The University of Nebraska's nationally recognized athletic program is continually in the news and the Husker Communications Office is responsible for meeting the demands of not only the media, but those of the Department's patrons, fans and other interested publics.
Step into the Spotlight Interest in all 24 of Nebraska's athletic teams is high, but the bulk of the requests that Director Keith Mann and the Communicationss Office receive deal with the Huskers' legendary football program. Communications personnel field numerous inquiries each day for player and coach interviews, and there never seems to be an "off-season" when it comes to interest in NU football.
Communications staff members arrange interview requests from across the nation. Members of the media must make their interview requests known to Communications Director Keith Mann or one of his assistants at least 24 hours in advance to avoid conflicts with a student-athlete's class, team meetings or free time.
During the football season, "There Is No Place Like Nebraska" when it comes to coverage of the Huskers' gridiron exploits. National print publications such as USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Football News and The Sporting News regularly cover the Huskers. Local and regional media members also follow the team's progress on a daily basis.
Nebraska football is also a regular on national television. Over the last decade, Nebraska has averaged more than 10 television appearances per year. And now that Nebraska is a member of the Big Ten Conference, every football game is shown on TV. Along with football's presence on national or regional television, the men's and women's basketball programs and the baseball team benefit from Big Ten Conference television contracts with ABC, ESPN, CBS and the Big Ten Network. Other olympic sports are featured on the Big Ten Network and Bigtennetwork.com.
The Huskers have also been on the cutting edge with video-streaming technology on the premium website of Nebraska Athletics - HuskersNside. An annual subscription gains diehard Husker fans access to home event in men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball, along with other special features covering all of Nebraska's teams.
Media Demands for all Teams While a great deal of the Communications Office's time is spent working with the football team, Keith Mann and his staff continually promote the positive aspects of NU's 23 other athletic teams.
The Nebraska Communications Office is responsible for producing media guides, posters, schedule cards, game day programs and news releases for all Husker teams. The Communications Office also provides game-day management and statistical services, compiles historical records for each team by collecting results, photos, newspaper clippings and video tape. It also works closely with the Big Ten Conference, NCAA and the sport's governing organizations to gain further recognition for Husker student-athletes and coaches.
The Communications Office is also responsible for providing weekly releases and notes packages to media outlets around the nation. During the football season, the Communications Office will e-mail some 2,000 releases to media outlets, around 700 during the men's basketball season and nearly 200 for each of the Huskers' Olympic sports.
The Nation's Best Publications One of the biggest areas of responsibility for the Communications Office comes through the media guides for each sport and other printed publications. Over the past six years, Nebraska has been one of the nation's leaders in this department, winning more than 100 Awards of Excellence from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
All of NU's athletic publications are created in house and printed on the University of Nebraska campus.
Like the athletic teams their brochures represent, publications produced by the Nebraska Communications Office have earned national acclaim. Over the last 10 years, NU has earned nearly 200 publication awards from CoSIDA.
Sporting Hosts With outstanding athletic facilities, the Nebraska Athletic Department is often called on to host many major sporting events. The Communications Office is responsible for providing game management, statistical services, dissemination of information to media in attendance and reporting events to the media following each home event.
Award Hype Nebraska's nationally renowned athletic program annually produces student-athletes who contend for some of the nation's top individual honors. The NU Communications Office assists Husker student-athletes in receiving national recognition.
The Communications Office promotes Husker All-America candidates by featuring award contenders prominently every week on Huskers.com and in e-mail news releases, while also promoting student-athletes personally or over the phone to members of the media across the nation.
Over the last decade, Nebraska's 24 teams have produced an average of more than 30 All-Americans per year. Nebraska also leads the nation with 320 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 16 NCAA Today's Top Ten award winners across all sports. Nebraska also leads the nation in the number of football Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winners. Nebraska has also featured three Heisman Trophy winners since 1972.
The Husker Sports Network The Husker Sports Network, a part of IMG Collegiate which is a subsidiary of IMG Worldwide, enters its 19th year of producing live broadcasts of the University of Nebraska sporting events. The Husker Sports Network was first awarded the rights on Feb. 9, 1996. The network's contract has been renewed through 2021.
Nebraska's contract with the Husker Sports Network gives Nebraska one of the most lucrative and extensive radio networks in the nation. The contract includes exclusive radio broadcast rights to Nebraska football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball. The games can also be heard live on the Internet at Huskers.com.
In addition to broadcasting Nebraska's games and matches, the Husker Sports Network also provides a daily, live call-in show focusing on NU athletics and other area sports.
Your Internet Home for Nebraska Athletics - Huskers.com Another function of the Husker Communications Office is to produce content for the Athletic Department's Internet site. Mann and his staff are responsible for updating the site for each team, and keeping the homepage current. The Athletic Department's home page can be contacted at Huskers.com. Under its working agreement with the Husker Sports Network, the radio rights holder to NU athletics, live and delayed play-by-play of Husker games is available on the Internet.