CSVS Q&A: Scottie Rodgers, Sports Information Director, The Ivy League

In anticipation of the second-annual College Sports Video Summit, to be held June 8-9 in Atlanta, SVG has assembled a distinguished group of college sports-video experts to serve as the advisory board to help shape the event and ensure its relevance to the industry. Leading up to the two-day summit, SVG will check in with all the members of the board to discuss their involvement, what they hope the Summit will accomplish, and how CSVS can help the industry move forward. This week, Scottie Rodgers, sports information director of the Ivy League, discusses how video today is having the same impact on media relations that the Web did when it first came on the scene.

How has video changed the shape of college athletics?
I think video and its impact on college athletics right now is similar to the impact that Websites had when they came on to the scene, in terms of what is being done to change the media-relations area. The Internet was obviously huge, but I think this aspect of it will probably be the second-biggest initiative, invention, new technology that has affected the way in which we cover college athletics in the last 20 years. It went from typewriters to copiers to fax machines to the Internet, computers, and laptops. Now everybody is really using video as an avenue to present themselves in a different way and represent themselves in a different way.

You’re seeing more interactive media guides, which is changing the way in which a media guide is thought of and re-creating the way in which something has been done, basically, since the beginning of the profession.

I think this is something where, managed appropriately, within an athletic department or a conference, it’s almost an equalizer. With video, you can do these promotional things across all your sports, whereas, in the past, resources have been dedicated only to revenue-generating sports.

Why are you involved with the College Sports Video Summit?
SVG is involved with the advocacy and education aspect of teaching people how to manage their content, develop their content, and what it means to have this content. I think this will be a great place to get background and information on how to do it from a technical standpoint, whether that involves hardware and software decisions or just giving them a resource where they can go and ask questions about how to do what they’re trying to do, what it will cost them, and how can they be efficient with the budget that they have.

As this whole conversation about the elimination of media guides continues to take shape, the quick response is, if we’re not spending money on printing media guides, then we can use this money to do something else, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Unless, that is, you have a real plan in place to show that we can reallocate these dollars to do this: spend this amount of money on equipment, this amount on hardware, this amount on software, and this amount on personnel to produce this type of content on our Website. And by producing this type of content, we’re going to be able to bring more and more to our alumni and fans about what’s going on within our athletic department or within our conference.

Why should schools, both inside your conference and out, attend this event?
I think this conference is a great way in which to get people in the industry, both on the collegiate level and on the professional level, to really learn about what is going on in the marketplace now. And just as important, learn about what’s coming up in the future. The thing about this multimedia space is that it is so hard to manage what’s going on now, but it is even harder to understand what’s coming up in the future. It’s hard to be ahead of the curve because the curve changes virtually on a weekly basis.

It’s critical to understand where you are now, where you want to go, and how you want to get there. But an understanding that with all this information coming at you — different measurables to measure your content, different equipment to use — can be really tough. This conference will be great for helping us to figure out how best we can use what we have to continue to build upon what we’re doing.