The men’s swimming Big East Championship banner is not the only new piece of hardware hanging in the Arthur E. Imperatore Natatorium this semester. Thanks to Pirate Blue’s fundraising efforts, there is a brand new video board as well.
Pirate Blue is the fundraising organization for Seton Hall athletics. Each year it meets with coaches from all of the teams to see what their needs are and what can be done to improve their programs. For the swimming teams, it was time to replace the old leaderboard which was over 30 years old. What came out of the fundraising was the 9.6-foot by 17.5-foot video board now displayed.
The board is placed around the same spot that the previous scoreboard sat, on the opposite side from spectators. It gives the opportunity to display individual names on the leaderboard along with pictures, videos and slideshows during the meet. It also can show instant replays as well as graphics that will enhance the overall atmosphere of the Natatorium. In addition, social media links will be displayed, allowing spectators to be able to tweet and have their posts displayed along the bottom of the board.
“It’s great knowing we have the support of the administration and donors too,” men’s swimming head coach Derek Dapp said. “It upgrades our facility and everyone is getting excited about it because people are buying into what we’re doing.”
While there is not a meet taking place, the high-definition board will feature a slideshow of pool and recreation center hours as well as swimming and diving schedule updates.
Jay Judge, the associate athletics director for development, played a large part in spearheading the efforts to make this vision a reality. As a part of Pirate Blue, Judge talked to parents, who helped lead the way for the fundraising efforts and constructed the proper fundraising plan.
Pirate Blue received three large gifts as a cornerstone for the efforts and from there made large pushes to current and former parents and student-athletes for donations of all different amounts to reach their goal.
When the money was beginning to be raised, Pirate Blue went to the team, who was given five different options. After considering the different sizes and structures with the help of Colorado, the company that made the sign, they decided on the board that now stands in the Natatorium.
“We are beyond thankful to our current and former student-athletes, their families and our loyal Pirate Blue donors whose passion for our swimming and diving program made this videoboard possible,” Judge said of the fundraising efforts.“As a department, we are committed to providing a first-class experience to our student-athletes, and this new addition will enhance their practice and game day environments.”
You can see the new board in person at the swim team’s first home meet against University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Oct. 6.
Keith Egan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Keith_egan10.