CSVS Advisory Committee Q&A: Richard Wanninger, Associate Executive Director for External Relations, Patriot League

In anticipation of the inaugural College Sports Video Summit (CSVS) to be held June 9-10 in Atlanta, the Sports Video Group has assembled a seasoned advisory committee that includes some of the game-changers in the business and technology behind college-sports broadcasting. Each week leading up to the event, College Sports Video Insider will feature an interview with a different member of the College Sports Video Summit Advisory Committee. This week, Richard Wanninger, associate executive director for external relations at the Patriot League, discusses the importance of a balanced video strategy.

What video does the Patriot League produce?

For the past three years, we’ve streamed regular-season men’s and women’s basketball games online, hosted by CBS College Sports. We provided equipment for each of our schools: a basic package of a TriCaster, cameras, other equipment to get the schools up and running. We also put together a manual, since we try to keep a standard and consistent look across the board.

In addition to that, we have streamed a variety of championships over the past three years. Throughout the fall, winter, and spring seasons, we’re always looking for different ways to enhance what we’re doing. At our men’s and women’s basketball media days, we stream some content and then post additional video later that day. We also do a variety of audio feeds from different teleconferences that we do with our coaches.

We also allow the schools to stream some of their own events. There are schools that have different online providers and different strengths in different sports. They put together separate packages in addition to what we do on the league side.

How does the Patriot League’s video strategy compare with that of other conferences?

I think we were one of the leaders. There are some conferences that use broadband as a big portion of what they’re doing for multimedia opportunities, while some are doing a lot more on the TV side. For us, we feel it’s important to have that strong combination of both television and broadband so that we can reach as many people as possible.

For people that are more technology-savvy or used to watching events on computers and in streaming format, we offer the broadband coverage as well as the television offering. We’re looking to increase that streaming audience as much as we can so that we can spread the word about the Patriot League and our student athletes.

I could see us in the future doing a magazine type of show where we do features on a variety of different schools, coaches, and players throughout the league and providing that as content for us online, through Patriot League All-Access. We felt it was very important to augment what we have on television with a strong broadband package.

At CSVS, you will be speaking on the panel Paying the Freight: Where’s the ROI for All This Content? What do you hope to discuss?

I think one of our biggest challenges, which is the same at other schools and conferences, is trying to get the word out about our programming, trying to make sure our alumni groups as well as the fans from those communities know that this is programming that’s available at a reasonable cost. We need to make sure that they know that it’s very easy to get to a quality production that they would enjoy, and enable them to follow the Patriot League from the start of the season all the way through to the end.

The audience at CSVS will be a group of people that rarely gets together on a face-to-face basis. We do a lot of information-sharing through e-mails and phone calls, but I think to be able to get the different folks from conferences as well as the technology side of things in one place is a win-win situation for us.

It’s going to be a lot of information in a short period of time, but I think, for the first year of this event, that’s really what you have to do.

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