princetonbasketball.com 2012 fundraising appeal
Welcome to this year's princetonbasketball.com fundraising message. Hard to believe it is already October, which means practice starts up in less than two weeks and the season follows in just shy of 50 days. We're gearing up for comprehensively covering another year of Princeton Tigers basketball!
2011-12 was a good season for both the Princeton basketball program (20 victories, several marquee non-conference wins, a postseason triumph) as well as this site. We were able to again provide thorough, expansive, fully independent eyewitness coverage while criss-crossing the country to take in 38 different games. This number reflects 30 separate Tiger contests as well as games of teams from the Carril Cradle.
The annual crowing: princetonbasketball.com editor Jon Solomon has covered the Tigers' last ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY CONSECUTIVE IVY LEAGUE GAMES in person. We've also been on-hand for every Princeton postseason game since 1983. With princetonbasketball.com you're reading a source you can count on for consistent, knowledgeable, reliable coverage that puts current events in historical context.
princetonbasketball.com continues to be your best location for keeping track of the Tigers that many of you know as your sons, brothers and grandsons, your friends and your classmates. If you're not subscribing to our site, you're not getting the full Princeton basketball experience.
If you have given to the site in the past, I hope you will renew for another season! Old memberships expired on October 1st, 2012.
New members can sign up here for immediate access.
Remember, all of our postgame audio, all archived video and all weekly interviews are available only to princetonbasketball.com donors. You also need to be a donor to comment on articles, read full recaps, read full posts, post in our forums (more on that in a bit!), contribute to Q&As and access daily news links.
For the second straight season, we're setting a membership goal during this campaign. A counter sits on the right side of the site so you can see how many fellow fans you're interacting and commenting with by being a part of the princetonbasketball.com family. By subscribing to princetonbasketball.com you're joining a network whose membership includes many collegiate coaches, national sportswriters and multiple former Ivy League Players of the Year. In 2011-12 we signed up 261 unique members. For 2012-13 that goal has been upped to 275.
It is a fair concern that times remain tight financially and you may be reluctant to sign up for our subscription content. As the editor of this site, all I can do is promise you, as a fan of Princeton, the Ivy League and/or one or more of the many schools we report on, that I will work tirelessly (and often sleeplessly) to bring you the most comprehensive news and insight available.
I want to assure you I'll cover more Princeton games in person than any other beat reporter.
I guarantee you that I'll report on games to which no other area reporters will travel.
I promise you I'll stay up late crunching numbers and doing research to answer your statistical questions and bring you numerical analysis that isn't available elsewhere.
I'll spend hours upon hours cutting audio, scanning images and editing photographs to bring you exclusive multimedia content all year long.
In addition I will go see recruits in person to provide first-hand observations on their skill sets.
I'll go out of my way to talk to the high school coach of every Princeton recruit (and most of their AAU coaches) for exclusive interviews as soon as verbal commitments are made.
I'll even make restaurant recommendations, provide travel tips and offer hotel suggestions off-site (if asked).
Since last year's appeal and now I penned 505 separate posts!
All of this for less than $1/game, plus you're going to get thorough coverage of the entire Carril Cradle of coaches: Princeton, Georgetown, Richmond, Northwestern, Fairfield, Oregon State, Denver and Mercer County Community College.
New for 2012-13: This is big. The last month has been spent working with a developer to tackle your suggestions of site improvements. I am thrilled to report that the following major and minor site changes are now in place:
-All audio on the site now will play on your iPad or iPhone. This was the number one member request and it has been solved!
-You can now navigate to the Previous Post and Next Post at the bottom of each post, plus peruse five Related Post suggestions per piece.
-Increased site security will make it harder for non-subscribers to poach links we've tracked down, making membership all the more vital.
-The "Please Login" issue that popped up every time you "liked" a post on Facebook is no more! Click "like" and your friends will see the proper title of the story you enjoyed.
-There is now a princetonbasketball.com FORUM! Check it out here. Four boards for starters - General Discussion, Recruiting, Ticket Exchange and Off-Topic, though I am open to suggestions of further divisions. You'll need to be logged in to participate but now you can talk amongst yourselves in a different fashion than just using the comment field under a specific post. Long overdue! Avatars for everyone!
