Publish or Perish!

This is probably one of the most common phrases heard around people who make a living writing or by publishing research.  Having just recently graduated from graduate school, the phrase is an everyday reminder to assistant or associate professors trying to make tenure – keep plugging along and cranking out the research papers or you’ll never get to enjoy the title and prestige of being a university Professor!

But of course, this is a sports blog. And you may be asking me to get on with it already…what does this have to do with sports? We could go off in numerous ways here, including things I’ve mentioned before, most notably, breaking the news yourself, instead of letting someone else do that.  Or if you’re inexperienced or too busy or have a great relationship with them, allow your media partners to assist you with this.

All that aside, what I really want to talk about is podcasting.  How many people actually know what that is?  Well, quite frankly you’d be surprised.  There are some great statistics out there about how podcasting is on the rise.  For those of you know don’t know what a podcast is, according to Wikipedia, a podcast is “a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device.”

So let’s start thinking in terms of sports…how can we tap into this growing market to grow our team/sport/university brand? Use the resources that you already have – head coaches’ shows, AD’s shows, weekly radio interviews of coaches, players, etc.  Of course, obey all the rules enforced by your contracts, conferences, leagues, or associations and don’t put your coaches, athletes, or teams in jeopardy of legal action. However, do look at what your people are already doing and go from there.  If your team or coaches aren’t already doing this, what a great way to get some great content out on the web, growing your brand and increasing your value to sponsors!

Now-a-days its pretty easy to get free podcasts up on iTunes, so that’s one option.  You can also tap into the RSS feed on your website and put your podcasts on there as a web-based audio file plugin.  Another option is YouTube or Vimeo – record  your interviews and split them up into HD videos and HQ audio podcasts.  With a little training at audio and video editing anyone can do this, though an experienced technician can get these files online in little or no time at all, depending on the content.

So, Bill, what’s the point? Well, a good sports executive is always looking for a way to monetize and market their team or organization and this is another great way to do that, in some cases with little extra effort. As more sports fans are looking for more original and high-quality content, audio, photos, and video are all great ways for teams to engage with fans on a very personal level with the people they want to see. So take some time to think about what assets your team already has and think critically about how you might be able to capitalize on this potentially untapped and growing market.

If anyone has any recommendations for sports podcasts, I’d love to hear about it.  Send me a tweet with hashtag #sportspodcast. Please also click the subscribe button on the bottom right of your screen if you want to read more sports business tips and information!

Go Forth!

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Here is the link to the Wikipedia article referenced above: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast

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