The Gong

The mostly official blog of the Hodges Partnership.

#Rutgers app: Labor of love

August 24, 2011 | by Jon Newman

Those who know me, even those who have just met me once or twice, know I bleed Scarlet.

It seems I was born a Rutgers Scarlet Knight with most of my family members having attended the State University of New Jersey.

My first memory of attending a sporting event is as a five-year-old jamming into my dad's green Chrysler New Yorker (the world's largest car) and riding to West Point to see the Knights face off against Army.  He must have had to stop at least three times for me to puke because of car sickness.

Rutgers sports was one of my paternal bonds.  I remember trying to watch basketball on New Jersey Network and trying to adjust the old VHS antenna to try to stabilize the picture and the snowy reception.  Living in North Jersey back in the day, it was tough to get WCTC-AM, at the time the only radio station carrying Rutgers sports.  So we'd stick the big transistor radio outside the window and contort our bodies in weird directions to get the best signal trying to listen to broadcasts in the Final Four year of 1976.

In later years (late '70s and '80s) my dad would do the same as he tried to listen to me as an undergrad, broadcasting football and basketball games on WRSU-FM, the student radio station.  As I grew older, technology advanced, and I moved to Virginia and Tennessee.   We'd be able to watch games on satellite and then listen to them online while sharing our commentary with each other on the phone.

When Tim Pernetti became Rutgers Athletic Director a few years ago, one of the first things he articulated was a vision for a broadband network where Rutgers fans could go online and watch games live, get taped interviews, etc.  He also envisioned it as a training ground for student broadcasters.  That was about the same time my dad's health began to decline and within the year he passed away.

As I have mentioned in this space before, it was only natural that we would honor dad by supporting KnightVision financially, helping its growth.  As a result I was about to get to know Tim, Jason Baum, Colin Osbourne and others in Rutgers athletics who are passionate about expanding the reach of all Scarlet Knights sports through new technologies.

Rutgers iPad app magazine-style pageAt the same time, we at Hodges were starting our new venture Hodges Digital Strategies, a social media and digital design and development company.  Our main products beside social media consulting are Facebook landing pages and apps and mobile apps, particularly for iPhones and iPads.

For me it was a no-brainer and a labor of love to collaborate with Tim and his team on an app designed from the fans point of view.  The main goal was to include the ability to embed the live streaming video from KnightVision (now renamed RVision) into the app so that fans could watch games and events on their phones and tablets.

After a year or so of fits and starts, today Rutgers Athletics announced the launch of the apps (they will be in the App store in about a week).  This post is my way of thanking Tim, Jason, Colin and all the folks at Rutgers for the hard work, and thanking my partners and folks at Hodges Digital Strategies (especially Sonali and Pradeep) who willingly made the countless changes I request.

The app accomplishes two things, it make Rutgers sports accessible to its fans anywhere in the world and it shows the great capabilities of our new company.  I'm thrilled on both counts.

For Rutgers fans, I hope you enjoy the app and its features.  Please give us your feedback so we can make it better over time.

It's been a long time since I've had to stick the out transistor radio out the window, this app makes sure we'll never have to do that again.

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Jon Newman

Jon worked on-air and in management at a number of radio and TV news organizations in New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia before joining The Martin Agency. He parlayed his media background into national media placements for countless clients, and that media relations focus is still a core competency at The Hodges Partnership. As the media landscape has changed, Jon’s focus now also includes social and digital media. Read all posts by Jon Newman »

Posted in: Hodges Digital Strategies  |  Mobile


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