Chris Taylor is a pioneer. In 2009, he launched and has since led the nation’s first digital sports production academic major with emphasis on live sports production, cross-platform distribution, storytelling, social media, interactive and mobile media.
Digital Sports Production is a popular concentration within telecommunications, one of several majors offered through the College of Communication, Information, and Media. Students in the program produce live sporting events for ESPN and develop longform features about student-athletes. In addition, student productions have aired on national media platforms such as Fox and Comcast.
At Ball State, storytelling is our foundation. The story truly matters. Everything is a story from the features we tell to the live events that we produce.
Under Taylor’s leadership as senior director, Digital Sports Production students have won more than 125 state or national awards for sports production, including 22 Emmys, 10 Best of College Sports Media awards, 18 Society of Professional Journalist awards, and 19 Broadcast Education Association awards.
In 2017, the program overall was ranked No. 3 in the nation for top sports broadcasting schools by the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America.
That same year, Taylor was honored with the Sports Video Group/College Sports Media Summit Pioneer Award. The national award recognizes innovators in video production and technology at the university level who have advanced the industry at large.
Taylor himself holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and a master’s degree in sports administration, both from Ball State. After earning his BA, he started his career in the Ball State Athletics Department, working his way up to director of communications and marketing.
Taylor received the 2019 Benny Award, the Alumni Association’s top award for service to the association or the University. The award gets its name from the statue of Beneficence, Ball State’s long-standing symbol of unselfish contribution of one’s talents, energy, and time.
“The passion for what I do here at Ball State comes from my love for storytelling and a curiosity about people” he said. “To be able to combine that with sports and teaching and students is what drives my career.”