by Meg Keim
WDAY announced on August 21 that it will be partnering with MSUM’s athletic department to carry all 28 home football and basketball games, as well as 11 Dragons LIVE coaches shows. WDAY will televise the games live on its new Extra channel every home game day, which has the students and athletic department buzzing.
CEO, president, and publisher of Forum Communications Bill Marcil Jr. is pleased with this new partnership and explains “There’s something in the air here. It’s huge for us to have live and local football and basketball games.”
Steve Laqua, the head football coach at MSUM, agrees with Marcil, adding “We have built a program within the local area for the local people.”
The Dragon athletics department has been growing rapidly over the last few years and the partnership will only help the program evolve more.
Joe Schwehr, director of video production and broadcast operations, plays a major role in the program.
He teaches a sports production class at MSUM and directs every broadcast that MSUM covers while also designing graphics and teaching his students, who participate in the broadcasts.
Schwehr is also excited about the partnership stating, “MSUM is becoming a more relevant part of the community,” and that while this is setting a larger stage for him and for his students, it will add “awareness about the program.”
“These broadcasts will benefit our student athletes, workers, and university by bringing more visibility and exposure to our athletics department,” adds Anne Blackhurst, MSUM President.
The athletics department has been evolving in the past few years and the student
workers make the team better.
“I have had some students with me every step of the way. I lean on them a lot,” said Schwehr. And while that is true, the spotlight will now be on the students a bit brighter than it was before.
The Dragon Athletics program at MSUM is unique in that it is 100% student run. Schwehr supervises as the students get real experience.
“This will definitely give the student workers more hands-on experience and now will help them get on the job training as well as exposure to live TV,” he explains.
This is one of the most important pieces of the partnership. Liz Geyer, a student at MSUM who helps the department by assisting Schwehr and running the camera has gotten plenty of experience to line her resume with thanks to Dragon athletics.
Geyer has been with athletics for three years and is very excited about the partnership saying that it is a “huge step for them and that it will be a challenge but they are ready for it.”
She said she is still learning but is happy to “learn how live production works” and that she gets to “develop her skill as a student,” while doing what she loves.
The first live production will be Sept. 13, at MSUM.