with Joe Kostiha, Assistant Athletic Director of Weatherford High School

What You’ll Learn in This Webinar:

How Assistant AD Joe Kostiha keeps a constant flow of engaging information on the Weatherford app & website, the role of the platform in creating community, the features that have contributed most to their success, Joe’s perspective on making content creation a manageable part of his daily routine, and much more! We also cover how our apps & websites can simplify how you get information out to your community.

Don’t have time to watch the full video? See below to check out the summary of questions that were asked during the webinar.

Joe headshot
Meet Our Guest Speaker

Joe Kostiha, Assistant Athletic Director at Weatherford ISD, draws from a rich background in diverse roles like Athletic Director, Head Football Coach Defensive Coordinator, and Special Teams Coordinator. He manages content for Weatherford's athletics website, leveraging the platform's ease of use to produce engaging content regularly.

Questions from the Webinar

In Joe Kostiha’s role as an Athletic Director, the collaboration with Mascot Media has been a noteworthy experience, with a special mention of the outstanding customer service that has proven instrumental.

Being an AD involves juggling myriad responsibilities, and Joe emphasizes the importance of collecting diverse content – from videos to photos. Joe underlines the teamwork aspect, conveying the idea that their website is akin to a newspaper, exceeding traditional subscriptions. The Weatherford Athletics website in the last month reached over 10,000 people. The significant contributions of Randy Cutshaw, the school photographer, are acknowledged for enhancing the website’s visual appeal.

Maintaining freshness is a priority for Joe, citing examples like showcasing a soccer game with captivating fog. A collaborative approach involves coaches, players, and parents in contributing images and videos. Post-game celebrations, such as featuring a Player of the Game, play a crucial role in injecting positivity into the content.

The website serves as a real-time reflection of events, scores, and outcomes. Starting each day with a check on the website and the Mascot Media CMS, Joe actively loads content, coordinates with contributors, and strives to ensure a dynamic online presence. While he can’t be present at every event, capturing content from the ones he attends contributes to a well-rounded representation of the school’s athletic endeavors.

Joe shares that Mascot Media’s user-friendly interface made his journey easy. Transitioning from a college athlete to a coach and teacher, Joe assumed the role of assistant athletic director. Recognizing the need for an enhanced online presence, Joe, despite having no prior experience and limited tech-savvy skills, found the learning process surprisingly easy.

Understanding the significance of social media, Joe upgraded his phone for better visuals and emphasized the importance of networking with coaches and even parents. Initially skeptical about concepts like “Player of the Game,” Joe witnessed its massive success on social media. Expanding such features, like Athlete of the Month, further boosted their impact.

Joe highlights the effectiveness of tying players’ names to articles and image sliders on their website for increased reach. The introduction of news sliders, linking articles to image sliders, significantly enhanced traction. Despite initial challenges, Joe’s dedication turned the process into second nature. Now, it’s part of his routine— even updating content after Friday night games and Saturday mornings.

With Mascot Media managing their sponsors, the process became streamlined, smoother, and surprisingly affordable, contributing significantly to the school’s positive impact.

In reflecting on the Mascot Media journey, Joe Kostiha notes that sponsors initially hesitated to join the program. However, as their numbers surged in the second year, sponsors eagerly sought participation. Now, in the fourth year, the program’s impact has surpassed the initial phase, emphasizing the importance of consistency.

Weatherford’s community, like many others, was initially slow to embrace technological changes, but gradually adapted. The introduction of ticketing through the platform faced skepticism but gained widespread acceptance over time.

From the outset, Joe’s approach was to highlight positive information about Weatherford athletics. Over time, he transformed the website into a community and school billboard, showcasing the positive aspects. The influx of population into Parker County, driven by its appeal, reflects the success of this strategy. Joe takes pride in the website’s role as a positive representation of the school, attracting athletes and contributing to the overall improvement of the athletic program and community.

In navigating the challenges of setting up the Mascot Media platform, Joe Kostiha emphasizes the significance of patience. Acknowledging his initial eagerness to make an immediate impact, he underscores the necessity of building up the website before going live, ensuring a thorough and professional first impression.

During the early stages, Joe sought guidance from Christian Brothers Academy in New Jersey, realizing the importance of community buy-in. Emphasizing consistency, he aimed to make Weatherford’s site a favorite among fans, parents, and the community. As the community embraced the platform, expectations grew, motivating Joe to consistently update content and meet those expectations.

Reflecting on the positive impact of Mascot Media, Joe highlights the convenience of having all resources in one location. The platform’s versatility, from ticketing to broadcasting, contributes to its success.

