a day in the life match day as a sports information director

The Day Before Match Day: Tweet about the match and time for maximum exposure.

Match Day, The Morning Of: Check the competing team's rankings to make sure nothing has changed. If there is a change, create a graphic and post to Twitter. Post an image to Instagram that invokes pride and excitement for the matchup. Then, print out match day programs containing the roster of each team as well as the individual and team rankings.

Make a graphic and Tweet about the match from the official Twitter account. The graphic will each team's record and rank and the time and location of the match. Tweet out links: one for live stats page and if possible, a link to watch the match.

Then, make sure that the laptop filled with software specifically used for updating the match stats is charged and ready to go.

Match Day, One Hour Before: Pack up the stats computer, along with personal computer, bringing chargers for each. Each computer essential: one is used for updating stats while the other is used for Twitter, and GoHeels, where the post-match wrap-up will be uploaded.

Match Day, Half An Hour Before: Arrive at the tennis center, and arrange both computers at the scorekeepers table (set up by the Game Day Operations staff), before receiving the match line-up from head coach. Enter the lineup into the stats program, and then gather the visiting team's match line-up from their head coach and enter that into the system as well.

Begin the write-up match review, adding simple preliminaries like rankings and weather, so that this can be updated throughout the match and save time afterwards, enabling the article to be published and live on the GoHeels website straight after the match.

Match Day, Doubles: Each of the three court's scores are updated manually by the line referee, and then updated on the scoreboard before being input into the stats program--published after each update. The results of the doubles point will be Tweeted out, updated on the statistics software, and added to the continually developing post-match column.

Match Day, Singles: Three courts in front of the stats table, three courts directly behind. Six large keypads that serve to update each of the six court's scores on the scoreboard. The computer stats program. Taking care of Tweeting updates from the match. The consistent back and forth of the ball in a tennis match mirrors the consistent back and forth of the information director at these events.

Making sure the stats on the scoreboard and on the website are up-to-the-moment, and update those following along on Twitter while also trying to keep track of writing the wrap-up column. There are minutes where nothing is necessary to be updated, and minutes where it seems every court has action going on that needs to be followed closely. This push and pull of action is part of keeping your wits about you on the job.

Match Day, Post-Match: Tweeting the final results of the match is the first thing to be done after the match ends. Input the final information into a graphic design software and share the results through an image. Then finish up with the statistics program, making sure to update and publish the information before saving the file as a PDF to be sent to the visiting team's athletic department so that they may have the information for their records. After this, either finish the post-match column now or after interviews depending on how much is left to be written.

Dealing with press is the biggest post-match duty besides finishing the column write-up. The post-match interviews are quite a responsibility to make sure that the interviews don't run off topic, become offensive, or any other result besides the desired information. First, consult with the media about who they would like to talk to, and then gather up the players and coaches, and stand close by during interviews to supervise. Tweeting quotes that can be found either interesting or humorous is a spur of the moment decision, and then once interviews are over and players and coaches are thanked.

If the column is not yet finished, finish and publish it to the website as well as upload the statistics. If any of the department's contracted photographers were present, talk with them about having them send in an album of photographs from the match that can be uploaded to the GoHeels website as well.


Olivia Henley

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