Working with Butler Athletics this past semester has given me the unique insight into the process behind running multiple sports during any given season. Unlike working with a professional organization where your entire plan revolves around one season and that specific sport, college athletics crosses into just about every field. With spring sports being cancelled for the 2020 season, and winter sports ending earlier than they usually would, this has led to plans being shifted in every direction.
Two of Butler’s most popular sports that occur in the fall are football and men’s soccer. Normally, these programs do not receive nearly any attention until midway through the summer months when schedules are posted, and athletes begin to return to campus to resume practices. But now that the spring is not filled with other athletic events, those plans that were in place have been either scrapped or set aside for 2021. This has now led to priority being moved to the fall much earlier than usual.
Typical planning for these programs falls in this order. Marketing will meet with head coaches and assistants along with captains of each team and go over the previous year’s season. Determine what went right, what went wrong, and how we can overall improve for the future. Teams will also lay out certain goals or specific requests they would like to see over the next season. From there, marketing will work on developing an overall plan that lays out all the social media, online, and at event marketing that will occur, and this will be presented to the teams. These plans can range from a few pages of information to 20 pages of detailed summaries. Because of the current situation, most of these meetings have been taken online with the help of programs like Zoom.
While nothing is guaranteed for the fall as of now, it is already become more of a challenge to plan something that may not even take place. Especially with events and students not being on campus till August, it will just take time to determine how the future will work out for Butler Athletics and new challenges it may face.