Emmy Award-winning student from Pendleton featured in BSU campaign

MUNCIE — Tyler Bradfield, who’s won three regional Emmy Awards for his college sports video stories, is continuing to raise his profile after being chosen to be part of Ball State University’s “We Fly” marketing campaign.

Bradfield, 23, Pendleton, is a graduate student. He appears on a 52-by-7-foot banner across the entrance to the L.A. Pittenger Student Center on campus.

Bradfield is part of the university’s digital storytelling graduate program and also is featured on a “We Fly” billboard in Indianapolis.

“We Fly” is part of a new branding strategy launched by campus leaders in November. The theme, developed after months of research, is a nod to Ball State’s promise to challenge students to excel, showing their success; also, Ball State’s mascot is a Cardinal.

The branding campaign includes television, radio and print advertisements, a campaign Bradfield said he’s proud to be involved in.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ball State in 2016 just as he landed a play-by-play sports gig at the university; he decided to attend graduate school while doing on-air work for the Cardinals.

The banner campaign is an example of how a student can make an impact at the university, he said.

Bradfield, a 2012 Pendleton Heights High School graduate, didn’t grow up in a particularly avid sports household, but from a young age he supported local teams after falling in love with sports radio broadcasts.

After taking classes through WEEM, the student-run radio station at Pendleton Heights, he started doing color work as a freshman. By the time he was a senior, he’d done play-by-play work for every sporting event the station aired.

His love of sports broadcasting continued at Ball State.

Bradfield has called a college football bowl game, broadcast college basketball games on ESPN3, as part of the university’s Sports Link program, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in sports, including NBA star Paul George, NFL icon Tom Brady and the late Craig Sager, a former sports reporter.

From sitting court-side at NCAA Tournaments as a media member to being on the air at sold-out college football games, Bradfield is getting first-hand work experience fostered by the university.

Bradfield credits the people in his life, his professors, teachers and mentors who invested countless hours in him as reason for his success.

“They are inspiring, uplifting and encouraging,” Bradfield said. “That’s what separates Ball State from other institutions and makes this place so special. It isn’t the programs or organizations, it is the people.”

Outside of the professional aspect, he’s made friendships that will last a lifetime, he said.

Chris Taylor, at Ball State telecommunications lecturer, leads the department’s digital sports production unit and calls Bradfield one of his best students.

“Tyler came to Ball State as a freshman focused on a career as a play-by-play announcer, which he has excelled in,” Taylor said.

Bradfield is a two-time Jim Nantz Sports Broadcasting All-American, the first in the history of the award.

Taylor said Bradfield’s command of the spoken word and his descriptions during broadcasts are the best he’s ever seen from a student.

Bradfield added to his skill set and found his true passion as a producer and storyteller, and is now a three-time Emmy award winning producer.

“Tyler deserves every award received and I’m certain there are many more in his future,” Taylor said.

Bradfield is set to earn his graduate degree this summer and hopes to land his first post-college job in sports television journalism as a storyteller or a play-by-play announcer.

He said he’ll go wherever a job takes him to pursue his dream, always aiming high, just like the spirit expressed in the university’s promotional campaign.

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or kdeer@greenfieldreporter.com.