A lot of schools use bulk SMS for emergency alerts, but one NCAA Division 1 school is is adding a service to use text messaging to help keep students and fans up to date on their athletics programs.
The University of Vermont (UVM) recently launched the Catamount Score Alert service to give sports fans a new way to follow their teams. Named after the school's mascot, the new SMS service will send score updates to text subscribers. All fans need to do is text a keyword to a short code to subscribe, or can head to the school's website. Signing up online offers the ability to select alerts for specific sports, including men's and women's lacrosse, hockey, basketball and soccer, as well as field hockey, skiing and women's swimming.
UVM's media relations and sports information director Alastair Ingram explained that following a game or meet, staff members will enter the scores into the SMS gateway and send out an update to subscribers.
"The hope is as the seasons continue forward that more and more subscribers will continue to come in," Ingram told The Vermont Cynic.
The Cynic spoke to several students about the new system, and the results were positive, with one senior pointing out that it can sometimes be difficult to find scores, especially for away games.
"Sometimes it can be a little obnoxious searching different websites," senior Mike Regan said. "If it's simple enough to sign up I'm all for subscribing."
This response shows the power and the usefulness of SMS in this application. National sports media can is often focused on professional teams and big schools. While bulk SMS notifications can be beneficial to all teams, it can be especially so for schools with less national recognition or outlying professional sports, such as lacrosse and women's soccer and hockey.