Athletics makes improvements to music, entertainment at home sporting events

Joe Gill, Crier Staff

If you have been to a home athletic event this winter, you have probably noticed a change in game operations. The first change, which you are able to notice as soon as you walk into the arena, is the more updated music.

Prior to the winter season, athletics was using a music computer that came out more than ten years ago by a company that is no longer in business. Eric Coplin, who is in his second year as the Director of Athletic Communications, made the decision to change over to both a brand new music program and music laptop.

When asked about the necessity for updating the music program, Coplin responded, “It became apparent early on in the fall that our archaic music program needed to be upgraded. We made a decision, based off a recommendation from a student-worker, to choose a new system called Sports Sound Pro and could not be happier. The transition has been relatively smooth and the benefits immediately noticeable. It has made the job of our student-workers easier and our game day presentation much improved.”

Since the installment of the new music system, the work-study students have added more than 400 song clips that can be used to enhance the quality of music at home games.

Another change that has been present at home games is the enhanced student participation through various events. Ben Martinez, the Assistant to the Athletic Director for External Relations, has worked diligently over the past three months for games that students can play during halftime of basketball games, and between periods of hockey games in an attempt to win prizes.

For example, at basketball games you can find the new contest called Minute Shoot-Out. To win this contest, participants must try to hit a layup, foul shot, three pointer, and a half court shot all within a minute. If the student does all of these, they will win a gift certificate to Pizza Market.

At hockey games, Martinez works with the Campus Activities Board (CAB) to put on Chuck-a-Puck. During Chuck-a-Puck students throw foam pucks out on to the ice. The student who throws his puck closest to the center ice will also win a gift certificate.

Another upgrade at home sporting events is the addition of live entertainment for the fans. This winter season it has been rare to hear a recording of the national anthem before games. Instead there has been a live singer at a majority of the athletic events. Another key addition to halftime at basketball games, to go along with the dance team performances, has been that of a baton twirling routine.

Martinez has also been working on the corporate sponsorships for athletics, which can be seen around the ice rink. One of the most notable businesses, that has sponsored a majority of the in-game events, has been Pizza Market.

This year’s improvements across athletics have not only benefited the players, but also the fans who attended the games. Whether it has been the quality of music or the in-game entertainment, the staff in athletics has made great improvements, and if the past three months are any indication on how athletics will be run over the next couple of years, then there is a bright future ahead for the Department of Athletics.