Athletics News

Awards Aplenty For Fighting Irish Media

June 28, 2016

By Chris Masters

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the third consecutive year, Fighting Irish Media (FIM) has enhanced its growing reputation as one of the premier college media production outlets in the nation, earning 19 awards for excellence in the fields of video production, broadcasting, publications and feature writing.

The honors provide the capstone to a remarkable 2015-16 academic year for FIM, which completed its first cycle combining the talents of Notre Dame's digital media group (formerly known as Fighting Irish Digital Media) and the University's athletics communications office (formerly called athletics media relations and prior to that, sports information).

Fighting Irish Media is a division of the Notre Dame Department of Athletics and includes the University's athletics communications and digital media teams. FIM maintains a singular mission of telling great Notre Dame stories through the lens of Fighting Irish athletics while keeping in mind the department's five pillars of success: Excellence, Community, Education, Faith and Tradition.

One of the landmark achievements for FIM occurred on June 2 when Irish Connection, the signature video documentary series from Fighting Irish Media, was honored as the 'Outstanding Program Series' in the Collegiate Athletics Category at the 2016 Sports Video Group/National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics College Sports Media Awards in Atlanta.

Also known as 'ICON,' Irish Connection documents each Notre Dame football game with unprecedented behind the scenes access from the Irish sidelines, locker room and coaching booths.

The award marks the first earned by FIM for a full in-house production. With more than 400 entries submitted in five categories, the SVG/NACDA College Sports Media Awards are the 'best-of- the-best' for college athletic video production.

The SVG honor served as a bookend milestone accomplishment for FIM, as the group also picked up its first Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award back on Nov. 7, 2015, when the "Voice of Fighting Irish Men's Basketball" Jack Nolan earned the Emmy from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Outstanding Achievement in the category of On-Camera Talent-Sports Anchor/Reporter/Play by Play.

Nolan, a 34-year media veteran who also serves as host of several Fighting Irish athletics television and radio programs, brings a passion for Notre Dame and broadcasting that is unmistakable in any of his media work. His longevity has featured coverage of and collaboration with six Notre Dame football coaches and four Fighting Irish men's basketball coaches.

Another of the highlights for FIM in 2015-16 was a record-setting nine Telly Awards, including four Silver Tellys, for excellence in several online video and film productions. In the past three years alone, FIM has collected 17 Telly Awards - five Silver and 12 Bronze.

The Telly Awards are the premier honors that recognize outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world. This year's honorees emerged from more than 13,000 entries in all 50 states, as well as numerous countries on five continents.

FIM also earned praise from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for excellence in publications, with the 2015 Notre Dame football game program and the 2015-16 Fighting Irish women's basketball media guide both chosen 'Second in the Nation' in the annual CoSIDA Publications Contest. The Fighting Irish football game program also was recognized with the 'Best Cover in the Nation' award for 2015-16.

Thanks to the efforts of senior associate athletics director John Heisler, FIM collected five awards (one national, four district) in the CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest this year. Leading the way was Heisler's national award for the top blog/interview entry for his column entitled "The Last Word: The Irish Senior Farewell," a piece that appeared in the game program compiled for the Nov. 14 football home finale against Wake Forest.

Here's a complete rundown of all 19 Fighting Irish Media award-winning productions in 2015-16:

SVG/NACDA College Sports Media Award - Irish Connection
(Outstanding Program Series - Collegiate Athletics)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer) and Josh Long
(FIM associate producer)

Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award
(On-Camera Talent - Sports Anchor/Reporter/Play by Play)
Earned by: Jack Nolan (FIM talent/producer)

Silver Telly - Emma Reaney: Road To Rio
(Online Video - Video - Sports)
Produced by: Javi Zubizarreta (FIM producer)

Silver Telly - ECHOES '15: Notre Dame Football Awards Show
(Film/Video - TV Programs, Segments or Promotional Pieces - Sports)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer)

Silver Telly - Coaches Campaign
(Commercial - Local TV/Cable - Campaign - Promotional/Branding)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer)

Silver Telly - ND Day: Songs To Sing
(Online Video - Video - Show Opening Segment)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer)

Bronze Telly - Schooled: Austin Carr & Demetrius Jackson
(Online Video - Video - Sports)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer)

Bronze Telly - The Adventures of Johnny Lujack
(Online Video - Online Video - Sports)
Produced by: Javi Zubizarreta (FIM producer)

Bronze Telly - Inside Notre Dame Basketball
(Film/Video - TV Programs, Segments or Promotional Pieces - Sports)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer)

Bronze Telly - Irish Connection
(Online Video - Video - Editing)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer)

Bronze Telly - Notre Dame Football Primer: Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl
(Online Video - Video - Editing)
Produced by: Jodain Massad (FIM executive producer)

CoSIDA Publications Award - Notre Dame Football Game Program
(Best Cover in the Nation)
Edited by: Bernadette Cafarelli (assistant athletics director)

CoSIDA Publications Award - Notre Dame Football Game Program
(Second in the Nation)
Edited by: Bernadette Cafarelli (assistant athletics director)

CoSIDA Publications Award - Women's Basketball Media Guide
(Second in the Nation)
Edited by: Chris Masters (associate athletics communications director)

CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest - "The Last Word: The Irish Senior Farewell"
(National Winner - Blog/Interview)
Written by: John Heisler (senior associate athletics director)

CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest - "The Last Word: The Irish Senior Farewell"
(District Winner - Blog/Interview)
Written by: John Heisler (senior associate athletics director)

CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest - "North of Confident, South of Cocky"
(District Winner - Athlete Profile)
Written by: John Heisler (senior associate athletics director)

CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest - "Sunday Brunch: Irish Survive Zaire Injury with Eye-Popping Finish"
(District Winner - Event Coverage)
Written by: John Heisler (senior associate athletics director)

CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest - "Brey's Crew Receives Rings, Prepares to Raise Banner - and Moves On"
(District Winner - Season Preview/Recap)
Written by: John Heisler (senior associate athletics director)



--ND--


Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's basketball and women's golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master's degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and recently completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

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