The College Sports Media Awards (CSMA) recognize the best student-produced sports broadcast media in the country.
Thousands of student videographers, producers, and editors and web teams craft entries every year. There are 20 categories for entry in the College Sports Media Awards that encompass four divisions for competition: National Network; Regional/Local Networks/Syndicators and Production Companies; Collegiate Athletics; Collegiate Students. Universities from the U.S. and Canada are eligible to enter.
Video Gallery Software Evaluation
CSMA needed a software solution that could manage hundreds of annual submissions and assist with the award.
Additionally, CSMA wanted:
- A way to highlight specific videos (either as finalists, as winning entries, or for promotional purposes)
- The ability to sort videos by keyword (“Purdue”) or characteristic (“live broadcast”)
- An elegant backend software solution that made the award process seamless for entrants and judges alike
CSMA selected OpenWater award management software to manage this video-centric project. OpenWater also built a custom website on the front end to artfully showcase finalists and winners. “The results exceeded expectations,” says Zack Schwartz of OpenWater, who lead the implementation team.
Video Submission Showcase
An important consideration was loading speed.
Many award sites experience a surge of traffic with the announcement of finalists and winners. Videos need to load quickly across viewing devices. Award program sites need to be ready for this demand surge.
The CSMA video showcase site is built for speed, backed by Python Flask with MongoDB and deployed on Heroku.
Custom Video Gallery
Another consideration was the appearance of the site itself.
Working with Sfera International the OpenWater team developed an attractive site.
Another consideration was the appearance of the site itself. OpenWater’s custom solution made it easy to find videos and view related videos. For example, a viewer interested in sports stories behind-the-scenes might watch “Transformative: The Caleb Swanigan Story”. Shown at right are videos related to athlete’s personal stories.
OpenWater also added functionality so CSMA could add pre-roll to each video.
After approximately a month of custom design work, CSMA’s video awards program had:
- An attractive website built for speed, and robust enough for heavy traffic
- A custom template to standardize appearance and load times
- Added flexibility to include pre-roll sponsorship messaging to each video
- Extended crediting capacity across all submissions, important to large teams
- Added search functionality, including archival submissions, finalists, and winners