Announcement of Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology

Henke Hall of Champions
IU Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana
June 5, 2015

Introduction

Thank you, Fred.

It is a great pleasure to be here today for what is truly an historic announcement.

Student-Centered Academic Collaboration

Drawing examples from the business world, from the performing arts, and even from Indiana University basketball, psychologist Keith Sawyer writes in his book, Group Genius, that collaboration is the secret to innovation. “When we collaborate,” he writes, “creativity unfolds across people, the sparks fly faster, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”1

We see countless examples every day at Indiana University of how collaboration leads to remarkable innovations. The diligent efforts of IU students, faculty, and staff have, over the years, led to countless innovations in the worlds of technology, genetics, medicine, biology, chemistry, the arts and humanities, and many, many other disciplines and interdisciplinary areas.

The Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology will be Indiana University’s newest hub of collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Not only will it enormously enhance the experience of the many fans of IU Athletics, it will also contribute in major ways to the education of students in a wide variety of fields and give them relevant and practical experience that can be applied to the sorts of careers that will dominate the world of new media and sport.

As some of you may know, we recently launched the new Media School at IU in response to the dramatic changes the media environment has undergone in recent years, including the emergence of entirely new platforms for content delivery and new technologies that provide audiences with unprecedented control over when, how, and where they consume media. These changes require today's graduates to be fluent in a range of media competencies and tools. The Media School brings together IU’s programs in journalism, telecommunications, film studies, and communication and culture to offer an integrated approach to communication-related studies that will prepare students for the rapid changes in these fields.

Of course, today’s announcement is also right at the heart of this media convergence.

I am very pleased that, as we plan and launch the Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology, IU Athletics will collaborate closely with academic programs and departments across the campus, including those I have already mentioned in the Media School, as well as many other disciplines, including game design, informatics, graphic design, and, naturally, sports communication.

State-of-the-art Technology: Enhancing Athletic and Academics

As Fred has said, not only will the technologies in the Cuban Center be state-of-the-art, IU Athletics will become the first university in the country to use most of these technologies.

IU will, for example, be the first to utilize freeD multi-camera technology, which can give spectators a view of the action from virtually any angle as it captures 360-degree video coverage of plays in high resolution. FreeD will be installed at IU this summer, and will bring one-of-a-kind replays and highlights to the video boards in Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium. It will also allow IU Athletics to create impressive highlight and recruiting videos that enhance our ability to recruit top student-athletes—and it will allow coaches and players to analyze plays like never before.

Ours will also be one of the first athletic departments in the country to utilize Virtual Reality in a major way. IU Athletics will be the first to independently produce virtual reality video and to train students to use and create Virtual Reality.

Through the Cuban Center, IU Athletics will also be the nation’s first collegiate athletics department to use the high-tech ORAD Virtual studios, which professional sports broadcasters, newsrooms, and many others are using to achieve stunning 3D graphics and special effects.

All of these technologies, in fact, are rapidly being adopted and implemented in professional sports and other broadcast outlets, and the Cuban Center will give Indiana University’s students opportunities to gain experience in their use that simply will not be available at any other university.

Special Thanks to Mark Cuban

Of course, given that fact that Mark Cuban is one of the most innovative thinkers in business and an expert on leading-edge technologies—in fact, the Dallas Mavericks have led the way in implementing many of these technologies in the NBA—his involvement in this endeavor is a natural.

Mark, as all of you know, has founded a number of extremely successful companies, including Broadcast.com, which famously was born out of his desire to listen to Hoosier basketball games in Texas.

Indiana University is grateful to him for his continued involvement and support of his alma mater. I have had the pleasure of joining prospective IU students in Dallas for “evenings with the Mavericks” that Mark has hosted and spoken wonderfully at, and, of course he returns often to campus to speak, most recently in conjunction with the “Building Entrepreneurs in Software and Technology” competition, in which he is an investor. The competition awards prize money to students who submit the best plans for a student-led Internet, software, or technology business—in much the same spirit as this weekend’s hack-a-thon.

On behalf of Indiana University, let me express our deepest gratitude to Mark Cuban for his generosity and his vision in support of this path-breaking center.

All of us look forward to seeing the many ways the Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology will benefit Indiana University Athletics, our student-athletes and fans, and students in a wide variety of disciplines across the campus.

Thank you very much.

Source Notes

  1. Keith Sawyer, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration, (Westview, 2007), 7.