Using New Media Tools To Boost Winners: Need To See Urgency From Morgan Ctr

So couple of weeks ago I offered up some quick thoughts on YouTubing/UCLA FB (athletics) with a suggestion for the folks at MorganCenter should take a page out of Cal AD’s playbook who have already set up their official youtube channel.

I want to follow up that with couple of tactical examples from the school across town, which IMHO is either the best or one of the best in the country when it comes to reaching out their community by using New Media tools. Couple of days earlier a loyal reader brought our attention the following press release from Apple.com:

A Winning Combination for USC Trojans

When the University of Southern California (USC) won the 2008 Rose Bowl, the contest was significant for more than one reason: Not only was the university’s football team making its third straight appearance in the annual match-up, but USC’s Athletics Department used its new Apple-based video post-production system to stream game highlights on USC’s website immediately after the game. Thanks to an Xsan-based technology solution, the Trojans’ sports fans now can find their favorite footage faster than ever.

Before USC Athletics installed its new Apple infrastructure, the shooting and editing of sports highlights was a tedious process. With only one consumer-grade post-production system, members of the USC Athletics video team struggled to keep up with the demands for footage of particularly exciting plays. The fact that USC has one of the country’s highest-profile athletic programs (with students competing in a multitude of sports) further accelerated the need for an efficient way to capture and deliver video footage.

“It got to the point where we couldn’t handle the volume of requests we were getting, both internally and from places like ESPN and our local Fox station,” recalls Rich Rodriguez, director of video production with USC Athletics. “And football was only one of five sports we were shooting; we also cover basketball, soccer, and other sports where there aren’t any licensing issues. So between the need to stream game clips on our site, create videos for our coach to review with players, put together highlight videos for awards dinners, and make footage available to the networks, it was time to look for a new editing system.”

Now some thoughts here. May be our folks at MorganCenter are already using cutting edge technology like the one mentioned above. If they are would I would love to hear from them in the comment threads or via email.

But for now you have to give the Southern Cal athletic department a huge amount of credit for pushing the envelope when it comes to reaching out to their alums, students and (bandwagoning) fans via the use of new media tools. Clearly they have a communication strategy in place that goes beyond working with beat writers in the traditional media (which they are also great at given the subdued coverage of the unprecedented laundry list of scandals in the local media). Not only are they using top line technology to expand their outreach via videos, they are also blending blogging and youtube/online videos to get the word out on their programs.

For example take a look at PeteCarroll.com and the USCRipsIt blog. Yes, the content in there will make you want to poke your eyes out and often they will end up posting videos that bite them back in the rear end as evidenced by the recent shenanigans around Brennan Carroll [A video was posted on Pete Carroll's website starring his son, Brennan which replete with profanity and questionable behavior, was widely ridiculed, and was allegedly used against USC in recruiting.  In mid-May, the video was removed from youtube.com, with Carroll explaining that it was just a "spoof."”] But still … big ups to them for not being afraid to get their guys out there and aggressively doing what they need to do the shape the coverage of their teams on their terms.

Of course it helps that they have been incredibly successful on the field. However, that doesn’t excuse MorganCenter. We haven’t seen similar effort from MorganCenter using the new media to get the word out on Ben Ball warriors. You would think given the fact how UCLA basketball has always gotten the shaft from an East Coast dominated national traditional media establishment, there would be a sense of urgency to get the word out on hoops team. But we haven’t seen any evidence of that.

By the way Southern Cal is not the only athletic program in the Pac-10 making outreach via new media tools a key component of its communication strategy. I referenced Cal’s official youtube channel above. They launched a website called Tedford Talk earlier this summer. The Wiz immediately flagged the key reason behind Tedford getting wired:

This probably has more to do with marketing the program, selling tickets and relating to recruits and players than the fans.

That’s pretty much it.

Southern Cal has been second to none in the Pac-10 when it comes to marketing their athletic programs. Instead of being denial over it, the people at Morgan and MurphyCenter needs to recognize it, learn from it and take the necessary steps to make sure UCLA doesn’t get left behind.

UCLA is an institution that has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to athletics. I don’t need to recite the list of our alums and recount the history behind Jackie, Kareem and Arthur Ashe. When it comes to athletics we have always been ahead of the curve.

We are now blessed with great coaching staff in all of our major revenue sports. We have total confidence in their abilities in maintaining their current success or in the case of football, working towards reestablishing a tradition that has been diminished by the turmoil in this decade. It’s now time for Dan Guerrero to take the necessary steps to give them all the help they need so rest of the world knows about what is going on with the greatest athletic program in the country that plays by the rules.

No doubt the troika of Howland-Neuheisel-Savage and all the other great coaches in Westwood will roll up the national and conference championships. But that’s not enough. UCLA officials also need to step up to help them and help us – alums, students, addicted fans – to get the word out using all the latest technology available re. unparalleled success of our Bruins on and off the field. IMHO it’s essential if MorganCenter is serious about keeping the current winning combination of coaches in our new world.

Let’s hope they are listening because we certainly will be following up on this point here on BN.

GO BRUINS.

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