About 77,000 fans packed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday night in New Orleans for the College Football National Championship game between Clemson and LSU. Another 29.2 million watched the contest on television, according to ESPN.
Taking in all the action at field level was former Grantsville resident Tyson Hutchins. He spent the day shooting video, photos and posting updates of the game on instagram as senior director of creative solutions at Clemson University.
“It was just a fantastic bucket list experience for someone who works in sports. To be able to shoot and experience the atmosphere of a game of that magnitude was special for sure,” Hutchins said.
Clemson is one of the heavyweights of college football. The Tigers have played in the National Championship game four times in the past five years. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16 last year to win the National Championship but lost Monday’s game 42-25 to the LSU Tigers.
Hutchins started his new job at Clemson by working the Fiesta Bowl game back on Dec. 28 when the Tigers came from behind to defeat Alabama 29-23 to advance to the title game.
The Atlantic Coast Conference school hired Hutchins after he worked for four years in the social media department at his alma mater, Brigham Young University. He learned about his new job at Clemson last month.
“It’s been a surreal experience to have the opportunity to go to a place like Clemson that has been in the national spotlight for so long. It’s definitely been a blessing. It’s hard to describe,” Hutchins said.
He said he’ll be working with all the athletic teams at Clemson, but there is a special emphasis with football to use social media in the recruiting process.
“We work the entire game day and take a holistic process. We shoot pre-game, post-game. We want to showcase everything you can’t get from the regular telecast of the game,” he said.
“I know what angles and shots are being shot on TV. My main goal is to showcase something that is not shown on the broadcast — to offer a second screen using social media.”
After earning a degree in sociology from BYU, Hutchins passed the Law School Admission Test and was ready to send out applications to law schools until he saw an ad at BYU for a part-time social media position with the athletic department.
“I hired Tyson as a student and he did such a great job working 3⁄4 time I hired him full-time post grad,” said BYU New Media Director Stuart Call.
“He’s really awesome, a super hard worker and has the ability to self teach himself. He worked his way up very quickly at BYU. As a student he worked social media strategy for men’s volleyball and baseball then post grad he moved over to full video content. He majored in sociology, but I convinced him to stay with social media. It’s sad to see him leave, he’s been a great friend. It’s an incredible opportunity for him at Clemson.”
Hutchins said BYU tried to emulate Clemson in its social media endeavors.
“In the industry, Clemson is thought of as having the premier social media department,” Hutchins said. “When they won a national championship they had people in place using social media. They were at the forefront of a lot of what we did at BYU. I had been an observer of what they were doing for a long time.”
The 28-year-old Hutchins said he’s been intrigued by social media for some time.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in growing up in this age of social media. It wasn’t until the internship at BYU that I thought this could be a real significant career path,” he said.
“As a lifelong fan of BYU it was a dream job to showcase the athletic department to be part of building and showcasing our programs. I’m grateful to BYU in providing an incredible experience.”
Tyson is the son of Grantsville residents Jeff and Krista Hutchins. Jeff was recently elected to the Grantsville City Council.
“My mom and dad have been a fantastic influence. It started with their expectation and support and focus on education. They always made sure education was a priority in my life,” Tyson said.
Jeff Hutchins said his son is wise beyond his years.
“He’s had some defining moments in his life that have given him the ability to have a very mature perspective,” Jeff said.
Tyson starred as an athlete at Grantsville High School and earned All-State honors in football and baseball. He was the 2010 Transcript Bulletin Male Athlete of the Year. He played one season of baseball for USU Eastern in Price.
He married Lauren Watson in 2015 and they have a 5-month-old boy Mack. They have resided in Lehi, but are now on their way to South Carolina.