USW and Dragons give students matchday experience

USW Media Production students with Newport Gwent Dragons CEO Stuart Davies. Neil Gibson

Dragons CEO Stuart Davies with some of the USW students

Match days at Rodney Parade are undergoing a dramatic transformation for the 2016/17 season, thanks to an exciting new collaboration with the University of South Wales (USW) that will see live and independent ‘in-stadium’ broadcasting onto the Big Screen for all Dragons’ matches.

Students taking the Media Production degree at USW will work alongside the camera, sound and technical team during matches at Rodney Parade.

This new addition to match day, which follows on from last year’s opening of the We Fight Any Claim Family Zone, focuses on Rodney Parade’s ‘in bowl’ experience. Supporters are now able to watch and interact with the Big Screen in the build up to each match, as well as during play and at half-time. In return, the initiative provides USW students with an excellent opportunity to support their studies with hands on industry experience.

 Dragons CEO, Stuart Davies, said: “We take great pride in our supporter experience at Rodney Parade. This unique and innovative partnership with the University of South Wales should introduce plenty of fun and interest, help build atmosphere at the ground, and further enhance our match day entertainment offering, whilst providing a fantastic learning experience for the students. It is an excellent example of what can be achieved via collaborative working.”

Students will be broadcasting pictures and sound to the Big Screen, includingannouncements from the match host, footage of the player warm-ups and run out, music performances, pitchside interviews and half-time features.

Students will be roaming the crowds to add shots of supporters who are being encouraged to dress up and to bring message boards to matches. There are also plans to run crowd competitions and giveaways as well as introducing ‘kiss cam’-style crowd interactions.

Andrew Rogers, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Society at USW, added: "Providing students with industry experience is a major part of what we do at USW, and we pride ourselves on offering access to some of the biggest names in business, industry and sport, such as Newport Gwent Dragons.

“At each match, students will have full access to the field of play and TV gantry, as well as radio communications, allowing them to experience and engage with the entire production.

“As the season progresses, students will be able to take responsibility for planning, filming and directing entire sections of the big screen presentation.

“What better way for them to get first-hand experience of the challenges they will face when taking up jobs in their chosen profession.”

A number of USW students will also be able to gain industry experience at Newport Gwent Dragons through the University’s placement opportunities.

Students on Marketing and Events courses have already been invited to take part in 10-week placements starting in January. They will support Newport Gwent Dragons in the promotion and delivery of matches as well as various non-matchday events taking place at Rodney Parade. 

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