The Purdue volleyball team has found a new avenue for promotion and analysis: podcasting.
“Dig City,” a podcast hosted by volleyball play-by-play commentator Daniel Gillman, is a half-hour bi-weekly show focusing on everything Boilermaker volleyball.
Two episodes of the show have already been broadcast, one featuring head coach Dave Shondell and the second featuring freshmen players Ava Torrance and Maddie Schermerhorn.
“It was a lot of fun,” Torrance said of her time on the show. “I like Daniel a lot, he’s really easy to talk to and having that experience with Maddie was a lot of fun.”
The episodes are organized and planned by Gillman, with cooperation from the team.
Shondell was unable to comment on the production of the podcast, saying it was all handled by Gillman. He does have some say in the production, but most of the details aren’t in his hands. The show takes the format of an interview, with Gillman asking questions and starting conversations about a variety of topics.
“We talked about our teammates, how much we enjoy the freshman class, how hard preseason has been,” Torrance said. “He asked about what food we would take on a desert island, that was funny.”
Shondell talked at length about the purpose and inspiration for the podcast, citing a desire to raise volleyball’s profile in the public consciousness.
“Social media, including podcasts, is a way that volleyball is able to get the word out,” Shondell said. “One of the reasons I think volleyball has blown up in this country is because of social media. We don’t rely on print media to promote our sport, we’re going to make sure we do it ourselves.”
Shondell also expressed a desire to educate the program’s fans about the sport.
Prior to the beginning of the podcast, the program held a “situation room” every Saturday before games. Season ticket-holding fans would gather in Holloway Gymnasium and be briefed by the team about that night’s opponent and what to expect from the game.
Other programs are also getting swept up in the podcast wave. Within West Lafayette, Purdue Athletics and BoilerBall both host campus-based podcasts. In addition, SB Nation’s Purdue blog Hammer and Rails hosts a podcast.
After the debut of Dig City, other university volleyball podcasts have apparently cropped up.
Shondell also sees the podcast’s potential impact in the larger world of sports journalism. In an era dominated by sports talk radio and televised talking-head shows, podcasting can carve itself a niche.
“People are enjoying the opportunity to drive in the car and listen to podcasts or to sit at home and listen to podcasts as opposed to reading a book or watching TV or whatever else you might do,” Shondell said. “If you like volleyball, you can scroll down and listen to different volleyball podcasts.”
The podcast’s episodes are available to listen on SoundCloud under the PurdueSports handle.