It was only a few days after I wrote a piece on the lack of high quality video documenting MCLA teams’ games, seasons, and players that an announcement came: Grove City is stepping up to the challenge.
OK, was it my story that got the Grove City Wolverines to commit to making more HD video for you, the viewer? Probably not. The boys over in Grove City, PA, have several great guys who been on the forefront of social media utilization in the MCLA scene for some time (see: MCLA DNA). Following the announcement, I decided to get some more elaboration from the minds behind Grove City College Lacrosse on their new endeavor to provide consistent high quality video content. I got some great insight from Andrew Dymski, former goalie for the team and current president of the team’s alumni association. Brandon Jones, the team’s Director of Communications, also got some great points in.
Questions follow in bold, with answers from Dymski and Jones noted:
How long has this idea been in the works? Either in informal discussions, or hashing out details with Collegelax?
Jones: “Over the past year we have been looking to establish a strong social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and have felt that video is a natural extension of these networks. We feel that there is need for quality video content in the MCLA, and it is almost non-existent in the league today. We are hoping to help set the standard for quality content production alongside other teams who are already doing it.”
Dymski: “As a program, we are always trying to stay on the cutting edge of things. We had been giving live tweets from our games for the last two seasons and noticed that we were getting a big following from parents, alumni, and the mcla community. This past spring we began to play with video updates from practices and meetings. That was received well so we began to play with HD video at the start of the spring. “
Did you approach Collegelax or did they approach Grove City?
Dymski: “The relationship with college lax started over twitter and they became interested in the content we were releasing shortly before their launch of collegelax.tv. We worked together a few times this past season streaming games from Grove City. Our networks really enjoyed the opportuniy to follow along. When we began talking about expanding our commitment to high quality video, college lax was a logical partnership.”
Have you seen the lacrosse videos that I recently wrote about being produced at the University of Oregon? Will they at all guide editing and content generation for Grove City’s videos or are you guys seeking to create your own unique approach?
Jones: “Personally, I have seen several of the videos produced by the University of Oregon and I feel that they are a great addition to the team’s communication platform. From the standpoint of our team, we will not necessarily be using the University of Oregon as a guide. I will say, however, that we are committed to a high standard in regards to quality and consistency.”
Dymski: “The Ducks videos are epic! I love the guy who does their voice overs. They may function as some sort of model, but we’re excited to reach out to the Grove City College student community to keep things lively and creative, too.”
Do you see Collegelax.tv as a portal to guide viewers to your current YouTube content and a broader lacrosse audience? Or are you specifically content with an MCLA oriented audience that Collegelax provides?
Jones: “We will use Collegelax to post our videos, but we will still be using Twitter, Facebook, and even our own site to promote this content”
And finally, is Grove City College (athletic dept., marketing dept., or club sports dept.) in any way providing funding assistance for the production and dissemination of this video? Is Collegelax providing any funding for this?
Dymski: “The project is funded solely by the lacrosse program. The program handles all of its own PR. Our hope is that the video helps to give recruits and their parents a picture into the culture and personality of the team. We want them to know they are getting involved with a group of guys that has their sights set on the national tournament each year and isn’t afraid to put in the necessary work to get there.“
Jones: “Grove City College and Collegelax were not approached to provide any funding leading up to today’s announcement.”
Any closing thoughts on the project?
Jones: “We want to paint an accurate picture of the unique culture that our team has. If we lose a major game, we are not going to simply gloss over it like nothing happened. We want to bring authentic Grove City Lacrosse to recruits and parents. Our weekly updates will offer an inside look into what is going on with the program, and how we are seeking to improve from week to week. I feel that these videos will evolve naturally into a great representation of our team’s progress on and off the field.”
Many thanks to Brandon Jones and Andrew Dymski for their words and insight on the strategy and brainstorming behind the production of HD video about their MCLA team, the Grove City Wolverines. Head over and check out Grove City’s current Youtube channel offering here.
My thoughts on the deal? I love it, in general. I wanted more highlights, and a week later I found out I’d be getting them. Being a PNCLL honk, I don’t get to see teams in the CCLA, PCLL, UMLL, or SELC at all. You hear that Eastern teams? Not only will you not schedule games to come out to the West Coast, but you aren’t putting up any visuals of your team either. If you are going to complain about a supposed West Coast bias in the MCLA, maybe you can do something about it and spread some visual proof of your teams’ abilities?
My biggest concern with the video deal is that Grove City is not getting any money from Collegelax to produce the content, and perhaps somewhat frustrating that they didn’t ask. That sets a dangerous precedent, because Collegelax will be selling advertising based off page views and unique visitors to the Grove City content. What I would advise the Grove City team, and ANY team that makes a content deal with ANY website, would be to ask for cash up front. That puts the onus on the content site to honor your material and commitment to producing it, not to mention financial assistance to make that production a reality. If you don’t ask a content distributor for money, not only are you making future deals hard if not impossible, you are setting the precedent that other teams’ content should be free as well.
As a league and as teams, this deal should be a reminder that we are the gate-keepers of our content. If we are going to move into a future where our content is valued in the open marketplace, then we must price it appropriately now. That, my friends, is the true marketing of the MCLA.