Behind the Cougars scene with Braden Konschuh
While Sports Information Director may seem a simple role, the coordination necessary is anything but
For the last couple of weeks, the Carillon has taken you through multiple interviews with players from the hockey team, volleyball team, swimming team, coaches of rugby, the head coach of women’s basketball, and so many more. We really wanted to focus on the people behind the events this year, and to take a more in-depth look at what it’s like to be involved with University of Regina sports. This week we interviewed Braden Konschuh, the Sports Information Director at the university, who has been in this position since 2006.
Were there any previous jobs that you were involved in at the university? If so, what were they?
Konschuh has been involved in this role for his entire time at the university, but his job has changed over the years. He now is working with the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies rather than just with student-athletes.
What all does your job entail?
“I like to group our duties into five distinct categories: media relations, communications, game night, administrative, and archiving. Media relations duties include serving as the primary point of contact and helping generate positive media coverage for our Varsity sports and other units in the Faculty. This can include helping coordinate interviews, providing content (photos/videos) to media outlets, pitching story ideas too. Communications duties include providing content for social media, websites, and at games. We run, or help run, a total of 27 accounts across three different social media platforms including the flagship @reginacougars and @reginarams accounts. Our team is responsible for providing timely content for the Regina Cougars, Regina Rams, and KHS websites as well as portions of the Canada West and U SPORTS sites. We also produce your standard program with rosters and standings for all home games.”
“Game night duties, always hectic and always fun! We have a wonderful Creative Media Team led by two talented film students, Morgan Fleury and Matt Degenhardt, that handle our home canadawest.tv webcasts. We stream our home games for all of our team sports, and the CMT has been instrumental in raising the bar each year in terms of broadcast quality. Head to any of our home games and you’ll see 4 to 8 people working hard on the production team. Our team also handles game statistics and certain aspects of fan experience at the gym – what goes on the video screen during games is all designed by us. It’s standard for two of our home events to be happening at the same time – and even up to three at some points in the fall – so preparation and planning are vital to pull all of this off week in and week out.”
“Administrative duties are the less-exciting, but still critical stuff like payroll and budget and credit card reconciliation. Archiving is mostly an offseason project. We keep comprehensive player and team records for our Varsity sports.”
Were you personally involved in any sports or coaching that encouraged you to take on this job?
“I’ve always loved sports and played hockey and baseball growing up. I went to Bemidji State in Minnesota and started working stats at Beaver hockey games, and it just kind of went from there as I started helping out at home games for other sports. I graduated from BSU in December of 2004, and then went to the University of Portland in January of 2005 to take a graduate assistant role with Pilot Athletics and pursue a master’s degree in management communication. My old boss Dick White hired me right out of Portland in 2006.”
What are you most proud of accomplishing through your time in this role so far?
“I’m probably most proud of the recent advancements we’ve made in video production, both for the in-game webcasts and for features between events. It’s hard not to keep an eye on what other Canada West schools are doing in this area and I feel great about the level of quality and professionalism of the broadcasts – again, full credit to Morgan and Matt for what they’ve been able to do with this and also to the KHS Dean, Harold Riemer, for his support in this area.”
What sorts of information are you responsible to manage? Is there anything that would surprise people or that you were surprised about when you took the job?
“I’ll say the biggest surprise to me when I took the job is how many events we would host at exactly the same time. In Portland, they would take great care to ensure that they wouldn’t host, say, a basketball and a soccer game at the same time. Here, though, it’s common to have basketball going on at the exact same time as hockey. It was a bit of a learning curve to figure out how best to manage multiple events happening at the same time at different locations.
“I’d say the biggest thing that would surprise people is the breadth of skills required to effectively perform in this role. Design skills, basic coding, ability to write at a professional level, skills in crisis communications, coolness under pressure, detailed statistical knowledge for all of our Varsity sports, social media fluency, a sharp attention to detail…the list goes on.”
We’d like to thank Konschuh so much for all the great detail – it almost felt like I was working beside him at the desk as we took this interview. A couple of last remarks added by Konshuh were that he is always looking for more help with that grand list of tasks and responsibilities, and if current students are interested, they can find his contact information at reginacougars.com. He also suggested we interview Morgan and Matt from the creative media team to walk through an average production night at a basketball game, and we will be doing just that in the last issue of this year so keep your eyes peeled next week!