Mark Palmer, Staff Writer @RevWrestling.com
When you need to find a restaurant, a doctor or a phone number, you call “411 “– the universal number for information.
Likewise, when you’re seeking the latest information on college wrestling, you call up Wrestling411.
Wrestling411, launched in the fall of 2008, provides coverage of college wrestling in various forms — through their Web site www.wrestling411.tv, via a twice-weekly radio show, and, eventually, a weekly highlights TV show. It’s a product of Media Sports Productions, which, according to the Wrestling411 website, is “a Minneapolis-based organization whose sole mission is the marketing and promotion of the sport of wrestling. Specifically, we have a team of highly motivated and talented individuals whose sole job is to produce sports highlight shows that educate and entertain the community. These shows will be distributed by way of satellite and cable broadcasts, streamed over the Internet, and heard on radio. Our goal is to make wrestling a front-page sport.”
Kyle Klingman and Jason Bryant
Two members of the Wrestling411 team are award-winning journalists who are well-known and well-respected within the wrestling community: Jason Bryant, and Kyle Klingman. Before coming to Wrestling411, Bryant was arguably best known for his writing and operating the popular InterMat wrestling Web site; Klingman writes a column for WIN (Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine).
The 411 on Wrestling411
“(Media Sports Productions) was started by J Robinson a couple years ago, “according to Jason Bryant. “It’s a marketing and promotions company, with the intent of getting wrestling on TV.”
“We’re committed to college wrestling, “says Kyle Klingman. “We want to give the sport the coverage it deserves. Rather than depend on others, we decided to take the situation into our own hands.”
Bryant continues, “The Wrestling411 website has video and audio clips. We did our first live dual-meet webcasts last week. “This is in addition to Wrestling411 Radio Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. Central, broadcast on KAUG, Augsburg College’s student-run radio station, and accessible online at Wrestling411.tv live and in the Web site archives.
“Our mission — we want the website to be relevant in terms of interviews, articles, “says Klingman. “If Iowa does something remarkable, we have Tom Brands on. We want to provide current information, and be up-to-date on what’s happening in the sport right now. We also address issues like stalling, and the new qualifying procedures.”
“We see Wrestling411 as being content-driven, quality-driven.”
An all-inclusive package
Another mission of Wrestling411: to incorporate all aspects of collegiate wrestling.
“We want to cover everything — Division 1, Division II, Division III, “according to Kyle Klingman. “We’ve had every division, along with women’s wrestling, California JUCO (junior college).”
Jason Bryant echoes that sentiment: “There’s much more to wrestling than Division I, the Big Ten or the Big Twelve.”
“As I enter scores, I know there are parents and fans who follow D3 programs. There are over 300 programs that don’t get the coverage they should.”
Bryant gives a concrete example of Wrestling411’s commitment to coverage: “(A couple weekends ago,) I drove six hours, covered the University of Nebraska-Omaha vs. Augsburg dual — a matchup between the top D2 and D3 programs in the country — drove back to Minneapolis, then put the story and package together, into the night.”
“Initially, some folks thought we were about Minnesota wrestling or just the Big Ten, “says Bryant. “It’s about getting our sport on TV and radio and in other media.”
A fresh approach to covering wrestling
In addition to providing coverage of all levels of college wrestling, Wrestling411 provides fans with the latest information in a variety of ways.
“We want to cover things from different angles, “says Klingman. “Our radio shows are available over the air, online, and in our archives. We provide live updates. We have audio and video interviews. We want to offer different forms of content, not just results, but highlight clips and so much more.”
“Our goal is to provide fresh content every day. We want to give fans a reason to visit us everyday, to see what’s new.”
“My goal is to be at as many events as possible, “Klingman continues. “We want to be everywhere humanly possible.”
Additional goals of Wrestling411
“Another goal of ours is to make mainstream media more aware of college wrestling, “says Klingman, citing specific national media outlets that have done a poor job covering major collegiate wrestling events such as the NCAA championships.
Jason Bryant concurs: “Sports coverage is so clip-oriented. Whether it’s (ESPN) SportsCenter, or the local TV news, or sports talk radio. We want to be able to provide them with ready-to-use material that helps keep wrestling fans informed, and raises awareness for the sport.”
“To help wrestling grow, it needs to grow not just from the top down, but from the bottom up.”
Developing and nurturing the existing fan base is yet another goal of Wrestling411, according to Kyle Klingman. “We want to help the fan whose kid is wrestling now to stay with the sport once the kid’s out of wrestling”¦ We want to reach fans of specific programs, to broaden their interests, to help them see the bigger picture.”
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To learn more about Wrestling411 “and make a contribution to this venture — visit their Web site at www.Wrestling411.tv.