This past summer, Bowdoin athletics entered a partnership with the software company SIDEARM Sports. The company now powers the Bowdoin athletics website, allowing for seamless publishing of live and post-game stats and providing easier access to archival athletics data. Since the transition, the department has used the new website to publish limited competition stats for this semester, but they have also been preparing the updated statistics interface for what will likely be a full season of competition in the fall.
Starting in 2008, Bowdoin athletics partnered with PrestoSports to publish its sports data. After a decline in website usability around a year and a half ago, the athletic department began talking to SIDEARM Sports about a new partnership, which officially began this past summer. Ten out of the 11 NESCAC colleges, as well as the NESCAC itself, have also made the move to SIDEARM Sports.
Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Jim Caton emphasized the benefits of partnering with SIDEARM Sports and stressed that Bowdoin athletics has been building up the new website over the past several months.
“[SIDEARM Sports] allows us to run our website through a content management system that is much more geared towards being able to do the things we want to do,” Caton said in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “SIDEARM has a much higher reliability rating, and their support system is incredibly in-depth because they have to support [many] Division I programs.”
Since the summer, Caton, as well as Sports Information Associate Micki Manheimer, have been working to fill the newly-formatted athletics website with stats and rosters from past years so users can easily find live updates as well as information about prior seasons dating back to the 1980s at one source.
Throughout this semester, Caton has posted live stats through SIDEARM Sports for the limited number of Bowdoin teams competing this semester—including softball, golf and track and field. Despite the expanded features of the new software, keeping track of all the incoming data takes constant focus and upkeep.
“We manage everything, so every photo, every recap, every statistical box score, every record book, every everything—it comes from either [Manheimer] or me,” Caton said. “So we do a lot of content creation, but in many ways it’s just managing … we sort of reference ourselves as being at times like goaltenders. We just try and keep things from getting past us.”
Caton also noted the limited amount of competition has allowed for more time to review and perfect the website.
“It was a sort of a blessing that we weren’t playing games during this period of transition because we could really sink our teeth into focusing on transitioning things and getting things as correct as they could possibly be on the website,” said Caton. “I cannot even fathom what it would have been like to do that in addition to covering hundreds of games and posting dozens of rosters and photos and all that stuff during that same time period.”
With the likely return to a normal sports season next semester, Caton and his team are ready to put Bowdoin athletics’s partnership with SIDEARM Sports to the true test.
“We’ll stretch our legs in the fall, and hopefully everything will go smoothly,” Caton said. “[It] sounds like it’s building up, and it’s going to end well.”