How the Brock Sport Management Council started a podcast –

Photo credit: SPMA Council

When the Brock Sport Management (SPMA) Council decided to start a podcast, it seemed like an exciting initiative full of untapped potential.

The idea was first broached by current SPMA Chairman Ethan Crystal in the winter of 2018. Their first episode was released in March 2019, with Crystal acting as producer and host. However, Crystal was scheduled to begin an internship at LSU in the fall and needed help keeping the show going while she was away. William Ord, another member of the SPMA Council, became Crystal’s co-host from the show’s third episode. Now that Crystal’s role has transitioned to that of president, Ord has since taken over as full-time host and producer.

“Ethan needed help because he was going to LSU on exchange and I just took him on a whim even though I had no podcasting experience,” Ord said. “When [Crystal] was in exchange, he was still in charge of most of the editing, but the hosting and the content were entirely my responsibility. So it was about learning on the fly, learning how to maintain an engaging conversation with the guest, which when you’re doing 30-40 minute interviews is a lot to manage. But you learn as you go.

Ord said the show’s ‘big break’ came last February when BrockTV asked them to do a series of video podcasts for Brock’s SPMA Alumni Day, an annual event that sees dozens of SPMA alumni return to Brock for a day of guests. networking.

“It was a tremendous opportunity to do that,” Ord said. “They brought three guest groups of SPMA alumni and we did individual capsules with them on video. It was a first for the show and it was amazing to interact with alumni and really connect with the SPMA community.

The show’s first season consisted of 15 episodes and saw a number of other SPMA Council members rise as guest co-hosts along with Ord. Now, midway through their second season, Ord has taken over production in addition to hosting duties. The show now has a full podcast team who, like Ord, has no prior podcasting experience.

“We have a podcast administrator and a social media coordinator in Neville Madill and Evan Pike and they have been absolute rock stars this year. It’s been a complete team effort this season to bring in guests,” Ord said. “[Madill] reaches out to clients and manages communications and [Pike] manages the content and graphics for our Instagram page, but they also have early ideas on co-hosting episodes.

Rotating co-hosts have been a constant on the show since its inception, with various other board members appearing on different episodes here and there. Sometimes it will just be Ord and a guest and sometimes he will have a co-host by his side.

“The last thing we want as a team is to limit people to their roles,” Ord said.

The show has mostly had SPMA alumni as guests, although they have had other sports industry professionals as well. They had guests from Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, Toronto Blue Jays, TSN, Montreal Canadiens, Golf Canada, Ottawa Sports & Entertainment and Oilers Entertainment Group, among others.

“We are focused on Brock SPMA alumni, but we are also looking for non-Brock alumni. Overall, we seek out outstanding sports industry professionals and seek to learn about their stories and experiences. By making sure we make a collection of both, we’re able to diversify our guest base and hopefully diversify our audience as well,” Ord said.

One such guest was Baseball Ireland treasurer Sean Mitchell, who appeared on the show’s season two premiere. Ord says the show had never explored guests outside of Canada and the United States before, but met Mitchell through a longtime friend of Ord’s.

“I have a friend in Ireland who I’ve known for most of my life, he lived across the road and then moved to Ireland recently,” Ord said. “When he was in Canada he was a very good baseball player and continued to do so in Ireland. About six months ago I hadn’t heard from him in a while so I messaged his teams social media account as all his contact details have changed. Turns out his dad was running the account and I ended up talking to his dad about the podcast and asking if there were any guests that might come. He said he would ask, then low and behold, we had our guest. It was a great way to step out of our provincial boundary and establish the podcast theme for this season, which is “Getting out of your comfort zone.”

Mitchell was one of the first to introduce baseball to Ireland and one of the first members of Ireland’s first national team. Their episode was promoted by Mitchell’s club, Ashbourne Baseball, which is the largest baseball club in the country.

“It was totally unexpected but it was super cool to be able to reach an international audience,” Ord said. “All you have to do is ask and the worst answer you can get is no.”

The show has a rough schedule, where they record during the first two weeks of each month and then release episodes every Tuesday, although it all depends on when they can record. They are aiming for two to three episodes per month, which they have so far been able to achieve this term.

Upcoming guests include Adam Krueger, an SPMA alum who currently works on MLSE’s social media team. Krueger creates content for the Maple Leafs, Marlies and Argos social media accounts and recently became the mastermind behind the Leafs’ new TikTok account.

Another upcoming episode will feature Tyler Matthews, an SPMA alumnus who is now program manager for AthletesCAN. Most of Matthews’ experience comes from the legal side of sport, particularly defending the rights of Canadian athletes, an area the podcast hasn’t spent much time on yet. Ord says they’d also like to have a guest in grassroots sports, as that industry has taken a beating over the past seven months.

Since the inception of the mod, the show has grown from a two-person operation to a team of people working together to continuously create great content for the SPMA community. Ord says the show’s goal is to create content with the goal of helping those with an interest in the sport as well as those pursuing a career in the industry.

“As the show progressed, more and more people joined, and it took over two years to put our blood, sweat and tears into it,” Ord said. “To see how the product has grown has been amazing.”

The SPMA Council Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and Anchor.fm. To stay up to date on current and future episodes, follow @spmacouncilpodcast on Instagram.

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