Joe also highlights the efficiency of managing camps through the Mascot Media platform. Running all camps via the site allows for seamless publicity, eliminating the challenges faced in the initial attempt with physical flyers. In contrast to the struggle of keeping traditional flyers updated, He finds it easy to share a link with elementary school principals, especially around spring break. This streamlined process not only enhances publicity but also contributes to the success of the camps, attracting more participants and subsequently raising more funds.

Joe’s commitment to keeping content fresh and engaging reflects his dedication to his school. Stealing moments throughout the day, he ensures the website remains updated and serves as a comprehensive resource for the community. The platform’s success, as per Joe, lies in its ability to centralize resources and have everything in one place.

Joe Kostiha emphasizes the value of utilizing the HUB for announcements within the Mascot Media platform. Despite being relatively new to technological tools, he finds the HUB to be a game-changer. Recounting a recent scenario involving weather-related cancellations, Joe explains how he leveraged it to communicate effectively with the community.

During adverse weather conditions leading to a schedule change, Joe created a timely announcement on the HUB. This announcement was pushed to everyone with the app, serving as a direct and immediate communication channel. The significance lies not only in the app but also on the website, where the announcement is prominently displayed. Joe appreciates the simplicity of the HUB, allowing for concise and effective messages. He highlights the importance of brevity to ensure that the information reaches and resonates with the audience, making the HUB a valuable tool for efficient communication within the athletic program.

Joe Kostiha highlights the seamless integration of e-ticketing within the Mascot Media platform, positioning it strategically between various features. He discusses the approach of publishing game tickets on the day of the event, except for varsity football, which goes live on Monday mornings due to high demand.

Emphasizing the simplicity of the ticketing process, Joe acknowledges the convenience for fans, particularly those who purchase season tickets. He appreciates the efforts to simplify the purchasing experience through HomeTown Ticketing and mentions the savings for fans with bundled deals. Joe acknowledges the initial resistance to online ticketing but underscores the necessity, considering the cashless trend at games.

The inclusion of QR codes on sandwich boards further facilitates the ticketing process, allowing easy access for attendees. Joe notes that while there was initial pushback, people have adapted to the convenience of online ticketing. The overall objective is to make attending games hassle-free for fans, consolidating all necessary information and functionalities within the Mascot Media platform.

Joe Kostiha highlights the financial impact of Mascot Media on their school, emphasizing that the platform is like a billboard for the school. He encourages schools to view the investment in Mascot Media as a valuable way to showcase their institution and reach a wider audience. Joe stresses the importance of recognizing the value in today’s dynamic and ever-changing world.

He expresses gratitude for having a supportive Superintendent and board who understand the significance of adapting to the current technological landscape. Joe believes that investments in platforms like Mascot Media are crucial for making a positive impact on parents, students, and the community. The success of attracting new students can contribute significantly to the financial sustainability of such investments, especially in a region like Texas where there is a high demand for quality education.

He discusses his approach to creating news articles, opting for simplicity and incorporating various stats, such as charges taken or rebounds, to highlight different aspects of player performances.

Joe notes the students’ interest in being featured as athletes of the month and appreciates their enthusiasm for recognition. He shares the experience of involving students in announcing games, turning broadcasts into productions with announcers, contributing to the overall engagement of students.

The focus is on the mobile app, recognizing that students primarily interact with the platform through their phones. Joe emphasizes the need to continually update the app to provide the best user experience and keep students engaged with the content — and that it’s easy because information from the website also appears on the app.

Joe Kostiha discusses the challenge of keeping content engaging during the summer months when there might be a lull in sports activities. To address this, he plans to enhance athlete profiles, particularly focusing on seniors and returning all-district players. These profiles aim to highlight key individuals, providing insights into their achievements and contributions to the team.

Additionally, Joe emphasizes the importance of creating news updates about former athletes who have gone on to play in college. By featuring success stories of former students, especially those playing at higher levels, he aims to maintain interest and engagement during the off-season.

He mentions that certain initiatives, like weekly reports, initially gained little traction but eventually became popular after consistent efforts. He believes that regular content updates are crucial to maintaining interest and driving viewership to the website.

Joe also shares insights into the significant improvement in their social media presence. By actively working to enhance their online visibility, they’ve experienced substantial growth in followers on platforms like Facebook. He attributes this success to a deliberate focus on making their website, social media, and other platforms first-rate, resulting in improvements each year.

**Denotes questions asked by the attendees