On September 21, the first Bowdoin Athletics Podcast was released on Soundcloud, featuring Don Borkowski, the director of capital projects at Bowdoin, and Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan discussing the renovations on Whittier Field.
The Bowdoin Athletics Podcast is a weekly project spearheaded by host Mike Gualtieri of Boston, who interviews sports personalities around New England. Gualtieri has worked with Trinity College on athletics podcasts, and approached Jim Caton, assistant athletic director for communications for Bowdoin Athletics, about a Bowdoin Athletics podcast this summer.
While sports podcasts are not unusual for schools, many focus on the more technical and numerical side of sports.
“A couple schools produce podcasts that are recaps of the week in terms of the performance of teams, but we’re probably going to avoid the recap perspective, and focus more on a behind the scene, in depth coverage of our students and coaches and things going on in the department,” said Ryan.
While the first podcast focused on the football field renovations, the podcast aims to tackle stories with more long-term interest and more long-form stories.
“I want us to tell stories with a little more life. Something that isn’t necessarily talking about this week’s game, because as soon as this week’s game is over you’re onto something else, so talking more about big picture stories,” said Caton.
The podcast also aims to highlight some of the personal experiences of Bowdoin athletes on campus.
“We have plenty of opportunities through our athletics website, our social media, to provide up-to-date medias for content and feedback on statistics and everything like that,” Caton said. “So the goal of the podcast is to go to the other side of that—maybe talking about the balance of being an athlete but also being in labs, performing in an a capella group. [We’re looking to find and feature] students who are able to do all of those things.”
Initial reactions to the first episode have been positive.
“I’ve had a few people say that they enjoyed being able to hear a little bit of the in-depth story behind the project,” Ryan said. “Being able to bring someone like Don Borkowski from our facilities management team into the podcast helped provide a different perspective than people just hearing from either our coaches or from me about it, which is one of the goals of the podcast concept—to provide a little more depth.”
Caton also expressed the podcast’s success, especially considering its lack of publicity so far.
“There are almost 150 downloads in less than a week, and we really haven’t gone all in on publicizing it yet. It’s been a little bit of a soft launch,” he said. “Last week, we were busy between Middlebury coming to town for all those big games and the fall season really in full swing, so the fact [that] it sort of organically got to that number is pretty cool.”
The athletics podcast plans on releasing a story on the 15th anniversary of the varsity program of women’s rugby next week, and its creators are excited to increase the number of listeners.
“I think when we get another one under our belt and sort of build a bank of these I think we’ll really start seeing more a consistent following and possibly have those numbers grow,” said Caton. “I think we have some pretty cool, pretty neat stories to tell, and this just gives us another way to do that.”