Here is what we did during the 2011-12 season and what you can expect to see again this year:
Weekly Interviews: princetonbasketball.com produced a weekly interview program that featured a new in-depth discussion with Coach Mitch Henderson 21 times over the course of the year. We took you from the preseason through a two-part extended summer conversation, looking back at the previous week's games, previewing upcoming contests and talking about the state of Princeton basketball. This show also offered you a forum to ask Coach Henderson your questions. We hope to tape similar interviews again this season.
Daily News: Each morning a post appeared on the site with links to that day's articles from local and national papers. If it has been published on-line, we've found the article and passed it along to you - and we're not just posting every article that mentions "Princeton" and "Basketball" in it to pad our post count.
Premium Postgame Content: This past season princetonbasketball.com provided you exclusive on-site postgame audio from Coach Henderson and select players after all 32 of last season's games. We gave you the scoop from Raleigh to Lewisburg to Princeton to Albany to Hanover to Evansville (oy, that drive to Evansville), including all 14 Ivy contests. For the two non-conference games we could not attend in person, Coach Henderson called us for exclusive audio.
You could also read detailed same-night recaps of all of the season's games, along with full box scores, exclusive HD box scores with great statistical detail and cumulative team and player statistics. We're planning to cover a minimum of 27 of this season's 28 regular season games in person, with statistical previews for each opponent on game day.
Exclusive Audio: In addition to postgame interviews and our weekly interviews with Coach Henderson, princetonbasketball.com also had bonus streams of Coach Henderson's portion of the Ivy League's preseason and midseason media teleconferences. We recorded press conference audio prior to the Evansville and Pitt CBI games plus full court coverage of Princeton's annual Media Day and pre-Spain practice.
Recruiting News: Phew. What a year! Seven different high school prospects committed to Princeton during the last 12 months - Hans Brase, Mike Washington Jr., Edo Lawrence, Hashim Moore, Steven Cook, Pete Miller and Spencer Weisz. We talked to each of their high school (and sometimes also AAU) coaches for detailed profiles. We provided pictures and video of players you had only heard about and were able to confirm rumors of commitments long before this news reached print media. In the spring, full updates on each member of the 2012 recruiting class were posted containing new information provided by Brase, Washington Jr. and Lawrence's high school coaches.
Game Previews: Expanding our pre-game coverage in 2011-12 beyond statistical comparisons, the Know! Your! Foe! series became a regular feature. On 24 different occasions we talked with reporters and bloggers who covered Princeton opponents to get their perspective on these teams.
Articles and Analysis: In addition to the daily news, there were numerous exclusive interviews and features written for the site that only donors had access to. Kareem Maddox and Marcus Schroeder were the subjects of Q&As on the site. We talked to Luke Owings before and after his first boxing match.
Those are just the interviews. There were other pieces to enjoy such as 19 questions for 2011-12, Eight teams, eight games to watch before Thanksgiving, looking at the performance of Jeremy Lin vs. Princeton, how Top 25 teams at Jadwin had faired, 19 answers from 2011-12, the 21 Best Quotes Of The Pete Carril Era and the First-Annual Year End Site Awards!. After the regular season Princeton's postseason chances were frequently reviewed and updated. As soon as the CBI pairings were revealed we had a quick Evansville primer at the ready.
As if all of this wasn't enough, we continued to offer +/- statistical analysis of Princeton at several junctures during the season.
The Tigers' shot selection and Stats from Spain were compiled and analyzed. A Tale of the Tape comparing Doug Davis and Kit Mueller's career statistics was prepared. Both pros and cons of the upcoming season's schedule were discussed.
We also let you know dates and opponents for the majority of Princeton's non-conference games this season even before the official press release came out.
The Epic Works: These were long retrospectives on a specific theme. A multimedia piece with text, audio, video and still photography about Princeton's endless close games at Harvard, looking in detail at the last four times Princeton played NC State, Rutgers: Past, Present, Future, the recent history of Rider and 12 years of season openers.
