South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Game programs go virtual

Two of the four pages of the new four-page physical program available for $2. Fans will be able to scan the QR code on the back page to access the full digital program.

With winter sports starting up, changes are coming to the physical programs that are sold at sporting events. 

The first time they experimented with a digital program was at the SDSU football game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are keeping the physical copies at the football games for now.  

Jason Hove, the assistant athletic director said, “We’re kind of still in a transition mode,” talking about when the change is happening. The SDSU Athletic Communications team has been working at this change experimenting here and there to see what works and what does not. 

The team has been playing with the idea of switching to digital programs for two years now.  

“We started some of this during COVID, but it was more of just creating a PDF of your entire program and putting it online as opposed to using some of the tools that we’re using now,” Hove said.  

The tools they are using now include a template that was created by Learfield, a sports publishing and design company that handles the advertising and corporate sponsorships. Using the template is more efficient for the athletic communications team than trying to create their own. 

Hove believes that they are slower to make the transition when compared to other schools.  

“We’ve been probably a little bit, I wouldn’t say behind, but we’ve been slower to move in this direction as opposed to a lot of our peer institutions or even larger schools,” Hove said. 

Their first attempt at a digital program was not completely taking away the physical form, but rather printing less programs. When they printed less programs, they made a PDF of the entire program and put it online. 

That was not as efficient or easy as what they have now, so before they began taking any more steps, they wanted to gather material. They wanted to make sure that they had a “workable template” and the tools to make the transition more seamless.  

Changing to the digital form of the program does not affect their sponsored ads, rather it makes it more interactive. They are able to put a PDF of the company’s ad and add a link that will take you to their site or to more information and the rosters will have something similar. 

Hove mentioned that switching to digital makes it not only more interactive but also more accessible. “Some of the pros of it is that it is completely portable, you can access it basically from anywhere,” Hove said. 

When it comes to costs, the digital programs are much more cost efficient for the athletic communications team. The only part that does not change but rather lessens is the time spent creating the program.  

The platform they use for the template is part of the contract that they have with Learfield, making it no extra cost to use the platform. The physical programs cost $5, but they are now offering a “four-pager” that will sell for $2.  

The four-pager will be available for those who want to come to the game and keep score in it. Inside the program there will be a QR code that they can access the digital program through.  

So far, they are still in the experimental stage and have only used them at a couple of home events. Hove said that he personally has not heard any feedback but if they do receive any leaning one way or another, they will take it into account.  

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Bosten Morehart, Asst. Sports Editor

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