Blogging the Hoosiers

Disclosure/Disclaimer: The company I work is the current multimedia marketing and broadcast rightsholder for Indiana University (and a bunch of other high profile colleges and universities). The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own and have no connection to Learfield Communiction.

Newspaper BlogsIt was brought to my attention today that a couple of Indianapolis newspapers –The Herald-Times and The Indianapolis Star– were blogging about the Hoosiers. Hoosiers Insider and the Hoosier Scoop are pretty typical for newspaper blogs.

Hoosier Scoop had audio of a post-game press conference and included short video clips from the press conference and students storming the floor following Indiana’s 71-66 win agaisnt No. 2 Wisconsin. And they had someone (an intern?) live-blogging the big game.

“3:38, second half: Indiana 64,Wisconsin 59”

Companies like ours –and there are only a handful– pay a lot of money for exclusive broadcast and marketing rights. But we’ve entered the world of blogs and podcasts and YouTube and camera phones and maintaining “exclusive” control of the sporting events becomes something of a challenge.

And what’s a “broadcast” now? Just radio and TV? And the fans are getting in the act. How do we stop them from putting audio, video and still images on their blogs and in their podcasts? And should we stop them? Should we encourage them?

But back to the Indianapolis blogs. Here’s what I’d do:

Hold a contest to find the best Hoosier blogger in Indiana. To be eligible, you have to have been blogging for at least six months. Fans come to a website to vote on the three finalists. The winner gets a brand new laptop and digital camera…and a seat in the press box for every home game, where they blog the game. What the hell, let’s plut a webcam in the booth so fans can watch the announcers. I’d have our on-site producer pulling play-by-play audio highlights and making them available to post. All of this, of course, would be sponsored.

I’d leverage our broadcasts and access to coaches and such, to out-blog the newspaper guys.

I remember, back in the mid-nineties, the first time we saw a university include webcasting in their bid specs. It seemed almost… cute. A novelty. I can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring.