TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- One of the largest providers of sports programming in the country announced Tuesday that it would relocate a subsidiary that makes the Skycam overhead camera equipment used in television sports coverage from Philadelphia to the Tulsa area.
Oklahoma Commerce Secretary Kathy Taylor and Jim Willburn, president and CEO of Tulsa-based Winnercomm Inc., announced the move, and the construction of a new headquarters and manufacturing facility for Skycam.
Skycam, a leading designer, manufacturer and operator of mobile aerial camera systems, will relocate just outside Tulsa in the Greenway Industrial Park in Broken Arrow. The company is expected to employ 50 people at the new site.
"For the past 23 years, Winnercomm has revolutionized the way the world views sports programming and we've driven the change from right here in Oklahoma," said Roy Patton, Skycam general manager. "Adding Skycam was a perfect strategic fit for us because it's another tool that enables us to continue to innovate and be more creative in the way sports are covered."
Winnercomm, founded in 1982, acquired Skycam in 2004, according to company officials.
"Skycam will be a great addition to Oklahoma's business landscape, and I appreciate Winnercomm's commitment to our great state," Gov. Brad Henry said. "This move is yet another testament to our talented, dedicated work force."
The new 50,000-square-feet manufacturing facility scheduled for completion in January 2006 will house Skycam's manufacturing, research and development, and testing operations as well as its management offices.
"Their expansion speaks volumes about their excellent management and national reputation," Taylor said. "Their relocation of Skycam here is further evidence that Oklahoma is an outstanding environment for sophisticated and highly technical businesses."
The patented Skycam system is a broadcast quality robotic camera, suspended from a cable-driven, computerized transport system. Winnercom says Skycam's unique design makes it the only stabilized camera system that can unobtrusively fly in a defined three-dimensional space, putting the viewer right in the middle of a sporting event.
"We're moving a core group of high tech jobs to Oklahoma, and as the company grows, we'll supplement that group with new jobs filled from the great talent pool we have here," said Winnercomm CFO John Baker. "Winnercomm's growth has been fueled by Oklahomans and we intend to keep it that way."
Winnercomm is one of America's largest independent sports production, program development, marketing services and sales companies. The company employs about 200 in Tulsa and about 2,000 subcontractors, and is growing at the rate of one employee a week, officials said.
Winner of 12 Emmy Awards, Winnercomm producers create over 1,000 hours of programming annually for ESPN and 11 other national networks.