More and more schools seem to be outsourcing their athletic web pages to third party companies because they’re either too much to handle, have too many special needs that aren’t serviced by the current content management system (CMS) or for some other reason like personal preference.
I have a pretty interesting relationship with sports sites, because as a former tennis player and would-be coach, I have a pretty good handle on the diversity of college athletics sites out there. I speak the language and understand what coaches want pretty well. I also take great care to make sure that sports information is presented and marketed well and to ensure it doesn’t fall through the cracks, because it’s an area where at some institutions, they don’t get a seat at the table when the sites are developed or planned out and that can cause major problems.
I think the real question of “outsourcing” versus “in-house” is an issue of the resources you have in-house, your ability to spend and what sorts of tools you need. I think if you’re looking at video and other needs that might degrade your on campus bandwidth, then an external host might be a good solution. This is also a good situation when you don’t have the technical staff to support all of the tools you need to update the web with sports information the way your SID, athletic director and coaches might want/need.
Recruiting is a big part of the athletic draw and it ultimately goes back to admission considerations, but integration is key. I think in an ideal world, keeping all of your content in-house is the best solution, when possible, but there can be some major advantages to third-party options that can be “made back” in the form of increased interest in athletic programs and an ability to reach out to students who would otherwise not consider your school.
How does your college or university handle its athletic web sites?