Students at the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication and Information will soon have access to a 20,000 square foot production studio in the heart of Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. The state-of-the-art facility – a partnership with the college, UK Athletics and JMI Sports – will create a high-tech collaborative space where students can learn alongside professionals in media production and sports marketing and communication. It is expected to debut in fall 2023.
“We have been training students in broadcasting and media production for over 70 years in various spaces on campus,” said Jennifer Greer, Dean of the UK College of Communication and Information. “This space represents a significant step forward in providing a collaborative venue where our educational programs can be taken to the next level through an innovative partnership with athletics and the university’s media rights partner, JMI Sports. “
The college has created a sports communication pathway within its communications department and recently launched a sports pathway within the School of Journalism and Media. Rupp’s production facility will provide training and instruction in these areas and opportunities for faculty and graduate students to conduct research, Greer said.
“We believe deeply in the imperative of putting students first in everything we do,” said Tim Bernal, deputy executive director of sports/external operations for UK Athletics. “This extends to our field and field students and those who work alongside us in media and sports production. Our goal is to be best in class in every sport and every program. This studio aligns with this goal of providing the best opportunities for all of our students.
The three partners envision the facility as a collaborative space, enabling students, faculty and staff. to work with UK media production and marketing teams.
The UK is increasingly offering sporting opportunities across many of its colleges, including business, education, health sciences, arts and sciences. Greer said production companies in the region and businesses in the sports industry should be encouraged to work alongside UK students, media professionals and researchers in space.
“JMI Sports is committed to providing innovative partnerships to advance the University of Kentucky’s academic and sporting mission,” added Kim Shelton, Chair of UK Sports and Campus Marketing. “This studio and production space provides an opportunity for the College of Communication and Information to engage more actively with the UK Sports Network in a highly visible facility in the heart of Lexington town centre, demonstrating a collaboration between athletics , the campus and the downtown community.