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Media Guides face potential elimination
Darren Whitley, Photographer
Maryville | MO | USA | Posted: 1:07 AM on 08.05.09
->> FYI, there's a discussion amongst NCAA schools about potentially eliminating media guides altogether for most sports.

There may be some exceptions, but our SID has begun to introduce this topic to our coaches. This may be a future mandate to save money and control use of media guides as a recruiting tool.

If you photograph sports for an NCAA school, you might want to be aware of this potential change.
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 1:12 AM on 08.05.09
->> Darren- sounds like the NCAA might be following the lead of the NBA. I read about the NBA dropping PRINTED media guides in the Sports Business Journal a few weeks back:

NBA teams can drop printed media guides

Staff writer
Published July 27, 2009 : Page 06
The NBA is cutting out printed team media guides for the first time, dropping its requirement for teams to publish the glossy guides, a six-figure cost savings for some franchises. Instead of the mandated print copies, the NBA will convert all of its 30 team guides onto a flash drive …
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 1:12 AM on 08.05.09
->> this will never happen.
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Derick Hingle, Photographer
Hammond | LA | USA | Posted: 1:25 AM on 08.05.09
->> The New Orleans Saints, cut back on media guides there used to be a stack and boxes of media guides, this year, they handed out one media guide to media that was on the list, and instead provided the option of downloading a PDF file of the media guide, the St. Louis Rams I read completely eliminated the print version doing only an online version. I think media guides will continue to exist they will just be digital now instead.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 2:16 AM on 08.05.09
->> This has already taken place for several Big Ten conference schools.

They aren't doing away with the guides, but rather just not continue printing them. The cost savings were estimated to be about $200,000 per year.

The guides are going to still be available via an online PDF format, and I've heard a few SID's plan to print out some guides on regular printer paper for those who really do make use of them.

Since a good portion of my sports photo income comes from shooting media guide material I can't say this is a great turn of events for me, but the needs for player headshots, team photos etc still will exist, at least for the web.

I really do understand where they are coming from though. I can't count the number of basketball games where I'd see a report pick up a thick glossy media guide, rip out a page with rosters and then toss the whole thing into the garbage.

Some of those guides are really absurdly thick as well, football and basketball for example. Do they really need 80 pages of stats going back 90 years ? Probably not. Its a waste of resources and a rather needless expense, all for information few if any beat writers would make use of and that could be better archived and presented online anyways.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:20 AM on 08.05.09
->> The university I shoot for is also moving to electronic pdf media guides. They are shifting the savings to enhance recruiting materials where they hope to get a better ROI. Smart idea if you ask me as there is an endless sea of boxes filled with unused media guides all over the place from prior years.

There will be short term impact to my business but over the long term there are many more opportunities. As they allocate more dollars to web and electronic delivery there will be an increased need for fresh content. Not only does this mean more images but also more services I can offer to help them achieve their goals. My client has been very receptive to my thoughts and ideas particularly those that can be directly linked to revenue ... enrollment and alumni giving. The athletic program has a major influence on both of these.
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 8:53 AM on 08.05.09
->> This was proposed back in 2004 as well. It was discussed here then.
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Alan Stewart, Photographer
Corydon | IN | USA | Posted: 9:04 AM on 08.05.09
->> Jeff, yes, they do need to have those stats going back that far because sometimes something noteworthy takes place during a game and you need to see when the last time (fill in blank) took place.

While a photographer may not need that information, a writer does.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 10:43 AM on 08.05.09
->> Alan, that's why I'm not saying they should get rid of that information all together, but rather why it makes sense to just have such things in an electronic format for those few occasions where it might be needed. It could even be done via some sort of searchable database that would allow a journalist to find the information they needed in a faster and easier method with a custom generated report.

I've seen far more cases of someone just ripping out a page or two they actually need and chucking the rest away than I have seen someone pouring over the conference stats for the 1926 season. Especially when its the visiting teams media guide. I've actually seen the staff who's job it is to tear down the buffet station after a game toss all those unused print materials in the trash.

