Behind the Scenes

by Published: Jan 22, 2014

Roughly 56.8 miles of US-131 con­nect Big Rapids to its south­ern neigh­bor, Grand Rapids.

It takes around 50 min­utes of dri­ving by small towns and rural areas. Conversation is a neces­sity to avoid falling asleep at the wheel, and in this case, it was essen­tial for the birth of a webshow.

The 80’s Retro Mix airs on Classic Hits 98.7 WFGR every Saturday from 10 p.m. — 2 a.m. Its host, Michael Corn, is a senior in applied speech communication.

One night in October, he was dri­ving back from run­ning his radio show in Grand Rapids with Athletics Communications Director and hockey play-by-play voice Dominic Hennig, who was his guest that night.

“On the way back I said, ‘What about doing an all-access on the hockey team?’” Hennig said. “That’s just stuff fans care about. You can’t see the behind-the-scenes stuff in the high­lights. We started bounc­ing off ideas and names and I said, ‘What about Bulldogs Unleashed?’ and Corn said, ‘That’s the one, let’s run with it.’”

The last two sea­sons, Corn worked as a social media intern for the 2012–13 Grand Rapids Griffins, where the team pro­duced a sim­i­lar series called, “Between the Benches,” for the Calder Cup Champions.

Before games, Corn can be found strate­gi­cally mount­ing his GoPro cam­era in incon­spic­u­ous spots for wild cam­era angles. One night, he mounted it on top of the goal lights and cap­tured a break­away goal from above and behind the net.

The addi­tion of the GoPro cam­era was a wel­come one for Corn and the rest of the Bulldog’s Unleashed crew.

“If I had to choose just one ele­ment (of the show), it would be the addi­tion of the GoPro,” Corn said. “It allows me to have more than one source of video with­out the need of hav­ing an extra body cov­er­ing that camera.”

Corn gets HBO com­pa­ra­ble access to the sta­dium, which allows for wild views in the video.

The ath­letic depart­ment has upped their empha­sis on social media this sea­son as well, which helped them sell out games right at the end of Christmas break.

The team’s switch to the Western Collegiate Hockey Assoiciation has forced the ath­letic depart­ment to mar­ket new oppo­nents to the fan base.

In a new con­fer­ence, Ferris is sell­ing old foes as “rivals” to attract fans. After all, rivals build hockey fan bases.

“In September, we sat down for our annual hockey oper­a­tions meet­ing where we talk hockey and how we’re going to mar­ket the sea­son,” Hennig said. “We wanted to make sure Bowling Green was a rival and Michigan Tech was our in-state rival.”

It allows for the cre­ation of story lines before fans enter the sta­dium. BGSU and Tech came over from the CCHA with Ferris, and their famil­iar­ity builds fan interest.

BGSU and Tech have become nat­ural rivals with the metic­u­lous strate­gic work of the ath­letic department’s mar­ket­ing program.