Max Negin and Erik Kendall ’11 reunite to produce Emmy-winning content

Elon alumnus Erik Kendall ’11 and Assistant Professor Max Negin received a regional Emmy Award last year for their work with the Charlotte Hornets – and have already garnered another Emmy nomination this winter.

When Terry Rozier cut to the right corner and drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Charlotte Hornets a 103-100 win over the Golden State Warriors, it not only gave Rozier one of the biggest highlights of his career, but it also paved the way for Elon alumnus Erik Kendall ’11 and Assistant Professor of Cinema and Television Arts Max Negin to win an Emmy Award.

“The images were great,” said Elon alumnus Erik Kendall ’11 (left), discussing his Emmy Award-winning broadcast with Assistant Professor Max Negin. “The call from Eric Collins and Dell Curry was justifiably over the top, and the post-game interview with Ashley Shahamadi saw Terry Rozier drenched with water by his teammates. All in an empty Spectrum Center due to COVID restrictions, where our camera lenses were the only way for the viewer to experience the game.”

Negin served as the lead editor and replay operator while Kendall, a former student of Negin’s, was the lead producer on the February 2021 Bally Sports Southeast broadcast. The award was presented to Bally Sports South by the Nashville/Midsouth chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

But that isn’t the only honor that Negin and Kendall have collected together. The duo – and Bally Sports South – have already received a nomination for another Live Sporting Event/Game award by the Nashville/Midsouth chapter. They worked together to present the Hornets’ thrilling Dec. 10, 2021, home victory over Sacramento. It is one of four nominations in the category, and the winner will be announced in late February.

“For me, working with a former student is an amazing experience,” Negin said. “In the decade or so since he has graduated, Erik has grown immensely through his hard work and dedication to storytelling and running the overall broadcast.”

Before Kendall earned his spot as a producer with Bally Sports South, he spent four years at Elon, where Negin served as a professor and mentor. That relationship has continued despite Kendall graduating and beginning his career in Atlanta, then relocating to the Queen City.

“Working with Max Negin after being one of his students at Elon a not-so-long 10, 11 years ago is still surreal,” Kendall said. “Max had a big part in building my curiosity for sports broadcasting when I was a student, and having him on my crew as a video editor and replay operator is always a treat.”

On campus, Negin serves as a faculty adviser to Elon Sports Vision, which oversees live production and studio shows for Elon Phoenix athletics. Keeping his foot in the industry has its benefits for both Negin and his current students.

“Being part of a broadcast team in a professional setting is one of the most impactful activities for me as a professor,” Negin said. “Students gain direct access and knowledge of the current industry from these types of experiences. And every event has its own set of challenges and obstacles to overcome.”

Both Kendall and Negin point to the real-world experience that many School of Communications faculty have as a major benefit for Elon students.

“I sensed it while I was a student at Elon that having professors with ‘field experience’ – especially in the communications school – was going to be a huge advantage for me,” Kendall said. “When asked about how to get started I always stress the importance of being a do-er and noting that the root word of “creative” is ‘create.’”

For Kendall, who’s currently in his third year as a Hornets producer with Bally Sports South, it all circles back to his alma mater.

“There is no doubt that Elon created that spark in me to go and have the opportunity to do what I do now for a living,” Kendall said.