Getting More Media Coverage
Why is it that high school/college football, basketball, and baseball receive so much more media attention than wrestling? Well, I recently asked Gary Mihoces, senior writer at USA Today for his thoughts.
Gary did provide several responses ranging from the economically induced reduction of sports column space and the undeniable appetite for readers to want prominent coverage of mainstream sports such as football and basketball. While wrestling coaches have very little control over these trends, he did identify one specific area where wrestling coaches could really help themselves and our sport.
It boils down to the fact that sports writers are always under a rigid deadline and if they don’t have easy access to timely dual meet and tournament results, statistics, and other relevant content, they simply can’t get the stories in the newspaper. Historically, access to timely dual meet and tournament results has always been a challenge and availability of individual wrestler and team statistics has virtually been nonexistent, said Gary Mihoces.
In all fairness to high school and college wrestling coaches, they do not typically have the same access (as compared to football, basketball, etc) to professional support personnel in the areas of marketing/promotions, statisticians, and public relations. Consequently, the responsibility to provide results and stats to the media becomes one more administrative duty that the coach has to oversee.
This fall, the NWCA developed/launched a new live scorebook system that is uniquely designed to assist the coach with these types of administrative duties. Ideally, the coach should identify a student manager, a parent, and/or a volunteer to perform this administrative task. In most cases, whoever has been assigned to keeping score for dual meets will be ecstatic about converting over to using this new automated way of keeping score because it is so much more efficient. With the new live scorebook system, individual dual match scoring is merely entered into a laptop computer instead of a hard copy scorebook. If there is internet access in the gymnasium, your results are pushed out to the internet real time. If you don’t have internet access, you can simply use the off line version and then push the results out to the internet after the meet. In addition to pushing the results out to the internet, the live scorebook will also do the following:
- Automatically forward your results to all media outlets (this is pre-loaded into the live scorebook database)
- Automatically captures your individual wrestler statistics (takedowns, reversals, etc.).
- For college and high school coaches who are required to enter dual meet results into the Optimal Performance Calculator after each competition, the use of this tool satisfies that requirement.
- An individual season record form for each wrestler is automatically established.
The media has unrestricted access to all of these statistical reports. For the first time, the media can write stories around statistical leaders, head to head competition between competitors, and much more.
You can order the system at this link as well. It is initially $199 and then it will have an annual recurring licensing fee of less than $100. Typically, there are a group of parents or alumni who are more than happy to pay the licensing fee so they can follow all of your matches.
Oh, and one last thing. Through a partnership with LiveSportsVideo.Com, the NWCA is now able to provide an integrated do it yourself webcasting system along with the scorebook. And imagine this, it is FREE (you might have to purchase some equipment depending on what type of camera you have). For the first time, you can provide a live webcast (along with an integrated scorebook) to your parents, fans, and media.
In summary, both of these tools simply make existing administrative duties much easier to execute. Further, the statistical reports generated by the live scorebook can provide the mainstream media with unprecedented statistical information which will move amateur wrestling light years into becoming a more media friendly sport.
Written by Mike Moyer, Executive Director, National Wrestling Coaches Association