Throughout the summer, SoonerSports.com will go "behind the team" with features on the support staff all across campus that help Oklahoma soccer succeed. First up is the SoonerVision staff that broadcasts all of OU's home games every fall.
Every fall, thousands of Sooner fans gather at John Crain Field to enjoy watching the Oklahoma women’s soccer team. But for the thousands more who aren’t able to catch the action in person, Craig Moran helps create a rare opportunity.
As the coordinating producer in SoonerVision, Moran assembles broadcasting crews that help OU’s soccer games reach even larger audiences through Sooner Sports TV powered by FOX Sports – a feature he believes has set the university’s program apart.
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a soccer program in which every one of their home games is on TV,” he said. “I just think it’s great to see those sports on television to help build that fan base and especially for the parents of some of the athletes that can’t really travel.”
The network’s programming is delivered through a variety of FOX Sports outlets including FS Oklahoma, FS Southwest and FOX College Sports.
Moran staffs nearly 150 employees, including around 100 students, in order to ensure that every position for the broadcast of a sporting event is filled.
At any time, his broadcasting crew may deliver a Sooner sporting event to 9 million in-state households or even nationwide.
“I think we present our teams with a great opportunity to expose themselves to not only this region, but across the country,” he said. “It really gives us a chance to show how well we’re doing and how great our facilities are because we have some of the best in the country.”
While Moran helps broadcast all OU sports through the network, he has a special tie to the soccer program after spending nine seasons as the team’s sports information director.
It was then that he gained an admiration for the program and enjoyed the opportunity to work with current head coach Matt Potter.
“I enjoy working with soccer just because it was a sport that I grew up playing so it really came easy to me,” he said. “And I really enjoyed working with Matt (Potter). He’s one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever worked with so it’s great to be able to show what he has done with the program and some of the kids he’s bringing in.”
With a background in playing the sport and serving as its sports information director, Moran is no stranger to the importance of increasing exposure for a collegiate sport that is often perceived as taking a 'back seat' to major sports.
“Sports like football and basketball already have that established exposure; you know they’re always going to be on TV and radio,” Moran said. “You come to soccer season and it’s during football so it’s going to be tough for them to compete, but TV is putting them out there and kind of increasing that exposure for a smaller Olympic sport.”
Now in his second year as the coordinating producer, the exposure Moran helps create for soccer and the rest of the university’s sports through broadcast makes the University of Oklahoma a model for other programs to follow.
“I think another cool thing about our network is that very few athletic programs have it, but a lot are starting to follow our model,” Moran said. “There are other programs that have them but when you look across the country and especially within the Big 12, we present a unique opportunity.”
Along with generating exposure for the program itself, Moran looks to heighten the fan experience.
“The goal is to provide a great fan experience if they’re here or even at home watching a broadcast,” he said. “We let the fans get to know the players better and encourage them to come out and watch them.”
With teams, recruits and fans in mind, Moran delights in the opportunity to share not only soccer, but the university’s entire athletic program with people across the nation.
“We just really get to show how great the University of Oklahoma is,” he said.
Writer: Cecily Tawney