Boston University Reaches Alumni with Video Podcasts

Boston University plans to distribute video podcasts of BU Athletics content on iTunes. The university expects the offering to help forge stronger ties with BU fans, students and alumni.

“It keeps alumni spread out across the country involved with the university and the athletic department at their own discretion,” said Boston University Athletic Director Michael Lynch. “It provides a convenient opportunity in a convenient method for our alumni fans to follow Boston University [athletics].”

In BU’s fiscal year ended June 2002, gifts from alumni, family and friends totaled more than $90 million, according to the University.

The new video offerings include clips from BU’s athletic contests, game highlights and other sporting events. It will be free on iTunes and will be available about an hour after the athletic event ends. The BU Athletic department will limit the length of each download to about three-to-four minutes, but may make longer video available in the future.

“We wanted to keep it short and sweet, and build on that,” said Michael Giannopoulos, director of information systems, planning and support at Boston University. He said shorter content was a way to let BU sports fans get their feet wet and get them used to the technology.

Giannopoulos sees distribution of video through iTunes is an “opportunity for Boston University, which is a strong research institution, to take a leading role in technology to partner with other constituencies.” He noted that other universities like Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer coursework via podcasts, but said that no other institution at the University level has done video.

The first video content available on iTunes will be video highlighting Boston University’s 4-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts that took place on Friday.

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