A few years ago, it was common for Cindy Scalone to get 4-5 phone calls each day. As the athletics secretary at Lincoln-Way West High School (IL), she was consistently being asked about forms, game schedules or contacting a coach.
“I would get a lot of calls leading up to season tryouts,” Cindy said. “They wouldn’t know where to register or how to turn in a physical. I’d also get calls about tryout dates and location, when and where a game would be and directions.”
These days, Cindy receives about one call per week – if that. So, what’s changed? The school now has an official athletics website. Built on VNN’s SportsHub platform, it serves as one convenient place for fans to find all of their sports information.
The website is easy to navigate, Cindy said, and parents love seeing their kids featured. Rather than deal with calls, Cindy now focuses on enhancing the website. She can follow along with how much her community is using the resource through analytics including visitors, views and how Lincoln-Way West ranks against other schools in the nation.
“Every question I get now, I go back to our website to see how to make it more clear,” Cindy said.
To optimize the site even more and promote posts where parents often expect to find them, Lincoln-Way West linked its social media accounts so posts automatically share to the Warriors’ Twitter and Facebook accounts. The school also purchased a subscription to Box Out Sports, a design platform originally created for university athletic departments like Notre Dame and Ohio State that generates professional-looking graphics with a few taps. Cindy uses Box Out Sports for nearly every post now.
“We got it right before COVID so it was great to use during the lockdown,” Cindy said. “We love it. We use it to highlight students, for all-conference and specific awards and to announce any cancellations.”
With the success Cindy found using Box Out Sports, she is embracing any new ideas that could benefit the site. “We’re going to keep trying to make it better,” Cindy said. “I saw Rapid Replay is coming up and I’m excited about that. Whatever ideas VNN has, I’m running with.”
Ten miles away at Lincoln-Way East High School, Athletics Secretary Debbi Rossi took note of Lincoln-Way West’s professional and comprehensive athletics website. She had been experiencing the same type of issues that Cindy used to. With 3,000 students, families needed quick and easy access to sports information – and it just wasn’t happening.
“Parents would complain that there wasn’t a one-stop shop for all information,” Debbi said. There also wasn’t enough visibility. If you had a student in volleyball, oftentimes, you had no idea what was going on in other sports. The school needed a solution – and seeing the success at Lincoln-Way West assured Debbi that VNN was it.
Lincoln-Way East got started with VNN in July. Throughout implementation, Cindy offered tips for maintaining a collegiate-looking website and creating captivating graphics with Box Out Sports, and answered Debbi’s questions along the way.
Lincoln-Way East kicked off the school year with a brand new athletics site, and Debbi couldn’t be happier with the results so far. The community is excited about the new website, too. It’s engaging and efficient for everyone – from the athletic director to families to students.
“We’ve already gotten messages from parents that love the new site,” Debbi said. “They love seeing all the teams and our coaches are pretty impressed, too.”
Interested in learning more about how VNN can transform your athletics department? Schedule a demo today.