Texas A&M’s 12th Man Productions makes university history
“This was our very first football broadcast ever in 12th Man Productions history.”
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - When the Aggies kicked off versus Vanderbilt, Texas A&M Athletics' 12th Man Productions got a rare opportunity to support ESPN with the television broadcast of the football game.
Traditionally on gamedays, 12th Man Productions is the force behind nearly every screen inside Kyle Field, but this year as football adapts to the coronavirus, the group took on a larger role.
“As we started to hear the season was going to start later, people were starting to reach out with more inquiries about what we have and our resources, our capabilities," said Elissa Killebrew, 12th Man Productions Broadcast Operations Supervisor.
Soon, 12th Man was running in-stadium screens and supporting ESPN during the television broadcast.
“It was almost like a challenge that everybody took on because it was like ‘let’s see if we can do two.’”
It was an opportunity students didn’t expect they would have during their time with the group.
“I definitely did not see the opportunity of working like working a football for ESPN or SEC Network in the near future, but we took it and ran with it," said Sam Kaman, 12th Man Productions Student Worker.
The pandemic presented some challenges.
The staff met virtually and leaned on the worldwide leader in sports to help them get ready.
“ESPN was a great resource for us," said Justin Argo, 12th Man Productions Director of Broadcasts. "They really put us in a good spot and made sure we were set up for success.”
Texas A&M’s first football game during the pandemic made air.
A combined 70 students and full-time staff worked to put on both the videoboard and ESPN broadcast.
Looking back on the season opener against Vanderbilt, 12th Man Productions is proud of what they’ve accomplished.
“It was really cool to put on something that special and get to show it to people all over the country," said Kaman.
“It was the biggest game we’ve ever done and it went off like we had done this several times before. And it wasn’t. This was our very first football broadcast ever in 12th Man Productions history.”
“I was very proud to be an Aggie that day, a former student, alumni working at 12th man productions just seeing where we were 12 years ago to now doing a nationally televised football broadcast," said Argo. "I mean I thought we did an outstanding job. I was very proud of the efforts the students put in and you could watch it on the broadcast. I thought it looked great.”
It is uncertain at this time if 12th Man Productions will be assisting ESPN with further football broadcasts, but if the opportunity comes up again, 12th Man Productions says they are ready to embrace the challenge!
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