Collegiate athletic conferences across the country are seeking the right partners to provide equal access for video analysis and live streaming to their members. Conference Carolinas turned to Hudl to help them in their quest for equal access.

The landscape of collegiate athletics is changing, and in this new era, league offices are putting an emphasis on providing parity across its member institutions. For everything from coach and athlete experience to streaming and revenue sharing, conferences across the country are seeking the right partners to provide equal access to their members. 

So in 2022, Conference Carolinas became the first Division II conference to commit to conference-wide athletic department packages, which ushered in a new era for its fourteen member institutions. At Hudl, it’s our mission to give every athlete the shot they deserve. That mission means giving every school and every team, regardless of sport, equal access to video analysis tools that they need to succeed on the field. This new partnership provided all of Conference Carolinas member institutions with comprehensive access to Hudl’s full suite of analysis tools, including the Conference Carolinas Digital Network, the conference’s streaming platform. 

Engaging with Coaches to Find the Right Solution 

Kit Alewine, Associate Commissioner for Conference Carolinas, and Brian Hand, Associate Commissioner for External Relations at Conference Carolinas, spearheaded the conference’s efforts in finding the right partner. It became clear to them early on that developing a long-term partnership with Hudl would be mutually beneficial, and allow them to expand the services they’re providing their member institutions in the short and long term.

“We were looking to get in front of our AD’s and coaches, but in particular our basketball coaches,” said Alewine. “We knew that whatever type of platform we were looking at to try to do some of these film exchange services, video services, it had to be for the betterment of the teams. We had to try to find a product that was at the top in the video services space, but that was also cost effective so that we could jump in at the conference level and give everyone that extra benefit of having the same product, a strong product and being able to build a relationship with a platform to move forward together. It helped to have a product like Hudl for everyone to utilize and move forward in the same direction.

“There was a risk in that. But we saw a lot of potential. Certainly the pros, in our opinion, the pros outweigh the cons to give it a shot and see where this goes. And I would argue it's been a great relationship.”

“There's other companies now trying to come into this space that Hudl’s in as well,” Hand added. “[Hudl] can do it better anyway, so why would we do that? Now we have the integration with our digital network, we have the integration with the video analytics and exchange and what that provides for multiple sports. It's a huge win-win all the way around.”

Getting Buy-In from Across the Conference

With any partnership of this magnitude, it involves a lot of legwork to get buy-in. The conference set out to create a set of standards that coaches and athletic directors would agree and commit to in order to ensure that every team was getting the most out of the partnership. “We made a shift in some of our regulatory requirements from a sport administration perspective,” said Alewine. “Especially with film exchange with various sports–  with that comes an obligation to make sure that it’s all being done within the confines of the rules. Certain sports have certain deadlines for coaches to get, make sure that film is in there. With the Hudl Focus cameras that naturally upload into the portal for the film exchange, the coaches just have to work with their administrators at their schools to make sure that things will be uploaded properly.”

“I think on top of that is more of a move to a norm for everybody,” Hand added. “Meaning that now you have equal access to do everything on your own. It's up to them, but they have the resources to do just that. The rising tide lifts all ships. When you're an athlete or coach, every little thing matters. It's no different than anything else. You know, ten years ago, maybe out of reach for some schools. Now it's possible for everybody.” 

But the conference isn’t resting on its laurels. It’s still looking for ways to innovate and elevate its coaches and student-athletes; video and data are central to their plans for future growth both on and off the field. “Pre-Hudl, many coaches did not have the abilities that they do now,” said Alewine. “Hudl can make it more efficient or easier for them to not only do their jobs, but to really help elevate the student athlete experience, certainly from a coaching and technique perspective. We want them to fully realize the potential of what they have in front of them, a conference wide agreement with Hudl, things are just going to keep getting better and better with Hudl.”

“Everything we do at Conference Carolinas is built around helping our member institutions fulfill their missions,” Hand added. “That's Commissioner (Chris) Colvin's tagline, something we all believe in very, very heavily. [This partnership] gives coaches the ability to enhance the student-athlete experience incredibly. 

“We're bringing in new sports [into the partnership] where we're talking about new cameras and they're thinking ahead. We know Hudl is going to be there to take care of it on day one. We don't have to worry about it.”