BU Today

Sports

Terriers in your pocket

BU hockey video podcasts are nation’s first

BU men’s hockey fans can now take their beloved Terriers with them wherever they go: videos of games, highlights, and other content are available for downloading onto video iPods.

BU is the first college in the country to make video downloads of its athletic contests available through the iTunes Music Store. Hockey followers who want to watch, for example, the three goals scored by David Van der Gulik (CAS’06) against UMass-Amherst in the March 10 Hockey East quarterfinals, along with other highlights, can click here.

Fans can transfer video footage to either their video iPods or onto their personal computers by using iTunes 6.0 or higher. A free download of the software is available here.

Mike Lynch, vice president and director of athletics, says the athletics department hopes podcasting will improve the fan experience and raise the profile of Terrier sports both locally and beyond the New England region.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time and energy stressing innovation and the need to promote BU athletics in a different kind of way,” he says. “If you look at the Boston market, there are all these professional and college sports teams marketing themselves in the same manner. We’re trying to create a niche for BU — give people the message that we’re doing things differently.”

The podcasts are also aimed at graduates, says Lynch, hundreds of thousands of them who live all over the world. “We’re utilizing this technology to connect with these folks in a way we’ve never attempted before,” he says. “They can watch the video clips when they’re riding on the subway to work or on a plane from New York to Los Angeles.”

Michael Giannopoulos, director of information systems planning and support, says the i-Tunes option was just too promising to ignore. “With the rising popularity of iPods, iTunes, and audio podcasts, we saw a great opportunity to bring Boston University to the forefront of portable technology,” he says. “The athletics department’s diverse fan base of students, faculty, staff, and alumni made it the logical launching pad to get this emerging technology off the ground, into people’s hands, and onto their iPods.”

The podcasts will also help fill the void in televised college hockey, where coverage can be sporadic and limited to local broadcasts. For example, last Friday the NESN cable sports network televised the Hockey East quarterfinal game between Boston College and Vermont, leaving Terrier fans the options of watching their heroes’ 4-1 victory over UMass-Amherst via video webcast, listening to the game on the radio or an audio webcast, or watching BU hockey’s inaugural podcast, which was available an hour after the contest.

Podcasting marks the latest of several athletics department marketing communications efforts, which include the new GoTerriers.com Web site. The site was unveiled last August in conjunction with the Office of Information Technology after months of planning and design.

GoTerriers.com offers a number of new ways to view BU varsity athletics, including video webcasting of select home hockey games and streaming video highlights. It also carries audio webcasts of all men’s ice hockey and men’s basketball games. The redesigned site features game recaps and up-to-date scores and statistics.

 “It’s the number-one trafficked site on campus,” says Lynch. “It’s also the department’s chief marketing vehicle, so we thought it was important to continue to expand its content throughout the year.”