Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Best Sports Time of the Year?

If you ever get a job in the Sports Information business, there are a few things you learn right away. I can't list them all here, but one of them is when your busiest time of the year will be.

There are two busy times in the sports media relations cycle each year, and they are in the crossover periods of the calendar. At the end of basketball season, you get the start of spring sports, which means that February is a very busy time. The other busy time of the year is upon us. As basketball begins, a lot of fall sports get into their championship season.

The one good thing that all of the sports do (for our sanity, and to bring the maximum amount of exposure to each championship), is to stagger them. The cross country teams will compete in conference championships this weekend (at Saint Louis), while women's soccer will have the tournament the following weekend (at Transamerica Field in Charlotte) .

Here's where it starts to get tricky...
The men's soccer tournament (at Rhode Island) will be the following weekend, while women's soccer starts their first weekend of NCAA Tournament play. The volleyball tournament will take place the following weekend (at Dayton) while men's soccer begins their NCAA Tournament opening rounds and the women's soccer tournament second round is underway. The following weekend, volleyball starts the NCAA tournament and you can just advance the other fall sports championships one weekend and a couple of rounds.

All of these fall sports championships of course are going on while the two basketball teams get the season underway. No matter what school you work for, everyone has high hopes and expectations in those first few games, and you tend to get bigger crowds at the start of the season as people are introduced to a new season and a new team. That keeps us busy.

At a school the size of Charlotte, you also get baseball and softball playing their fall scrimmages, and those coaching staffs want to be put in the forefront to remind people that they are making improvements and to get people's appetites excited for their sports (and the more attention they get in the fall, the better recruiting can go for them).

So, soak it in. This is one of the two most exciting times of the year, as sports are crossing over and you have a full plate. Watching teams vie for tournament seeding can make their matches become more intense. Others are getting their season started, so hopes and expectations are high. Each team wants and needs your support (and some of the events are free, so use it as an excuse to get back on campus if you haven't been in a while.) Come and sit in your basketball seats (or closer, to tease you in a better location) and watch a volleyball match. Come out before it gets too cold and enjoy a couple of nationally-ranked soccer programs and scope out your parking options for hoops. Get oriented with the traffic flow on campus and use it as an opportunity to revisit the lay of the land. We'll be here, making programs and preparing tournament notes for the upcoming weeks of a very busy time of the year.

--Ryan Rose
Media Relations Office

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