EMU student reaches Elite 8 of Coca Cola Brain Bracket Championship

by Ward Mullens, Published March 26, 2010

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University is in the Elite 8!

Fermon Tate, an EMU sport management student, has made it to the Elite 8 of the Coca Cola Zero Department of Fannovation Brain Bracket Championship.

The Brain Bracket Championship is a contest for basketball fans to invent a way to make their favorite pasttime more entertaining for everyone. The winner gets $10,000 and a trip to the men’s NCAA Final Four next year.

The contest began with 64 ideas and has come down to the final eight based on votes from visitors to the Brain Bracket Championship Web site (http://www.cocacolazero.com/ncaa.jsp).

“All of the students in the class submitted entries,” said EMU Professor Victor Chiasson, who teaches the course, which is entitled sport and event planning. “Chris Barry made it to the round of 32 with his idea and Antonio Franklin made it to the Sweet 16. Fermon is still in it! We are excited that our students have done so well.”

Tate’s idea is entitled “ZebraCam” and would outfit referees with glasses with a built in camera so that fans could see action from the referee’s point of view.

“I was watching the games with my mother and sister and they were asking why the referee made a call or what a call meant and we started talking,” said Tate, a junior from Farmington Hills. “I said ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if they could see what he sees…’”

“ZebraCam” is currently pitted against “The Dunk Size Monitor.” The monitor would measure how hard players dunk.

The winner of the voting between “ZebraCam” and the The Dunk Size Monitor” advances to the Final Four and will face another fan idea.

Chiasson and his class have put on a full-court press to try and help Tate move to the next round.

“The class is helping their classmates by voting for their entries and we hope that one can win the competition,” Chiasson said. “Students, friends and family can still register to vote by going to the Web site and following the instructions, I just had one of our staff sign up in under two minutes.”

The next class project will be to develop ideas to promote attendance for one of EMU’s athletic teams, said Chiasson.

Ward Mullens

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