Aug. 23, 2007
FAIRFIELD, CT - Sacred Heart University Assistant Athletic Director for Communications, Gene Gumbs, announced that the Pioneer athletic department has worked out a contract with WICC 600 AM in Bridgeport that will result in at least 50 Pioneer games per year being broadcast on the #1 AM radio station on the shoreline of Connecticut for the next two years.
"WICC told us that they don't traditionally work on multi-year agreements but that we had become such good partners that they felt this was a deal worth doing," says Gumbs. "WICC station manager Ann McManus and her staff have really welcomed us into their family and we are excited that they were so enthusiastic about adding football to our offerings, as well as allowing us to offer even more basketball and hockey action."
The Pioneers appeared on WICC over 30 times last season between men's and women's basketball and men's ice hockey. This new agreement, hammered out by Gumbs and Associate AD for External Relations Mark Adzigian, will expand those broadcasts and add Sacred Heart football for the first time. Eight of the 11 Pioneer football games are slated for WICC, starting on September 8 against LaSalle.
Another key component of the new agreement is a weekly five-minute spot on WICC's popular afternoon drive-time Brian Smith Show.
"We have the most diverse athletic program in the state of Connecticut by far," says Gumbs. "Now, outside of the University of Connecticut, we have the ability to reach more people than any other school in the state because of the high ratings and powerful reach of the WICC signal."
Jeff Holtz, the voice of the pioneers for the last seven seasons, will call the play by play on all hockey broadcasts and most of the football and basketball games. Gumbs will join Holtz as color analyst and fill in with play by play on basketball when Holtz is on the road with the hockey team. The broadcasts will also include a complete post-game show with interviews, scores and statistics.
"WICC willingness to give us the first two-year contract at the station really validates our program and the professionalism we strive to bring to all of our broadcasts," says SHU Director of Athletic Don Cook. "Having an opportunity to promote our intercollegiate athletics program on Southern Connecticut's # 1 AM station is something that really gives us an advantage in the marketplace."
The deal with WICC expands the Pioneer broadcast offerings in 2007-08 to over 130 games between commercial radio and the internet on SacredHeartPioneer.com.
Sacred Heart University is entering its ninth season of Division I play this year with 32 varsity teams. The Pioneers are members of the Northeast Conference for football and basketball and Atlantic Hockey for men's ice hockey.