“Spartan Sports Like Never Before” is the motto of the newly created Impact Sports, and how fitting it is. Founded in July 2013 by senior Alex Scharg, Impact Sports covers all things MSU athletics, from men’s basketball to quidditch and everything in between.
“I looked at other news organizations and I went to apply at other places, but they wanted me to drop all of my other extra-curricular activities so I was like why not?” said Scharg. “Let me just try to create my own.”
Most of the founding members never thought it would grow as quickly as it has. One person who was not surprised was Jonathan Yales, director of content strategy for Impact Sports.
“We wanted a medium where we could cover the sport that we love, cover the game that we love, get access to the players we want to talk to, the questions we want to get in,” said Yales. “So when we heard there’s a structure to it, it kind of made sense. It was like yeah, this thing is going to take off.”
Their website, www.impact89fm.org/sports, launched in early October and features stories and podcasts covering all MSU sports. As of the beginning of February, their website has had over 17 thousand different viewers and nearly 40 thousand page views. Surprisingly the most viewed content usually comes from the smaller sports such as dodgeball and women’s hockey.
“To me, the most rewarding thing is to have the smaller sports such as tennis, or such as golf, and even club sports like club quidditch come in our studios for interviews,” said Anthony Serafino, assistant sports director. “…you’re giving these guys exposure as well as we’re giving our staffers reporting and live interviewing experience and it’s something you just can’t teach.”
Impact Sports is also very active in social media. As of March 25, their Facebook page has 1,470 “likes” and tens of thousands of people have seen their posts. Since the October launch, their growth has been exponential.
“It’s something I refer to as ‘hockey stick growth’,” said Serafino. “It’s grown tremendously, viewership has gone through the roof.”
Not only is Impact Sports growing in popularity, it is also growing in size. Scharg said the Impact told Sports they could not bring in any more people because of how many already joined.
“The Impact is made up of about 211 staffers in all departments,” said Serafino. “Just Sports alone makes up about a fourth of the whole Impact.”
Michael Higer, news coach for Impact Sports, is optimistic for the future of the organization.
“So far we’ve really started to branch out into a lot of the school but I want to be one of those names out there on campus that students go to as one of their main sports sources.”