressed topics such as the potential of virtual reality in sports spectatorship and the ethics of digital privacy in the technologically driven sports landscape. Later in the day, Golding also delivered a keynote address on the future of digital media. Sports Comm Tech Summit

Strudler was thrilled to have such smart and accomplished industry leaders offer their ideas as part of this event. "It’s critical for those of us in academia – students, faculty, and staff – to have engaged conversations with top industry thinkers and practitioners," Strudler said. "I think we had two of the best and brightest on campus for this event."

During a lunch session, Marist students Anna Grazulius and Avery Decker along with Marist Assistant Professor Ryan Rogers presented the results of their research experiment on the use of Google Glass in sports spectatorship. This study examined the potential differences between the use of such augmented reality devices such as Google Glass versus more ubiquitous smart devices and traditional media guides in a sporting environment. Later in the day, Grazulius and Decker held an open session where summit attendees could learn how to use Google Glass.

The summit’s afternoon consisted of tutorials, where industry professionals offered students hands-on training around sports technology. This included a session led by CBS5 Syracuse News Anchor Allison Bybee, who taught students reporting techniques using mobile technology, and a digital editing tutorial by veteran photographer Andrew Hurley. Following these tutorials, Strudler gave closing remarks and announced the case study winner.

This inaugural summit marks the Center for Sports Communication’s deeper examination of and instruction in the intersection of sports, communication, and technology – some of society’s most symbiotic and vital constructs. Future summits will dig deeper into this emergent area of discourse, helping to establish Marist and the Center for Sports Communication as a leader in this emerging field. Assistant professors of communication Ryan Rogers and Tim Mirabito, as well as the student interns for the Center for Sports Communication, were vital in the creation and execution of this inaugural event.

"To use a sports cliché," said Strudler, "this was truly a team event."


To learn more about the summit or the Marist College Center for Sports Communication, go to