Don’t worry college sports fans, Michigan and Ohio State will still create media guides for all of their teams. You’ll just have to get them on a CD or as a PDF off of their website instead of holding a print copy in your hands. The rival schools made this announcement together in the hopes of encouraging other college athletic departments to follow suit.
The schools made the decision for a couple of reasons: (1) to reduce cost during economic uncertainty and (2) to better serve today’s forms of media consumption. Michigan and Ohio State expect to save over $250,000 each year plus reduce the amount of wasted guides that are leftover after a season.
“With Ohio State and Michigan together making this statement, I hope our decision will be a catalyst for other schools to follow suit,” said Smith. “All athletic programs are in the midst of cost-containment discussions, but our decision is not only based on economics; the structure of media consumption has changed rapidly and we need to meet the challenges head on.
“New initiatives will have to be developed to allow media, recruits, alumni and fans to follow our teams,” Smith added. “Social networking already plays a role in our communication plan and new platforms will continue to develop.”
This decision to eliminate print media guides comes as no surprise. While NHL teams continued to print media guides for their staff and fans to purchase, the league eliminated the exchange of print guides among teams. Instead, the guides were shared electronically. Teams like the Orlando Magic gave season ticketholders their media guides on USB drives rather than sending out print copies.
As a result, I expect to see more interactive media guides in the coming years — the ability to view video of an athlete’s top goals or plays from their profile page, social networking features, game highlights, interviews, etc. What types of features would you like to see in a digital media guide?