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Local businessmen chronicling high school sports titles

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Few events create community spirit and memories like a high school sports state championship.

So,  using videos and photographs to capture the jubilation and chronicle a season on a collectable DVD seemed obvious to three Indianapolis businessmen with strong sports backgrounds.

They’ve produced two such DVDs so far—one on the 2011 Carmel 5A football state championship and another on this year's Loogootee single-A basketball state championship, with plans for more.

The DVDs, which sell for $20, are the creation of Ray Compton, Mike Jansen and Bob Lovell.

Compton has operated Compton Strategies, a local promoter of high school basketball and football events, since 2006 and previously held executive marketing positions for the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Ice.

“We took the ESPN style, where you do interviews and highlights, and they really came out nice,” Compton said of the DVDs.

Jansen owns Praxis Media Group, an audio and video production company, and is the public address announcer for the Colts.

Lovell is a former IUPUI men’s basketball coach and athletic director, and currently hosts the Indiana Sports Talk radio program that airs on Network Indiana on Friday and Saturday evenings.
 
Compton is the marketer charged with locating sponsors for the DVDs, Jansen is editor and producer and Lovell is the narrator for the content. So far, the effort has been more of a labor of love than a money maker.

Methodist Sports Medicine and Indiana Members Credit Union helped underwrite the Carmel football video, and six local businesses backed Loogootee’s story.

Compton declined to divulge advertising rates but called them “very fair.”

So far, the videos have been sold at local chambers of commerce, local businesses and at the schools. The group is considering an online distribution channel.

For Carmel-based Methodist Sports Medicine, supporting the Greyhounds’ 54-0 pasting of Penn was “a no-brainer,” communications director Dick Rea said.

“It was a natural fit because our main location is in Carmel, so we do see a fair amount of traffic from the Carmel community,” he said. “It was just our way of congratulating them on a great season.”

About 50 hours of editing and production was involved, using footage from both the schools and the IHSAA.

The Carmel DVD was finished in about two weeks and was ready for sale around the holidays. Sales, however, failed to meet expectations. Less than a few hundred copies were sold.

“They’re a lot of work right now and not making huge money, but we all like doing it,” Jansen said. “And we’re going to keep doing them until we say, ‘hey, this isn’t working.”

The trio is hoping the Loogootee DVD, which has been available in the southwestern Indiana community of 2,700 people for about two weeks, will sell better. They need to sell at least 200 copies to break even, Compton said.

Compton said Loogootee's story is a prime example of why the IHSAA adopted class basketball in 1997.

The state’s four-class system has proven unpopular with some basketball fans, but, “when you see how engrossed this community was with the state championship, you become a friend of class basketball,” Compton said.

Loogootee defeated Rockville, 55-52, to win the state title.

The three are unsure how many high school sports DVDs they might produce in the future, but they are considering a piece on the New Castle Fieldhouse. With 9,325 seats, it’s the largest high-school gymnasium in the country.

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