Most Indiana high school shows depend on advertisers.
Although it has advertisers, Indiana SRN – the state’s largest high school sports webcaster – is funded primarily through school subscriptions and donations.
âI tell our schools that there are two ways to fund this. You can fund it directly from your budget or you can fundraise on your own, âsaid Indiana SRN President Jerry Collins. âWe’ll take your advertisers and put them in place. Most of the other competitors rely on (pizzerias) and car dealerships and that sort of thing.
The upside is that if the school collects more in advertising dollars or donations than the cost of the membership, it can keep the difference, Collins said.
Keith Meyers, a resident of Lawrence, is the founder and vice president of Indiana SRN, based in Lawrence, who is 13 years old.
âWe did Internet radio before anyone even thought of it,â Meyers said. “I think we were one of the first Internet radio networks in Indiana.”
SRN originally stood for Sports Radio Network, but the main focus is now webcasting. Meyers therefore said the company only used initials. This is the fourth year that SRN has webcast.
âPeople want to watch it more than listen to it,â Meyers said. âWe still have probably 25% of our games on Internet radio with schools like Frontier and Traders Point. We have an average of four football games on Friday night.
Then there are several broadcasts per week of soccer and volleyball games Monday through Thursday and Saturday in the fall.
Meyers said SRN’s primary sports are football and basketball, but noted that the company broadcasts web shows for almost all high school sports. It will add college football this fall when SRN begins webcasting the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Football Game of the Week on October 2.
Covenant Christian is the oldest client, having been with Indiana SRN for 11 years. Heritage Christian has been with her for five years and GuÃ©rin Catholic for four years. Traders Point Christian has been working there for three years.
âThese four schools are our pillars, but we are everywhere,â Meyers said, adding that some schools were renting the network for particular games.
âLast year with COVID-19 we did 348 games,â Meyers said. “The year before, we were in over 300 basketball gyms.”
Meyers said he serves as an advertiser on at least three webcasts per week.
Collins, a resident of Lawrence Township, joined us in 2013. Collins helped Meyers develop the webcasts.
âKeith takes care of the planning,â Collins said. âHe hires and trains advertisers. He takes care of the contacts with the schools, and he is our commercial. I maintain the website, I do the graphics, supervise the production teams and take care of the accounting and invoicing.
Meyers said there are 26 independent broadcasters working with SRN. Meyers estimates six have been with SRN for five or more years. Advertisers include Jimmy Cook, producer of Dan Dakich’s radio show on WFNI, and WIBC reporter Kurt Darling.
âBill Ludlow has been with me since day one,â Meyers said of the current Mt. Vernon broadcaster who has been calling high school sports for over a decade.
In addition to the games on SRN, Meyers said most schools also put the webcasts on their websites.
âOur slogan is, ‘We love to put the kids on TV so Grandma can watch Junior,’â Meyers said.
Contemporary Christian music for adults is available on SRN 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
âWe have reached over a million people in the past three years,â Meyers said.
New career direction
Prior to founding Indiana SRN, Keith Meyers was the athletic director of Horizon Christian School in the Geist area.
âWe were a pretty good basketball team and nobody wanted to play us,â Meyers said. âOne day I woke up and the Lord gave me a vision to start Internet radio. Our first client was Horizon, and Bill Ludlow and I made our games. We’re pretty good. One day he said, ‘Why don’t you stop and do this full time?’ “
Meyers said a large portion of the audience was at the game and would watch the replay.
âEvery game we make goes on our YouTube channel,â Meyers said. âOn Saturday mornings a lot of kids come back and watch the YouTube channel. This is where our numbers really increase thanks to our video on demand and our reruns.
Collins pointed out that coverage of Covenant Christian’s baseball games helped senior pitcher Brock Buckley secure a scholarship offer from Xavier University.
âHe was recruited because a coach watched one of his games on our webcast and started following him. Collins said.
To learn more, visit indianasrn.org.