The Charger Blog

Communication Students Get Inside Look at the Digital Media Industry from ESPN Veteran

A coordinating designer of motion graphics at the worldwide leader in sports, Carlton Pitts recently visited the University of New Haven as part of a statewide speaker series, discussing how the field has changed during his 30-year career and the advice he has for the next generation of professionals.

January 15, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Carlton Pitts and students.
Carlton Pitts (center) and students following his talk at the University. (Photo credit: Cat Boyce, Digital Media Connecticut)

When Ethan Cardona ’21 attended a recent talk by Carlton Pitts, coordinating designer of motion graphics at ESPN, he brought his resumé. An athletic communications assistant in the University’s Department of Athletics, Cardona is interested pursuing a career in the sports communications field.

"ESPN is not far from the University, and it would be a great internship opportunity," said Cardona, a communication major. "This talk was a good opportunity to learn from someone who has worked in the field for many years."

Pitts, who has worked at ESPN for more than 30 years, began his career in the mailroom, which enabled him to learn about every department. He showed students clips of videos he has worked on and explained how the graphics were created and added to the video. He also described how his career – and ESPN – have evolved over the past three decades.

"This was a good way for me to explore what I can do with my degree and learn where I can look for a job."Andrea Rojas ’23

"There were 16 of us when I started, and now there are more than 100," said Pitts, who works on special assignments using Viz, a real-time design platform that enables him to design animations and build 3D graphics.

Pitts visited the University as part of the Digital Media Connecticut ConnectNext Speaker Series, which connects professionals from the state’s prominent content producers to high school and undergraduate students, enabling them to learn more about careers in graphic design, animation, filmmaking, and other roles emerging opportunities within the digital media industry.

"It is important for communication students like me to learn more about the industry," said Andrea Rojas ’23, who attended the talk. "This was a good way for me to explore what I can do with my degree and learn where I can look for a job."

Image of Carlton Pitts.
Carlton Pitts delivered a talk as part of Digital Media Connecticut’s ConnectNext Speaker Series.

Pitts, whose career has enabled him to travel across the country, as well to Europe and South America, has created motion graphics for SportsCenter, ESPNews, and Baseball Tonight. Although his work has covered a variety of sporting events and organizations, including the National Basketball Association, the World Cup, and horse racing, he told students that they don’t necessarily need to have extensive sports knowledge to follow a similar path.

"Learn as many software programs as you can," said Pitts. "If you know the software and how to design, the sports knowledge can come from the people you work with."

Cardona, who has experience as a broadcaster, public address announcer, and music and video board operator with Charger Athletics, and as a reporter for The Charger Bulletin, is focused on learning as much as he can.

"I am a sports fanatic, and I was eager to learn from someone who works in the sports industry," he said. "I’m very glad this event was held on campus."