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12th Man Productions seeks job applicants

Informational set for Monday and Wednesday

Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 21:02

Being a part of history can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and for students interested in a career in television broadcasting — 12th Man Productions is knocking at the door. 

Texas A&M Athletic Department’s 12th Man Productions will hold informationals at 6:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday in the Burkhart Auditorium on the northwest side of Kyle Field to give additional information to students interested in joining 12th Man Productions in its August debut with the SEC Network.  

“A Texas A&M degree is extremely valuable, but just that degree alone is not going to get you a job in broadcast television, particularly in sports,” said Jason Cook, senior associate athletics director. “You need to have some tangible experience, so what we’re hoping is that an [A&M] degree, plus working for Texas A&M Athletics, plus working for the SEC Network, will position people to be a very attractive candidate for jobs that are out there.”

With an increasing number of sporting events taking place around Aggie Athletics combined with the upcoming premiere of the SEC Network, 12th Man Productions is looking to employ and help as many students as it can to become more proficient in what it does, as well as provide opportunities to cross-train as much as possible while providing students with vital experience in the broadcasting field.

“The more we can get the better,” Cook said. “These are paid positions. If you look at last weekend, we had baseball, softball, we had women’s basketball, we had track and field — all these things happening at the same time, and then we also had a videographer traveling with women’s golf, for example. So you look at all these events happening at the same time, we need a large workforce because we can’t have the same people work every event.”

Applications will be available at the informationals along with an overview of 12th Man Productions and its affiliation with the SEC Network. 

Steven Funke, director of event presentation for the Kansas City Royals, worked at 12th Man Productions in 2006 as a graduate student at A&M prior to being hired as a full-time employee in 2008. He said the opportunities presented by 12th Man Productions are endless.

“12th Man Productions gives you the opportunity to learn anything and everything — from a live productions standpoint to an editing standpoint to a finishing house,” Funke said. “There are so many different ways you can go with the experiences you learn there.”

Funke, like many students, said he had no previous experience in the television broadcasting industry and no plans to make it a career, but being involved in 12th Man Productions for two years sparked his interest and prepared him for a career. 

“They give you the opportunities and equipment to put on your résumé that allow you to make the next step when you graduate college, and you can’t ask for anything more than that,” Funke said.

Cook described 12th Man Productions as a “learning laboratory in the world of sports video” and said there is a wide spectrum of opportunities that exist at 12th Man Productions.

“We need people who are going to shoot cameras — from a live event standpoint, but also to produce content for our video boards or to produce packages, like student athlete features,” Cook said. “And then I think there is going to be a limited opportunity for people who want to be on-air talent as well.”

12th Man Productions began in the mid-2000s following the installation of the video screen at Kyle Field and has evolved into one of the biggest video groups in the conference. Cook said the commitment A&M is making to the SEC Network is unlike any other school in the conference and will hopefully add to the exposure and visibility of the University. 

“Every school has some component of video, but there’s no other SEC school that is making the commitment to the SEC Network like Texas A&M is,” Cook said. “We’re investing about $12 million in a brand new television production studio that’s going to be a part of the new Kyle Field. One of the primary reasons for our move to the SEC was to increase exposure and the visibility of Texas A&M. I think that we’ve seen that so far, but this is phase two. The SEC Network is going to provide an even greater platform and we want to make sure that Texas A&M is best positioned.”

As of now, the SEC Network will only be provided through AT&T U-verse, and the A&M administration has urged students to register their interest via www.GetSECNetwork.com. The first football game scheduled to air on the SEC Network is Aug. 28, between A&M and South Carolina, and will be the only place to view the game on television.

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