San Jose Sharks and SAP Fund Midpen Youth Sports Broadcast Gear Overhaul

By Eva Barrows
“We’ve been chugging along since 2013,” Sara Bennett, Midpen Media Center Sports Department Manager says of the Youth Sports Broadcasting & Career Horizons (YSBCH) production truck. “We’ve trained hundreds of kids on our ‘83 truck.” When YSBCH goes to sports games with youth production teams, Sara’s never sure if the equipment will work for the entire game. The truck itself has a history of breaking down and isn’t freeway worthy which limits the reach of the program.

Thankfully these clunker car and obsolete technology woes are almost over. The San Jose Sharks Foundation and SAP have awarded Midpen’s YSBCH program $100,000 to purchase brand new state-of-the-art HD production equipment. The new equipment will be housed in a new truck from other funding sources. “We’re buying everything,” Sara says of what’s going into the new truck – new cameras, switcher, audio gear and graphics machine.

With the goal of having everything in place by March 2018, the new batch of YSBCH summer camp participants will be trained on professional grade equipment. They’ll get the current skills needed to succeed in industry jobs and college level broadcast courses. Kids who have recently learned how to use the old equipment will be brought up to speed on the new stuff.

What’s inside and on the outside of the truck will bring renewed attention to the YSBCH program. The new production truck will be decked out in San Jose Sharks/SAP branded auto wrap. Sara jokes that she hopes the front of the truck will have shark teeth. She’s also hoping the new look and equipment will grab the attention of sponsors to enable more onsite event coverage. And when the kids see the new truck Sara thinks, “More kids [will get] involved if they’re excited about our new gear.”

All around, people will be impressed by the high-quality product the youth will be producing. “With the new gear the kids can definitely have pride in what they’re creating. Because what they’re going to be outputting is going to be professional quality.” Sara and the kids will have peace of mind that their equipment is going to work and their truck is going to get them where they need to go. Midpen is grateful to the Sharks Foundation and SAP for their generosity and because of the grant, Sara says, “We’re going to make something really cool happen for these kids.”

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