Dan Kirk is a Marketing Assistant for the University of Maryland Athletic Department. His days are anything but boring, so we asked him to document a basketball gameday on his Fancred profile.
So just how does an athletic department prepare for a primetime ESPN matchup between ranked Big Ten basketball programs?
1. Arrive Early
"The ESPN production truck is already in 10.5 hours before game time. I park in the loading dock every day, but today I have to move my car to a nearby parking garage to make room for VIP's and officials."
"Courtside seating is already set-up. Wisconsin's shoot-around is set for 10:00 to 11:30 this morning. We have to wait to set up our student t-shirts until they're finished."
2. Head to the Office
"Here's our marketing space with offices in the wall on the right. We have the smallest area of any major department, but we like the openness for conversations and projects. My desk is straight ahead."
"Here is the Terp Tank where our digital marketing department works on web and social projects all day. Those piles of shoe boxes are for online auctions."
REVIEW THE TIP-OFF VIDEO
PREP THE FLAG
3. Check on the students
"Students are allowed to line up starting at 7 AM and this is the crowd so far. It's currently 15 degrees with 7 hours until doors open."
4. Review the game plan. Literally.
"We are about to have our pregame marketing meeting with the full-time staff to make sure we are set to meet with interns later. Here is the timing sheet, intern duties and videoboard script for tonight's game."
5. Cue the music
"Usually we play a Jump Around remix after the team runs out, but luckily I'm the guy who sets up the music. We're going with DMX's Party Up (Up in Here) tonight instead."
6. Prepare the Swag
"Weird seeing so many familiar Badger faces in the building for shoot-around. Just waiting for them to finish so we can start setting out the shirts. Over 4,000 students in the student section."
"And so it begins... This is the sixth annual Gold Rush game, but the first shirt designed by a student. It's been about two month long process to send out bid requests, come to an agreement with the winning vendor then finalize the design, quantity and delivery."
7. Take one last look. The Calm before the Storm.
8. Open The Doors
9. Greet the students
"Here is the student that designed this year's shirt! Jesse Wu and his girlfriend get a VIP first row experience to tonight's game and a signed shirt from the team."
10. Head to the court for warmups
"Bilas and Tirico on the call."
11. Player Entry & Intros
"Team huddle right before the runout."
12. Final preparations for tip-off
13. Flash Mob? Flash mob!
14. Put on the Halftime Show
"Halftime Gymkana act! With little help from Testudo!"
15. Fly the Flags
16. Safely rush the court
"Extra security got down to the court with about 5 minutes to go. They did a great job of creating a lane for Wisconsin and the Maryland coaches to get off the court safely."
"The students stormed it! Happy for them after they showed up early to learn the Flashmob and were ridiculously loud all game long."