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CTI says that it is honoring Rutherford, the Assistant Athletic Director for Digital Media at Iowa State University, for his excellence in orchestrating the technology and logistics necessary to broadcast big-time college sports events.
"In this business, you have to be willing to adjust and pivot," Rutherford says. "It's the most challenging part of the job – and also the most exciting."
Rutherford isn't just referring to keeping pace with the relentless march of technology that challenges everyone in the audio-visual industry. He's mainly talking about the day-to-day and even hour-to-hour flexibility that being the conductor of a major university's digital sports orchestra demands. He says most people have no idea what goes into producing the sporting events they watch live or on their screens.
As an example, consider the production involved for the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game – one of the greatest football rivalries in the Midwest. Rutherford's department, which consists of 10 full-time staffers and about 50 student assistants and freelancers under his direction, begins general planning for the event during the summer. Last year was particularly hectic because they hosted national broadcasts for ABC and ESPN College GameDay.
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"The week before was crazy because I was dealing with the production executives from both networks," says Rutherford. "I think ABC did 16 or 18 cameras that day, so they showed up on Friday morning with a laundry list of questions about hookups and tie-lines."
As far as game-day productions are concerned, Rutherford says, "It's a lot of balancing between what our TV partners need and what our video and marketing staffs have worked through for our in-house videoboard productions. Every second of game day is planned."
Rutherford (Class of 2005) is a second-generation Iowa State Cyclone. Both of his parents are Iowa State graduates. Rutherford started working on Cyclones.com, the Iowa State athletics website, after graduation, and he has taken it through a half-dozen redesigns. He and his team have also brought Iowa State athletics into the digital age in many other ways. In 2013, under the direction of director of athletics Jamie Pollard, they partnered with the largest cable provider in the state (Mediacom) to launch their own television channel (Cyclones.tv). At that time, there were only a handful of athletic departments that owned and operated regional or national TV channels.
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"In the last couple years, we've migrated live programming to ESPN+, but we still produce about 100 live sporting events annually," Rutherford says.
Rutherford is most proud of two things: 1) The evolution from linear TV to putting out even higher-quality productions for ESPN+; and 2) The team that shares his values and has helped him achieve it. In fact, if he had a bumper sticker for his life, Rutherford says it would read: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.
About Conference Technologies Inc.
Conference Technologies, Inc.® (CTI) (www.conferencetech.com) is a leading custom audio-visual systems integration solutions specialist. The St. Louis-based company, founded in 1988, has more than 20 offices across the country and offers a wide variety of services to customers in various industries around the world.
SOURCE Conference Technologies, Inc.
Filed Under: Business
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