Auburn journalism, War Eagle Productions partner to train sports production students

Written by: Charlotte Tuggle

From the camera to the control room, journalism students in the College of Liberal Arts help produce live sports at Auburn through a partnership between the sports production program and War Eagle Productions.

Sports Production Lecturer Andrew Young helped launch War Eagle Productions, which led to the SEC Network and Auburn partnering to create a sports production track—the first of its kind in the SEC. He said the School of Communication and Journalism saw the need for a path into the growing sports production industry.

“Auburn has one of the only sports production programs in the nation, and our program is unique in that we focus on all of the opportunities available behind the scenes,” Young said. “Our students train to become directors, producers, replay operators and broadcast technicians. There are so many job opportunities with television networks, college and pro teams and private production companies. At Auburn, our students can work with world-class athletic organizations while training and developing skills in the classroom.”

War Eagle Productions is an award-winning group consisting of full-time staffers and student interns that creates high-quality video content and covers events throughout the Auburn University campus.

Zach Grant, a sophomore double-majoring in journalism and history, chose Auburn for its sports production program. Throughout his high school career, the South Carolina native gained experience in collegiate sports production, and when it came time to choose a university, all his mentors recommended Auburn.

“Auburn is tradition and storytelling at its finest,” Grant said. “Every day at Auburn, I am pushed to grow by some of the top minds in the industry. Sports production teaches you a variety of life skills, teamwork, accountability, maintaining relationships, skill building and more. You have opportunities and access behind the scenes in creating some of the best environments in any live event, plus how close you are to the action is something you can’t find anywhere else.”

Outside the classroom, students work with War Eagle Productions, which produces more than 350 live events per year, ranging from the videoboard in Jordan-Hare Stadium to ESPN productions. On the field and in the control room, students gain valuable professional skills while networking with industry players.

Grant, who works as a video production specialist for War Eagle Productions, operates cameras and replays for Auburn sports, as well as produces graphics and post-production features. He said the sports production track’s partnership with WEP provides an irreplaceable opportunity to learn and work alongside the best in the industry.

“Where else can you work a Tuesday night volleyball game with somebody who just got back from running a camera for the World Series or College GameDay?” Grant said. “Some of the people I’ve met through WEP will be lifelong friends. We hold exceptionally high standards in what we do. Everyone is striving to be the best.”

School of Communication and Journalism Director Debra Worthington said the combination of expert faculty, unique professional development opportunities and a quality academic foundation prepares graduates to lead the industry.

“Auburn is ahead of the game with our sports production track,” Worthington said. “Thanks to our faculty and partnership with WEP, Auburn students enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience that sets an example for sports production programs across the nation. When students take part in live, professional events as part of their education, we are preparing them to shape the future of sports production.”

Zach Grant, a sports production sophomore and War Eagle Productions video production specialist, operates cameras and replays at live Auburn sports events alongside industry professionals.
War Eagle Productions student workers and staff operate various pieces of equipment and state-of-the-art cameras as they work to produce top-notch video coverage and content.