Media guides even became something of a competition among schools over who could make the biggest and as such they required limits on size and use of color pages. If one school had say, 180 pages (arbitrary number), then their rival schools darn well needed to be at 180 pages as well because you wouldn't want to have a less impressive guide. So then you've got all these schools feeling like they need to have these things that rival phonebooks, and as Kevin mentioned, you'll see box after box of outdated ones stuffed into every hallway around campus. Its a big waste of resourced, both natural and financial I feel.

I think its step in the right direction and would like to see more schools take such steps.

However, I don't want to see the guides just disappear, but rather have that information presented in new and more accessible ways that can enhance the presentation and serve as a better tool for the media.

As I mentioned before, making the information somehow searchable could be a very cool feature and allowing it to generate reports of best or worst performances etc. Make an electronic press kit that can be downloaded or given out on cd's. The cost savings would be massive and you could even add a bit of additional info such as some multimedia clip of each athlete on the roster instead of just a mugshot and 1 paragraph bio.

Its just about changing with the times and being more efficient in saving money and resources. Just yesterday in fact, they dropped off the yellow pages at my doorstep and this morning I threw them right into my stack with newspaper recycling. Why ? Because I have no use for a print phonebook anymore. Anytime I need to look up a number or business I grab my laptop, not the yellowbook. I still make use of the information, but in a different format.
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Jaren Wilkey, Photographer
Provo | UT | USA | Posted: 12:35 PM on 08.05.09
->> I agree with Jeff, this doesn't have to be a bad thing. Rather than put a PDF of a regular media guide on the webpage, our athletic department launched an online information guide that has all of the data from the normal media guide presented with a user friendly interface. It has improved the use of our photography over the printed media guide in that there are a lot more photos in the online guide, all in color. An added benefit is that in the recaps of last years games is a link the the slideshows we did for each game. This online guide is now accessible to a much larger audience than the printed guides ever were:
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Brian Dowling, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 1:10 PM on 08.05.09
->> A digital guide can be updated throughout the year as well. Hopefully more updates equals more photos bought throughout the year.
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John Germ, Photographer
Wadsworth | Oh | USA | Posted: 3:12 PM on 08.05.09
->> From a purely business standpoint, it would make infinite sense (which, of course, is why it will never happen) for a conference as a whole to build and maintain a database to provide research capability. Once the infrastructer were built, each school would update their own section. Would drastically cut down on costs. Any 'fluff' the school wanted to add could be done via the web portal to the database - allowing them to have their own flavor and flair but keeping the 'resource' aspect the same for all schools.

God forbid, they even use this as a learning opportunity for students in their IT graduate programs to boot.
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Don Speck, Photographer
Celina | OH | USA | Posted: 6:29 PM on 08.05.09
->> Hey Guys just a thought.
Maybe it would be a good idea to post links to the pro and college sports team rosters and or guides as we all get them. We could post them in "Guide area" maybe.
That way as we build the list it would be a good source for rosters for id's in case we are someplace but did not download any of the pdf's before we went on site to shoot an event. Or you are on site but when you google the team you get everything you need except a current roster. Just a thought.
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Nick Wass, Photographer
Wheaton | MD | USA | Posted: 6:40 PM on 08.05.09
->> anybody ever see the florida state football and basketball media guides??!
talk about elaborate!
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 6:48 PM on 08.05.09
->> If this really happens, I see a lot of people getting less ebay sales at the end of the season.
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Walt Middleton, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 7:08 PM on 08.05.09
->> Just like Jeff a majority of my work goes into Media Guides. What I've seen the past few years is an advance of online media guides and an increase in online galleries. Just my two cents. This could go either way, good or bad depending upon how much viewing these online galleries get.
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Tim Cowie, Photographer
Davidson | NC | USA | Posted: 11:30 AM on 08.06.09
->> A number of schools this year have already eliminated their media guides, many more have eliminated all but for m/w basketball and football.

There are a number of NCAA DI conferences mandating the process.
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Thread Title: Media Guides face potential elimination
Thread Started By: Darren Whitley
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