K-State Media Guides Serve Multiple Purposes

K-State's Pinstripe Bowl media guide was voted second in the nation.

Aug. 3, 2011

By Mark Janssen - K-State Sports Extra

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Officially, the books are still called media guides, but in media circles they're known more as recruiting guides.

In reality, both terms are correct as Kansas State's media guides are designed "to reach three different audiences," according to K-State Athletics Communications Director Kenny Lannou.

1) Individual sport programs from a recruiting standpoint

2) Media members that cover the Wildcat program

3) Fans that receive the guide as a coffee table-type donor piece for a certain level of financial gifting

"We take great pride in our publications because everything about them is produced and designed in-house," said Lannou, whose staff includes Ryan Lackey, Randy Peterson, Tom Gilbert and David Wiechmann. "A lot of schools out-source the covers, if not portions of the entire book, but ours are done 100 percent in-house from the cover design, to the layout, to all of the writing. We take a lot of pride in that."

The product is award-winning, as in 2010-11 Kansas State guides for men's and women's basketball, volleyball and the Pinstripe Bowl were voted second in the nation, while the football media guide placed fifth. The cover to the Pinstripe Bowl Guide designed by Graphic Designer Ron Cook placed first.

With NCAA rules in place for all other areas of today's athletic department, that includes the area of communications, or sports information.

Media guides can be no more than 208 black and white inside pages, plus the availability of four-color processing on the outside and inside covers. It was within the past decade that at least one school within the Big 12 had a football guide that numbered nearly 600 pages before legislation was put into place.

New NCAA legislation this year allows a coach to only give a prospective athlete a web link to the department's website to view the 2011-12 media/recruiting guides. Last year an assistant coach could give a recruit a CD of the media guide, and a number of years ago a coach could actually give the printed version of the book to a prospective athlete.

Another change in the area of sport guides comes in what schools are choosing to print.

K-State will print between 4,000 and 5,000 guides for football, plus men's and women's basketball, which are sold through the ticket office as well as provided to Ahearn Fund members at certain donation levels.

For all other publications, Lannou says, "We'll continue to produce a combination of printed supplemental guides featuring bios, stats and a record section for the media and broadcasters to use while also enhancing the on-line coverage of our 16 teams at k-statesports.com with more video and recruiting content."

The production of the football media guide is a year-long activity starting with updating the records section and bowl section immediately after the season, in addition to the bios of returning coaches and players.

"It's just more efficient to do when the information is fresh on your mind," said Lannou, who is assisted by Lackey with the football publication. "Some schools have completely removed the statistical and record sections from their guides, but we feel, as the historians of the department, it's important to uphold our responsibility in that regard. They also serve an important role in helping the media cover our teams."

Another phase comes with the February signing season when bios of all new recruits are collected. The summer season completes the book with additional bios with late-arriving Wildcats, plus penning the preseason expectations.

The football guide carries a July 1 deadline so it will be ready for the Big 12 Conference Media Days, which were held this year this year on July 25-26.

Covers of the media guides are coordinated with the department's schedule cards and television commercials to develop a consistency of messaging to K-Staters.

During the Bill Snyder era, in more years than not, the K-State football helmet has been featured on the cover as opposed to individual players. Headlining Darren Sproles as a cover boy in 2004 was an exception.

This year's inside covers feature highlights from the New Era Pinstripe Bowl and six Wildcat players currently in the National Football League.

The back cover again features the helmet look with decals giving the basics of K-State's 12-game schedule.

FUNNY TRUE STORY: It was in the late-1970s that sports information director Glen Stone entered his football guide in a national contest. The judges basically disqualified the guide from any type of top placing because they indicated he had forgotten the school's bowl history.

Hmmmm ... at that time K-State had no bowl history. The school's first ever postseason appearance wasn't until the 1982 Independence Bowl.

FYI: K-State's 2011 football media guide is available to the public through the K-State Athletics Ticket office. Fans can come by the office at Bramlage Coliseum or call 1-800-221-CATS. Guides cost $20, plus a $5 mailing fee.

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