By Kyle Wahlberg
Hosting a football game is not as easy as it seems, and now with live coverage on WDAY, MSUM athletics has even more going on. That’s where the GO! TEAM comes in.
Five years ago, Jon Wepking, now the assistant athletics director for marketing and production, was looking for something to get people involved with MSUM Athletics. With a background in media relations, he thought of an idea that allows students to produce a live sports segment.
“There was a need for help really,” Wepking said. “And an opportunity for students to learn in a hands-on environment.”
The idea, the GO! TEAM, is an organization students can join to learn how to produce a live sports event. The group, which has about 40 employees, mostly students, can broadcast a live MSUM game for people at the games, over the internet, or just for promotions for each team.
“Anywhere from marketing, public relations, operations, our mascot team, our production, advertising, sports information, too many to name,” Wepking said.
For Caleb Stumpfl, sports has always been a passion. Playing soccer growing up does that to a person, and as a film major it is sometimes hard to get good experience. However, joining the GO! TEAM has taught him things he could not have imagined.
“I heard about the GO! TEAM and saw they were filming at the games trying to capture the special moments,” Stumpfl said. “I’ve always been involved in sports. Combining film and athletics is just a perfect combination.”
Caleb’s job is simple, make sure the record button is pressed and get the good stuff.
“I’ll come to the games, get the celebrations, the touchdowns, the reaction from the huddle, the special stuff,” Stumpfl said.
As one of the 40 members on Wepking’s staff, he is one of the oldest.
“Some people come in as a freshman and go all four years,” Wepking said. “Some come in as a senior looking for that senior internship.”
The group, which does everything from halftime promotions at basketball games to mascot appearances, is growing, thanks to the contract it just signed with WDAY.
The contract, which allows WDAY to broadcast live Dragon games, gives the GO! TEAM the chance to take part in something not many college students get to do in the NSIC.
“We have soccer equipment where we can go live in HD for soccer. That is something no one in our league does.”
For anyone thinking about what it takes to join this team, all you need is passion.
“I consider us to be the 17th sport [at MSUM],” Wepking said. “We are a team, that is why we call ourselves the GO! TEAM.”
For a group that considers this a job, it is meant for more than that, a chance for students to learn what it takes to make it in the real world.
“We are trying to create that opportunity for all students, the student athletes, to create that big stage, while trying to create a really great game day experience on campus.”