In an effort to expand the scope and efficiency of its coverage of Crimson athletics, the Harvard Athletic Department unveiled a redesigned web site earlier this month.
The site, gocrimson.com, is operated by The Official College Sports Network (OCSN), formerly the FANSonly Network. The page is also accessible through the old Harvard athletics address, www.athletics.harvard.edu.
Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations John Veneziano said that the new site was a necessity for both Harvard athletics and Crimson fans.
“The world is moving away from printed materials and away from traditional forms of media,” Veneziano wrote in an email. “We want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to electronic forms of communication.”
The OCSN site has an number of improvements over Harvard’s old athletic webpage. These features include a larger selection of photos from a wider range of sports, online polls and webcasting of Harvard games broadcast on radio.
“They have created a model that fits us well,” Veneziano said. “There’s no advertising on our pages unless we choose to put it on.”
Fans can also expect to see scores and statistics updated earlier than in the past.
“Previously, we sent stories and scores to a third party who posted the information as he was able,” Veneziano said. “But it wasn’t fair—and wasn’t practical—to ask someone to wait until midnight on a Friday or Saturday night to get a story so it could be posted on the site.”
“Our software enables the sports information office to post stories, press releases, and box scores very quickly after athletic events,” said Dave Moll, OCSN’s manager of university development.
The site will also include an online questionnaire for potential athletic recruits to fill out and send directly to the coach of their interested sport.
In addition to Harvard, clients of OCSN include fellow Ivy League schools Brown, Cornell, Penn and Princeton. Other customers include athletic powerhouses such as UCLA, Stanford, and Notre Dame.
The network also operates websites for the ACC, PAC-10 and other athletic conferences as well as several college sports organizations.
Veneziano said that with the new webpage will allow Harvard athletics to reach a wider audience. The school’s old site averaged 1,000 visitors a day during the fall season. The new site attracted 4,000 hits on its first day of public operation.
“We expect that number to continue to grow,” Veneziano said.
The site, though up-and-running, is not quite completed. The athletic department has given priority to sports currently in season and has yet to finish adding content for winter and spring sports.
“We’re far from a finished product,” Veneziano said. “With 41 varsity sports and 150 years of history, we have a big story to tell.”
—Contributing writer John R. Hein can be reached at email@example.com<\i>