URI releases schedule in 15-minute intervals
Posted on: September 3, 2009 11:53 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2009 11:13 am
There are lots of ways to release a schedule.
Most schools do it with a press release.
Kentucky did it with a TV special.
But Mike Laprey at Rhode Island tried a completely unique idea this week, and if his hope was to get some otherwise unattainable attention, well, mission accomplished, because here I am writing about it, and I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever blogged about the non-league schedule of an Atlantic 10 school.
What Laprey did was release a non-league game every 15 minutes at GoRhody.com .
He started by announcing the game against Providence.
He ended by announcing the game against Boston College.
The whole thing took roughly three hours.
"One person emailed me around 3:45 p.m., right after we started, to tell me that I ruined his productivity for the rest of the work day because he was glued to GoRhody.com," said Laprey, the school's associate athletic director for sports communications. "That was the goal, to get people checking back often and participating in a new way of thinking and disseminating information. Although, that person's boss might disagree."
By releasing the schedule this way, Laprey was able to bring attention to particular opponents and write paragraphs explaining the history of the series, what the opponent accomplished last season, what the opponent has coming back, etc. Sure, it was a lot of work and time consuming. But it was effective in how it brought a constant stream of traffic to GoRhody.com, and in how it made URI fans focus on each opponent individually and appreciate the details behind the names.
"A list of dates and times doesn't tell you that we're playing seven postseason teams in our non-conference slate, or that Drexel's returning an All-CAA caliber backcourt," Laprey said. "This past January, we hosted Akron at the Ryan Center in the first year of a home-and-home. Two months later, they're giving Gonzaga a 40-minute fight in the NCAA Tournament. It's important for us to let our fans know the quality and caliber of our opponents."
And if it keeps them busy for an entire afternoon, even better.