Philadelphia The University of Pennsylvania Athletic Department’s newly redesigned web site www.pennathletics.com has become a fast hit with alumni, students, parents and Penn fans since its inception in July 2004. In the first full month of activity, the site registered over one million hits, and the month of September more than doubled that total as over 2.2 million hits were counted.
“We are very pleased with the expanded coverage that we can provide for all 33 of our intercollegiate athletics programs through our newly designed web site,” Associate Athletic Director Andy Bilello said. “There are many more features, including a free live game audio service, that has been attracting new and returning users to the site on a daily basis. We hope to provide even more services as the academic year goes on.”
One of the biggest draws to the web site is the live audio feature. All of Penn’s home and road football games, which are aired on ESPN Radio 920 AM in most parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are also aired via the internet in real time. Matt Leon and Hench Murray call the action and anyone can listen to the game for free when they download Windows Media Player off the Penn Athletics web site. Last week, over 600 fans listened to Penn’s 32-25 double-overtime victory via the audio broadcast on the internet.
Another feature that the Penn Athletic Department has utilized with the new site is the ability to produce polls. Currently, Penn fans are being asked to select an All-Bagnoli team by picking the best players at each position during Head Football Coach Al Bagnoli’s tenure at Penn (1992-present). The “Team” will be announced on the web site and in the Penn-Harvard edition of Franklin Field Illustrated. Another poll being conducted is one for the men’s soccer program in which fans are being asked to select several All-Decade teams which will then be condensed to make an All-Century team, which will be announced at the 100 Years of Penn Soccer Celebration in May 2005.
Of course, if there were no schedules, results, stats, features, press releases, biographies and archives on the site, there would be no reason to visit. Expanded versions of each of these entities for all 33 intercollegiate sports are prominently displayed on each team’s own web page, as well as generic links to directions, facilities, tickets, Athlete of the Week releases and Penn merchandise.
Written by Carla Zighelboim