August 28, 2013
As we gear up for the 2013 Dreadnaught Football season, quite a few changes are coming to the program. We’re excited about the new webcast, re-designed game program, new uniforms and a new group of players.
I wanted to address some of the changes below:
Lakeland Live Webcast
While honoring our strong traditions of the past, we are continually looking for ways to embrace innovation and move forward. The overall Football Program is second to none and we want to keep moving and setting high standards in every arena.
We’re excited to begin this new season with the Lakeland Live Webcast. This will allow fans, alumni and our military around the world to keep up and be a part of Lakeland Football and give the kids in the program a new level of exposure. We have been blessed to have Mike Martin and his team at Blackwater Integration help install the jumbotron and the production equipment we’ve been using the past several years. While it looks great on the jumbotron and is great for fans at the games, the video signal and all the production work essentially ends there. If you’re already going to the effort to produce a great broadcast, why not share it with everyone around the world?
According to CNN, 90% of Americans own a smartphone or a computer and this number increases each year. With the increase in bandwidth and accessibility on mobile devices, we decided now was a great time to make the move. Now, each Friday night, not only will you be able to hear every Dreadnaught football game, you’ll be able to watch it live.
We’re also adding some great features with our webcast. We will start with a 3 camera shoot. This will allow us to cover the angles and stories and provide coverage similar to what you see on nationally televised games.
We’re blessed to have 2 great announcers this season. We’re happy to have Lakeland alum Tim Conti back with us, who provided play-by-play on the radio broadcasts and alongside him will be Jeff Goddard, a Lakeland alum, who will provide the commentary. This great team will give you in-depth information each week through meetings with the coaches and involvement in the program.
We are also happy to have our sideline reporter, Savannah Collins. Savannah helped us with our test broadcast last year against Jenkins and did a phenomenal job. Savannah will keep us updated throughout the game with injury information, developing stories and interviews with players and coaches.
The format of the webcast will mirror the look and feel of football you watch on national broadcasts. The cost of technology has greatly fallen, while the features have dramatically increased. We are fortunate to have an amazing switcher that will allow us to create cutting edge graphics and provide vital information to make your viewing experience great.
We’ve heard amazing feedback with the test webcast last week. We had more traffic than we ever expected considering we didn’t announce it. Fans and alumni from around the country called to let us know how thankful they were to be able to now watch Dreadnaught football.
While we understand that a few are disappointed, one thing I’ve learned in leadership is you can’t make everyone happy all the time but you need to make the best decision that will embrace the path forward. While we greatly respect the opinions of all our amazing supporters and never want to upset anyone, we need to keep moving the program to the next level. There are many high school football programs around the country who are now embracing the webcast route. We’re just trying to make it first class and take it to the next level. I like the words of Henry Ford when he was criticized for creating the automobile. He said, “If I asked the people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
2013 Dreadnaught Football Program
We are also really excited about the new printed football program. We’ve added a beautiful new design and created a completely full color experience. We think it will be something players, their families and fans will be super proud of.
For the last 2 years, we’ve watched the trends in college and professional sports and many are moving to the new size we’ve delivered. The University of Tennessee football program is actually smaller than our new program, while we are exactly the same size of the Tampa Bay Rays program coming in at 6″ x 9″. We think this will be more convenient to carry and cuts the printing cost to allow us to be full color.
We’ve had tremendous feedback on the new programs and our company, Barrett Creative, has already received 3 calls from other school’s booster clubs inquiring of the cost to produce something similar for their program.
The Purpose of it all
When it all comes down to it, this is for the kids. I was blessed to grow up around high school football and it made an impact on my life that will always last. I was a ball boy while my dad coached and I remember learning the value of teamwork, family and hard work. I also learned that, for a lot of these kids, this is the only family they’ve ever had or might ever have. We want the kids to do things with excellence. We want them to feel good about their program. We want to not only tell them to be excellent, but rather demonstrate it.
I am honored to give back through the ways I am able to the program. We’ve created a website the kids love, we’re creating a webcast they’re excited about, we’re introducing a new printed program they can keep for a lifetime. It’s about doing things with excellence both on the field and off the field. I ask you you to join me in embracing the program and the changes and help support these kids like never before. Let’s make their experience the best they’ve ever had. Embrace them and support them like family. You never know, it might be the only family they have.
Michael G. Barrett