Welcome to the Conference USA headquarters. I'm Nicole Cartier and I will be your tour guide this afternoon. We are conveniently located in Irving, Texas. We are here to serve you all of your Conference USA daily needs. You want school updates? Done. Sports updates? Already got it. Championships? Coming right up. (Literally) We do our best to get you all of the broken records and awards that you can possibly crave from each of our institutions. There are a handful of us here who breathe college sports and walk through these office doors every day for the betterment of all of our student-athletes and institutions. It's not work if you love what you do, am I right?
Anyway, let me take you on a quick tour of our offices.
Now that you are familiar with our offices and feng shui to
motivate our ideas, allow me to introduce you to all of our departments. We
have six departments consisting of, and in no particular order, Sports
Services, Marketing, Compliance, Public and Media Relations, Business Affairs
and finally our Executive team including our Commissioner.
Sports Services are our champions. Really. They handle all of our fine championships that you love to attend as well as administer the conference schedules, work with officials and much, much more. Specifically for Championships, as noted in the previous blog post, they plan all year to make sure that our Championships go above-and-beyond your expectations to produce the best possible competition for our student-athletes. Take our Baseball Championship for example, it is being held in Pearl, Miss. this year at Trustmark Park, home of the Mississippi Braves of the minor leagues. A lot of planning must go into a championship to make sure it is in compliance with NCAA standards, meets all the needs of our coaches and athletes and also to make sure that everyone participating follows the guidelines. All of our sports are different beasts when it comes to planning a championship. Our football championship, consisting of just one game between the East winner and West winner is completely different than our Basketball championship, which is a tournament-style championship and has all of our institutions playing. Going on to the services side, they create the conference schedules that we all anticipate; try putting together a 100 piece puzzle with only 12 shapes, very difficult! But they make it work and make it work wonderfully. Chris Woolard, the Associate Commissioner for Sports Services takes you into his world:
Next up we have Marketing. This isn't your whip-up-a-flyer-and-post-on-the-telephone-pole type of marketing department. We have 11 television markets to cater to and a handful of those are some pretty major markets, i.e. Houston, Orlando, Dallas. As a sports fan, I always want to watch my team play, no matter where I am. Marketing ensures that our schools and sports can be viewed as much as possible through TV agreements, live on-line streaming, etc. Marketing all ensures the promotion of our Championships, sponsors and copyrights. We are Conference USA and we want people to know it!
"The marketing department at C-USA is the most fun. We work with all 12 schools to promote all the great things going on throughout the year in Conference USA. We interact with the fans as we promote our teams through TV, websites, social media outlets and on-site at our Championship events."--Kelly Carney, Associate Commissioner
For compliance, I'm really not allowed to further communicate on this. Kidding of course. Compliance makes sure that all of our schools, sports and student-athletes abide by the rules as far as NCAA regulations and academics. Compliance acts as the lawyer, reading regulations cover to cover and memorizing it to ensure that we meet the proper academic and athletic standards. We cross our Ts and dot our Is and we definitely don't forget the hyphen. As Associate Commissioner for Compliance and Academics Rob Phillipi puts it best:
"We support our schools by
making the complex simple, the simple practical and the practical possible!"
On the public side of things, we have our Media Relations department. Wonder who will be C-USA player of the week? You'll hear it from them. Want to know who broke the all-assist record and when? They'll tell ya. Media relations puts out daily press releases and documents on all 20 of our sports, as well as provide information on the most recent league standings, upcoming events, each school's scores and schedules, etc. They create the media guides at the beginning of each sports' season, weekly notebooks, and daily updates after a game if one of our schools has played that night. It's pretty intense especially when you have 20 sports to take care of; fall sports overlap winter sports, and winter sports overlap spring sports. It's never-ending, even in the summer. Here is Courtney Morrison-Archer to greet you on the world of Public Affairs:
Next up let's take care of business, Business Affairs. This is where all of the monetary distribution is done, the Bank of C-USA so-to-speak. Budgets are created and implemented here, revenues are distributed and ticket sales are monitored. You've got a receipt needing taken care of, submit the form here. Assistant Commissioner for Business Affairs Catrina Gibson very kindly sums it up here:
Last and definitely not least is our Executive team with our Commissioner Britton Banowsky and Executive Associate Commissioner Judy MacLeod. They oversee all of the conference responsibilities and make sure that C-USA is doing their best to uphold and better the key values of our institutions and athletics. Any big changes happening in C-USA? Are there new innovations to better the brands of our schools? They are behind the planning and implementation of those changes to make sure that our schools are respectfully represented in the NCAA.
So, you are now part of the C-USA Headquarters family. I hope you have enjoyed your time with us today. Be sure to be back soon and as usual, comments and suggestions are always welcome.