Alumni Updates: You'll always be kept up-to-date on the professional basketball (and baseball) careers of former Tigers through princetonbasketball.com, even those players playing in foreign ports of call. This year princetonbasketball.com tracked Judson Wallace in Spain, Mason Rocca in Italy, Dan Mavraides in Greece, Konrad Wysocki in Germany, Kareem Maddox in the Netherlands and Pawel Buczak in Poland. All but one of these alums also wrote a piece for our first-ever Dispatches from Europe post. Our coverage also included Sean Gregory's work for Time Magazine, Chris Young and Will Venable's respective careers with the New York Mets and San Diego Padres and David Blatt's coaching successes on the international and Olympic levels.
Gameday Photographs: Thanks to your donations, we were able to bring photographer Stephen Goldsmith into the fold six years ago, providing readers with exclusive photographs of the Tigers in action. Stephen's images helped further enhance the Princeton basketball experience for those who were unable to see the games in person. Last year Stephen and Robert Solomon combined to shoot 25 different games for the site, including joining forces one evening for double duty in the regular season finale versus Penn. Solomon was also recently on hand to snap images at practice prior to Princeton's Spain trip.
Schedule Sync: We're the only web site to offer an iCal schedule you can sync with your computer's calendar. It has details on every Princeton, Georgetown, Northwestern, Richmond, Fairfield, Oregon State, MCCC and Denver game. Select which teams you want to follow or subscribe to them all!
Social Networking and New Media: We've fully embraced new forms of communication. This season we used Facebook and Twitter as ways to enhance site content and alert you to updates on the site before, during and after games. We offer the most comprehensive list of future, current and former Princeton players on Twitter. I think it is fair to imagine we will be using Instagram to capture many small details of the upcoming season.
From the Vaults: As princetonbasketball.com covers the present and looks to the future, we made sure that the past was not forgotten. We continued to scan stacks of old schedule cards, trading cards, programs and media guides. A chance encounter with David Zeft allowed a treasure trove of vintage 1980s and 1990s photographs to be seen for the first time.
Videos: Hundreds of videos (including every conceivable angle of Doug Davis' shot to send Princeton to the NCAA Tournament) are always available to donors by clicking on the site's Video category. This past year saw the addition of an unflinching documentary on Howie Levy at Mercer County Community College, Mack Darrow's buzzer-beater at Rider, Ian Hummer reaching 1,000 points for his career and Davis passing Kit Mueller for second all-time in scoring at Princeton.
Seniors On A Stick: We continued this Jadwin Gym tradition for the final home game of the season, honoring last year's seniors. Did you wave a poster saluting Doug Davis, Patrick Saunders or John Comfort? Another princetonbasketball.com production.
Going the Extra Mile: Subscribers in the Boston area were offered discounted admission to the reception Bob Ruxin puts on after the Harvard game and access to tickets for a sold-out affair. We'll be posting a link soon for members to get Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival passes at a reduced rate. We answered your questions at games and responded in great detail to subscriber observations and comments off-site.
Fifteen years in, princetonbasketball.com's basic level of access continues to remain free, but it costs money for us to operate and manage this web site on a daily basis. Covering the Tigers has gone from a hobby to nearly a full-time job between October and May. To make all of this possible, princetonbasketball.com relies on your donations to cover our expenses of web hosting and reporting on the games we all care about so deeply.
Anyone making a contribution of $30.00 or more this season is entitled to a season-long password for individual access to donor-only content. Donations above that base level are welcomed and go to offset operating expenses and travel costs.
Current high school, college and graduate students can gain individual access to princetonbasketball.com's donor-only content at the reduced rate of $15.00 for the season. Contact us directly for a coupon code.
To sign up on-line and become a new donor using our secure payment portal, click here.
If you are already logged in and want to renew a subscription using your old login/password combination, click here.
Please email us if you have any difficulties whatsoever signing up or are more comfortable paying by check.
I welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas about what you would like to see on princetonbasketball.com in the future. If you haven't subscribed in the past but are a frequent visitor to the site, I'd love to hear from you and see what I can do to make you a member. I want you to be able to take full advantage of all princetonbasketball.com has to offer.
Being part of this community and the extended Princeton basketball family remains my genuine pleasure and I can't wait to bring you coverage of all this season's games.
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