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Purple Media Network

The Official Student Media of Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

ESPN+ prepares students for careers in sports broadcasting

Submitted by Stanley Shaffstall
An inside look at the ESPN+ trailer.

Fans head to Natchitoches to watch the Northwestern State University of Louisiana Demons in every sport available. Looking around the stands it’s easy to see happy fans, Vic the Demon, the Spirit of Northwestern marching band, but what might be missed is the young men and women strategically placed behind the cameras, recording the live event. These are the students given the opportunity to work for ESPN+, broadcasting live.
ESPN+ at NSU broadcasts sports such as men’s and women’s basketball, football, women’s soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball live on the ESPN+ app. The program invites everyone who’s interested in sports broadcasting from college students to high school students.
James Stanfield, coordinator of ESPN productions; David Antilley, executive producer and director of NSU-TV; and Travis Mitchell, NSU Alumni and now director of NSU’s ESPN+ broadcast all spoke about the program and the opportunities it presents.
James Stanfield is the primary producer for all ESPN+ broadcasts at NSU. He frequently communicates with ESPN to tell them what games are being aired and works with NSU’s sports information department.
“We believe in putting students to work and doing it before you even step through the doors,” James said.
The program believes the best type of experience is first-hand experience. After being taught the role, the program allows students to be the camera operator for a live broadcast.
“If you start working for us and keep at it for four years, you will have four years of real experience doing a little bit of everything in a production,” James said.
Travis Mitchell started working for the ESPN+ program after he graduated from NSU in 2020 with a bachelor’s in communication and a focus in sports journalism. By staying dedicated to the program, he worked his way up from a camera operator to the director of broadcasts.
“The ESPN+ program has helped me move forward in my career with the opportunity for so much hands on experience in a high intensity environment,” Travis said. “This program allows students to work on every aspect of a live broadcast production and find what each student is skilled at.”
The dedication to having the best sports broadcast at the Southland Conference helps students know what a true professional broadcast should look like in the future.
“This experience is unlike any other opportunity offered in Louisiana and gives students experience earlier than almost any other university,” Travis said.
David Antilley has been with NSU for over 30 years and is the mastermind behind the ESPN+ program. He runs the TV studio, is the program’s secondary producer, and is a frequent camera operator in which he always says, “If I can do it, you can too!”
The ESPN+ program at NSU is one of the best opportunities presented throughout all opportunities presented at other universities, he said.
“We involve students as early as freshman year,” David said. “Other universities doing ESPN production use lesser quality equipment and at many universities, the students can’t touch equipment until their junior or senior year.”
If interested in joining the team, contact David Antilley via email: [email protected].

Brooklyn Guerra and Logan Chadwick also contributed to this story.

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