Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Why We Promote The College World Series
A majority of our readers have sons that either are going to college next year to play baseball or have aspirations in the next few years to play at the next level. That is really the new core audience of the Collegiate World Series...and it is growing. I was at a tournament last week and there were families of players Tivo-ing the World Series games. Many of us had listened to it on Satellite Radio and already knew the outcome, but many of these "new" fans didn't want us to spoil it. That's something you hear fans do during an NFL game, but rarely a sporting event like the CWS...until this year.
ESPN, the Internet, CBS Sports and Gametracker all have contributed to the popularity of College baseball this year. Alumni that used to limit their sports loyalties to their schools exploits in football and basketball are now looking in their local newspaper combing the collegiate box scores. Schools that poured all of their sports money into new football complexes and basketball arenas are adding minor league quality baseball stadiums to their mix of facilities.
Young, talented baseball players are no longer just longing for the day when they get drafted. They now can't wait for the day when they get their first recruitment letter from a desired college. In fact, many of the top recruiting and showcase services like Perfect Game exist mainly to assist the college ranks first and foremost. College is now the primary goal for most players. The reality is that the Tim Beckhams of the world are an exception and not the rule, and the golden rule is located where it has always been...in school.
Even MLB sent a message that the "smarter" choice was the college player when a majority of their top picks came from NCAA/draft eligible juniors. Bigger, stronger and more mentally mature players that have already proven that they can tackle the rigors and discipline of a full schedule of baseball.
So, you not only get audiences of alumni, the present student body and soon to be collegians and their families watching, but many high school underclassmen and their families testing the waters by watching and following games as well, to see if it's a place that they would like to play someday. While I still have loyalties to certain MLB teams, I find myself attending and watching many more college games these days, because in many cases, especially with the college freshman, many of our sons have played with or against many of those players in a tournament or two...and it's fun to see those same players making it on the national stage....and it makes you think that maybe someday that will be your kid too.
That's why we cover and love the College Wold Series...It's for all of the reasons you watch and love it too.