Football Media Guides
After reviewing the University of Arizona??™s and the University of Alabama??™s Football Media Guides, I have found that there are noticeable differences between the two. The most evident differences were theme, layout and use of pictures. Contrasting Alabama??™s striking layout, evident theme and their commanding use of pictures, to Arizona??™s difficult to read and impossible to navigate guide, the differentiation between the two is inevitable.
The University of Alabama based their Football Media Guide off of one central theme. Alabama. Reading through the Guide there was never a moment that the reader forgot what school and program they were reading about. In addition to previewing the football season, statistical and player information alike, Alabama??™s Media Guide capitalized on the school itself showing the audience that they are not only a football school, but a school of greater social and academic programs. This not only betters the ???Bama??? reputation in the minds of the public, but also gives PR personnel added information to create a more in-depth story. The University of Arizona??™s Football Media Guide was filled with useful information to report a story. Yet, if any PR agencies were looking to praise Arizona for anything other than the Football Program, the Media Guide would be of no help. There is nothing written about the UA academics, social life or history.
Paul W. ???Bear??? Bryant from the University of Alabama contributed to the creation of the Football program that ???Bama??? knows today. This important history is included in its own section of the Media Guide giving readers an opportunity to connect with the foundations of the school. Unfortunately, the University of Arizona??™s legendary coach and Athletic Director James Fred ???Pop??? McKale is no where to be found throughout the Guide. McKale is one of the most essential pieces to the structure of, not only the Football program, but the entirety of the University. His history and impact on the school should be a key component of the Football Media Guide.
When reporting on a football team, PR personnel should be able to find and identify information quickly. With the layout of the University of Arizona??™s Guide, the public has no directional guide or design assistance. Meaning, when looking for specific information one is not able to find what they are looking for at ease. The pages of the UA Media Guide are rich with information, but too condensed. The font is too small, there is poor use of bolding titles/notable information and the pages have no break in them for the reader to ???catch their breath???.
To create an effective Media Guide Arizona should implement formatting techniques similar to those of Alabama. In their Guide, the text is spaced out in different paragraphs with picture breaks and white space. Allowing readers to easily scan the information and find what they are looking for.
Graphic design tools that Arizona should look to enact would be the use of leading lines, and white space. Leading lines are either an actual line embedded into the design/theme of the page or they can be the absence of space from pictures/design elements that create a line. These lines point toward the text and away from the outer edges of the page. The subconscious of the reader will pick up on the lines and direct the attention toward the text. This can be seen in almost any marketing element today, including Alabama??™s Football Media Guide, and proves to be extremely effective.
When media is looking through a Guide the two most important things that anyone will search for are players and coaches. This, along side a team??™s record, is the most reported information that comes from a Media Guide. That being said, player and coach information should be easy to read, navigate and contain specific information for the current year and background information about the coach or player.
The Alabama Football Media Guide is the perfect example of how player and coach information should be shared. Their player profiles are set up so that the public can read them like a newspaper. Beneficial to the public, newspaper style layout is how many people around the globe read everyday. It is a comfortable style to read in, appealing to the eye, and most importantly the audience understands its natural progression. The public reading Alabama??™s Football Media Guide has the ability to look through player profiles with ease and obtain the needed information.
The University of Arizona??™s Football Media Guide has player profiles that are bland and uninteresting. There is only one picture of the athlete posed from the shoulder up, only a biography about the player at the school from a football point of view and most importantly the information is bunched together in large paragraphs. Everything about these pages turns the reader away. There is no mental break with spacing and no pause for the mind with other pictures. Most importantly the crucial information about the player is not easily found.
While the University of Arizona does a better job at giving more background information to the public on their coaching pages, there are some elements that the University of Alabama includes in their Guide to make it more appealing.
Alabama, for example, includes action shots of the coaches calling plays or yelling to the team on the field along with a picture of the coach and their family. Having a picture of the coaches??™ family dramatically changes the atmosphere of the page. Not only are these pages telling the public what great coaches they are, the family picture lets the public see what great men they are off the field. This reaches out to an entirely new public, moms, daughters, sons, fathers, families in general, saying that not only do our coaches work hard on the field they respect what the public has off the field.
Although it might seem off topic to include family photos, the underlying message is powerful. This allows the public to connect with the coaches and in turn the entire team in a different way. The public can now relate to the coaches and will be more inclined to give a positive report.
The Football Media Guide here at the University of Arizona has the potential to be one of the strongest in the nation. By adding more pictures, breaking up the text with graphic design elements, making the text easier to read and highlighting background and personal information about the players and staff, our guide would be able to stand up and out from others around the country.