Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

I've mentioned this before, but I have a LOT of discount packages available for folks who still have college email addresses. I work with a lot of schools, some who use Extra Points as a textbook or classroom discussion supplement. Others buy bulk subscriptions across their athletic department.

Once I get a critical mass of subscribers from a particular school, I set up a 50% discount code that ANYBODY affiliated with that school can use. To see if your school is listed, check out the full list here.

University discount or not, now is a great time to sign up to get the full Extra Points experience. Paid subscribers get four newsletters a week, some lovely Extra Points stickers, AND access to our subscribers-only Discord server. You can subscribe today for just eight bucks a month, or $75 for the whole year.

Those subscriber fees help me heavily subsidize student subscriptions. They give me the money I need to pay for newsletter hosting, other subscriptions, and regular trips to 7/11.

They also give me the flexibility to work on other projects outside of just newsletters. The one I'm most proud of is our FOIA Directory. This landing page including itemized athletic budget data (FRS Reports) for nearly every single D-I institution, along with apparel contracts, multimedia rights contracts, and increasingly, coaching contracts. I'm adding to this landing page nearly every day, thanks in part to your contributions. And it's completely free.

Every t-shirt you buy, every subscription, heck, every supportive tweet, helps keep the lights on, keeps this independent media project going, and helps give me the bandwidth to build new features.

I'm still giving away some big prize packs once Extra Points clears 5,000 free subs. We're about 80 away. Next week, I'll share more info on what'll be in those prize packs, but I promise you, you're gonna want one.

Okay! Let's talk about the latest podcast, one I'm particularly excited about.

Let's talk about esports

More and more of the athletic and university leaders I talk to are interested in esports programs. It isn't because your sitting AD is a secret gamer...I can't say I've talked to any major leader who admits to playing any video games right now. It's because they've come to realize that esports can further many of the same university goals that an athletic department can.

Need to recruit more male students? Need to find new ways to retain and engage students on campus? Sure, you can start a football team. But it's way cheaper to start an esports program. Heck, not only is it cheaper, but in a year or two, your esports program could kick Alabama's ass, even if you're some tiny liberal arts college with a 2,000 student enrollment. That's not happening in uh, any other sport.

But with that rush of administrator interest, comes complications. Do university leaders know how to actually build an esports program? Can club sports officials help run these teams, despite the esports model being REALLY different from traditional college sports? Is this a real gold rush, or is it fool's gold?

To better understand, Bryan and I talked to Alan Ignacio at San Jose State. Alan helped found the esports program at SJSU, and cheerfully talked to us about all of those issues, along with:

  • How to improve equity and diversity in esports
  • How schools should define success with their esports program
  • Whether match fixing or gambling could become a problem in collegiate esports
  • Whether more money coming into the system is actually a good thing...and who really owns college esports anyway?

I learned a lot, and I'm excited to keep following along with this story. I doubt this will be the last time we podcast or write about collegiate esports.

You can subscribe to our podcast, Going For Two, right here.

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Thanks again for your support of Extra Points. If you enjoyed this newsletter, why not share it with some friends?

If you’d like to sponsor future newsletters or podcasts, or would like to secure a 50% discount code for your classroom, school or organization, drop me a line at sales@extrapointsmb.com. For article feedback, story ideas, FOIA tips, exciting rumors, hate mail and more, I’m at matt@extrapointsmb.com or @MattBrownEP on Twitter dot com.