Ivey Speight has been a member of the Fairfield University community since 2008, as a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2012 with double majors in journalism and media, film, television and radio. Now, he is best known for his work as the associate director of communications and video for the Athletics Department.
Going into his sixth year as an employee, Speight’s responsibilities extend to being the main media contact for women’s soccer, women’s basketball and baseball, keeping him busy year round.
As a student, Speight was an active contributor to the WVOF radio station, where he found his true passion for media. He made waves in this position, transforming what it meant to be dedicated to one’s craft. It was also here where he made a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament 12-hour long radio show on the men’s and women’s basketball teams, which was the first of its kind, according to fairfieldstags.com.
“For his efforts, he was presented with the ECAC [Eastern College Athletic Conference] Certificate of Appreciation from the Athletics Department,” it reads on the athletic’s website.
Speight was hired by Siena College upon graduation from Fairfield, but returned to his alma mater to continue making an impact in the field of sports media. He had a passion for all aspects of media, and Fairfield offered him the unique opportunity to not only write for the Department of Athletics, but to also engage in the fields of public relations and television production as well.
Before the pandemic, Speight’s schedule was split into two categories: game days and non-game days. On days when teams didn’t have competition, he worked on preparing programs, printing out game notes, writing up previews to be published on the athletic’s website and ensuring that he created content which would make Stags fans excited for what is to come.
On actual days of the events, Speight deals with more logistical factors that go into making the game run as smoothly as possible. Following the last whistle, his commitments do not end, as he then must write up a recap.
For soccer, Speight handles recording statistics, so on days like these he would make sure that the computers are working properly. For other sports where his primary job is behind the camera, like volleyball, he would film the match, upload footage and edit the clips into a post-game video to be posted later in the day. During basketball season, he juggles public relations and video, capitalizing on both talents to guarantee that at the end of the day, he captures the best material.
“When you’re moving and then you just go full stop, it’s really hard to get your brain moving again. Over the summer and between March and May we’ve just tried to get content going…. Now we’re starting to concentrate more normally,” Speight said, regarding how his job has shifted since the COVID-19 outbreak.
As of right now, Speight is gearing up for basketball season, which is slated to begin on Nov. 25, noting that he is finally returning to a sense of normalcy in relation to pre-pandemic obligations.
He looks forward to getting back to the grind, and doing what he loves to do most, in just a few weeks. One thing that he believes sets Fairfield aside from other collegiate athletic programs as they pertain to media is the creative license that he has here.
“You get out of it as much as you put into it… there’s no one above you to micromanage you, giving you the space to grow,” he said.
In lower conferences, the pressure to be perfect is not as high, which has motivated Speight personally to not be afraid of failure. As a result, this has made him feel more comfortable taking chances and branching out to try new things.
On the flip side, according to Speight, smaller conferences like the MAAC are comprised of a special breed of athletes as well.
“There aren’t a lot of professional athletes, especially at our level, so they are doing it for the love of the game.”
For Speight, this sports media is a labor of passion and commitment. “In sports you see all of these storylines unfolding. You see someone just coming back from limping off who then goes to score the game-winning goal or someone who has been working hard for two years gets a starting chance and really takes advantage of it. Every game has a different storyline.”
As such a young figure in the industry, Speight has a long career ahead of him, and this is surely just the beginning.
One day, it is likely that his name will be seen in the company of ESPN or NBC Sports, but for right now he is happy right where he is.
“My ultimate goal is to be the best that I can be, and to do that every day,” he said.