Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

U-M, OSU agree to halt printing sports guides

U-M and The Ohio State University have agreed to stop printing athletic team media guides in an effort to develop new media initiatives for more effective communications and to contain costs.

 “With the new media environment and current economic climate, the decision to cut back in this area was prudent,” says Bill Martin, director of athletics. “The discussion to eliminate the printed version of the media guide has been ongoing within the Big Ten and NCAA administrative services for some time.

 “We understand there is a need for a stronger commitment to new media. Our alumni and fans want more timely information.”

Martin and Gene Smith, director of athletics at Ohio State, also say it is important to make changes that will not affect the athletic and academic well-being of the schools’ student-athletes.

“With Ohio State and Michigan together making this statement, I hope our decision will be a catalyst for other schools to follow suit,” Smith says. “All athletic programs are in the midst of cost-containment discussions, but our decision is not only based on economics. The structure of media consumption has changed rapidly and we need to meet the challenges head on.

“New initiatives will have to be developed to allow media, recruits, alumni and fans to follow our teams,” Smith says. “Social networking already plays a role in our communication plan and new platforms will continue to develop.”

The elimination of printed media guides will take place immediately and effectively will result in a total cost reduction of more than $250,000 per year.