SBD/August 29, 2013/College Football Preview

Tablets, Texting, Paperless Ticketing Among Technology Transforming College Football

New technology has "led to advancements in college football operations, bringing ongoing change to the way coaches teach, run a program and communicate with players," according to Mike Anthony of the HARTFORD COURANT. Coaches and players "with iPads, iPhones and the like" are "doing more in less time." Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said of HD cameras, "They give you an opportunity to actually see the film and understand what’s going on instead of just seeing a bunch of guys running around, very blurry." He added, "We’ve got a new app for all the players to have on their iPad, take the game home with them and watch it, cut-ups, all those things. ... A lot of expense to it, but everybody is spending money." But SMU coach June Jones has "embraced technology reluctantly." Jones said, "They can say you have this password and nobody can get on. I’m not so sure. I don’t trust the system." Many D-I programs "are now supplying iPads to players." Communication lines "between coaches and players have increased." UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said, "Players in the program, it’s texting. So when I need them, when I have to talk to them, I text them. They know, if the coach texts you, you either text or you call back -- quick." He added, "Facebook for me is kind of my primary communication source with the prospects. I can't text them. You've heard that a thousand times. But I can Facebook and email." Anthony noted Rutgers is "among the programs that gives every player an iPad" (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/28).

GOING PAPERLESS: SI.com's Martin Rickman noted Miami (FL) "recently launched a new Game Pass card for season-ticket holders." UM Assistant AD/Digital Strategy Brian Bowsher said, "We recognize in all sports and especially in our market here there is a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar. Our season-ticket holders are supporting us in every game, and we definitely want to protect them first and say thank you with this program." Miami is "modeling its program after the one used by various MLS franchises," including the Whitecaps' "Caps Card." UM is "searching for ways to get fans inside the gates early and often, and their efforts seem to be working," as season-ticket sales are "up more than 30 percent." Meanwhile, Veritix has "barely touched the surface" of the college football market. Veritix CEO Samuel Gerace "realizes fanaticism and donations go hand-in-hand when it comes to college athletics, and by organizing an integrated system, schools can more readily track donating and attendance behavior so they can speak to individual fans with a more well-informed voice" (SI.com, 8/28).
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