Oxford High School Athletics Leads the Way in Communicating with their Fans and Community
“It’s challenging to imagine any school district not wanting to have this kind of presence to highlight their student-athletes. We've received nothing but positives about it. I have had complete support and encouragement from my superintendent.” That’s what Jordan Ackerman, Oxford High School, Athletic Director says about their digital presence. “It sets us apart from all the other high schools in Michigan for sure, probably even the nation in a lot of respects. I am confident that we have one of the most thorough and comprehensive websites in high school athletics.”
Performing at a High Level
Prior to becoming a High School Athletic Director, Jordan was a college athlete, then a sports information director. With that background and competitiveness, he wasn’t going to settle for a cookie cutter approach for his programs and he wasn’t going to go backward from what he had experienced with SIDHelp (now part of PrestoSports) as a college SID. At his first stop at Anchor Bay High School, he chose PrestoSports to build out their online presence. “We take pride in what we do,” he says and the results reflect that. When he moved to Oxford High School Athletics, he brought PrestoSports in again, with that same dedication to communicating his program’s story to the students, families, and community at large. The results have been very well received.
Driving Control and Revenue
The perception is often that college-level online platforms are out of reach of the typical high school, that they don’t have the money and it will take too many resources to operate. When you consider all of the factors, that’s not the reality. In fact, the system could very well pay for itself. That was Jordan’s approach when he proposed bringing in the more advanced platform and using sponsorships to cover the investment. “I had all of the sponsorship opportunities lined up before I presented it and just followed through. We’re going strictly to businesses because we make it a point not to dig into the pocket of our kids.” The result is that the platform more than pays for itself and that what appears on their site reflects their program and values because they decide what’s there. “We have complete control of what's going on and the ads on our site. We won’t have ads from another school district showing up on our site – or worse.”
What’s it take to get started? Less than many expect, given that every program is going to be expected to have a digital presence. “I think it's easy to use, even to those not so tech savvy,” says Jordan, and the feedback throughout the community of what he provides proves that he is on the right path. His advice for other high school athletic directors and districts considering upping their program’s identity is to “make a list of what they want to achieve and what they're looking to do. If you're looking to have a really strong presence and a website as the central hub for information, PrestoSports will support that with returns on your time and investment.”
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