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16 Nov 2017

Maximizing Your Social Content Over The Holidays Whether or not you sell consumer goods, the holiday season is a great time to engage with your fans where they’re at - online! The holidays are often about shopping and socializing which means that many people turn to social media for gift ideas and engaging with (or let’s face it, sometimes we just look in on) our family and friends. As you carefully plan your holiday content, consider these tips to make your campaigns rise above the rest: Know your fans Who are they… Read More >


The season of giving will be upon us before you know it! This time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in holiday shopping, parties, and all things indulgent. To balance that out, get your co-workers together to give back and help those less fortunate enjoy a happy holiday season.  Here are some ideas on how you can get involved: -Race To Feed Our Veterans: Join Meals on Wheels Spokane on November 12 for their 5th Annual Race To Feed Our Veterans. Whether you choose to run, walk, or volunteer – you&rsqu… Read More >


MarCom Mumblings: 10 Ways to Get More Out of MarCom There are lots of reasons to be a part of MarCom: the programming, the food, the networking, the getting to come in late to work one Friday per month… But MarCom is so much more than a delicious breakfast and a marketing presentation on First Friday. It’s a club. It’s a volunteer opportunity. It’s a community organization, and you have something unique to contribute. Personally, l am an introvert, most comfortable working behind the scenes as a graphic … Read More >


The Wetzel Report: Crisis Communication - a timely topic indeed! Boy have there been a handful of crisis’ happening recently; just a few examples I can think of off the top of my head: NFL protests, Equifax data breach, and the two hurricanes. Each of these events have caught my attention in more ways than one but I have also been keeping a keen eye on how information has been communicated to the public. Let’s look at the Equifax data breach, more specifically the phishing website that was tweeted via a link to the p… Read More >


25 Aug 2017

Where did summer go?!” Each year I continue to be surprised at how fast time passes by and yet here I am again, shocked that our neighbors are back in school starting next week! I hope you have had a relaxing, fun and rejuvenating summer spent with friends and family. With September less than a week away, this means Spokane Regional MarCom Association is back in action! Our board has been busy prepping for another wonderful year of educational programs for you. One big change this year is our breakfast location, if you have been a … Read More >


24 Aug 2017

MarCom Mumblings: Welcome back! Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! Emily Easley Past President Senior Account Director, DH Welcome back, MarCom members!  It’s hard to believe that another glorious Pacific Northwest summer has passed us by and we’re ready to dig in to the 2017 – 2018 MarCom programming year! I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about this year and what’s to come! For the fall stretch alone, we’ve got programs from Washington State University’s Murrow College on ethics in communications, Vi… Read More >


Make your intern feel welcome by developing an on-boarding program that outlines your expectations of him or her, their duties and responsibilities, and how their work will be evaluated. Be sure to give your intern a tour of the company and introduce them to other employees especially those they will be working with. Interns who feel welcome and included tend to perform better than those who don’t.   Provide meaningful and practical tasks that will help your intern learn and grow while contributing to the company. Consider… Read More >


Three Key Components to a Successful Event   Planning an event can be stressful to say the least.  With many moving parts, individuals to assign tasks to and a room full of peers, it is a big undertaking. There are so many areas of the event to double and triple check to make sure everything runs according to plan. Here are my top three key components to a successful event.   Atmosphere: Creating the right ambiance is essential to the event as a whole. The minute your guests enter the room, they’re i… Read More >


15 Feb 2017

I’ll be honest. I’m not a football fan. To me, the Super Bowl was about a live Lady Gaga concert (which slayed BTW) and the ads. There are high expectations. Each 30-second spot costs an estimated $5-5.5 million—an unfathomable amount of money. For that big of an investment, I guessing you really want your spot to make a statement. You need something that will get shared online the day after the big game and that people will talk about. This year, funny wasn’t enough. The biggest, most talked about ads were ones w… Read More >


Hi, I’m Marcus Marketeer and I’ve won more SPARK awards than anyone in history. How can I say that so confidently? Well, since I’m fictional, my record can be basically whatever I want it to be. Anyway, back to the point, you could say I know all there is to know about the SPARK awards, so MARCOM asked me to give you some pointers on how to set your spark entry on fire! Basically, fire needs three factors to burn, and so should your entry: fuel, heat and oxygen. Let’s break that down. Fuel (RESULTS) Here&rsquo… Read More >


MarCom Mumblings:5 Business-Charity Collaborations When businesses and charities partner together, everyone wins. The company gains goodwill. The charity gains exposure and income. Large corporations often have matching gift programs, doubling the donations their employees make. Volunteer grant programs couple valuable resources: employees give of their time while the company provides funding to the charity of choice. In addition to bolstering a company’s reputation, charity partnerships tend to strengthen morale and employee happiness. “If you make your company a positiv… Read More >


President's Message: Philosophy of Web Development December’s breakfast meeting is one I’ve been looking forward to for weeks now. Jesse Pierpoint, Creative Director for Seven2, will be speaking with our group about websites and online content creation. For a medium that’s constantly evolving, this topic couldn’t be more relevant and ripe for discussion. Leading up to the discussion, it got me thinking about some of the core philosophies any web development process should include: Research. Before developing a new website for your organization, make sure you d… Read More >


20 Oct 2016

MarCom Mumblings: Holiday Gift Guide Your boss just walked in and asked how the client holiday gift ideas are coming. You break into a cold sweat realizing that the email she sent you is at the bottom of the endless list you’ve been working on for the last six months. Thankfully, the phone rings and she steps out of the office and on to other things. You blast out a quick email to your promo guy and all is right in the world. Let’s face it, we all procrastinate in different areas and client gifts are no exception. Below, you’ll find a few ideas to help you… Read More >


Public events are an integral part of shaping and honing your organization’s perception within the community (or communities) it serves. Not only does it provide goodwill, but top of mind is an important marketing strategy, and one that we never take for granted in the financial industry. The financial institution I work for has locations in many small local communities, so one of the ways we give back is by offering free shred days to everyone, members and non-members alike. These events allow us to meet lots of potential members … Read More >


23 Sep 2016

President's Message: The Fab Collab Another season of MarCom is underway and I couldn’t be more excited about what this year holds for our members! As you heard by now, starting this past summer, the Spokane Regional MarCom Association, PRSA Spokane and AAF Spokane created an informal collaboration. We like to call this collaboration the “fab collab.” Whether you’re a designer, a director of product marketing, or a crisis communications lead, we understand the value that integrated programming across the marketing-communications spectrum can pro… Read More >


MarCom Mumblings: 6 Reasons We Enter Spark Awards It’s not too early to start thinking about which 2016 projects you want to enter in the Spark Awards next spring! If you’re not sure whether you’ll participate, here are some reasons our organization chooses to enter each year. 1. It Makes Us Measure the Outcome of Our Work This may seem like a no-brainer for some, but it was a real aha moment for me. The first time we entered the Spark Awards, we were a bit blindsided that we wouldn’t be judged purely on the quality of our product, but that we would need to qu… Read More >


17 Aug 2016

President's Message: Welcome Back! Can you believe it? Another summer has come and (is almost) gone. But for marketing, communications and advertising professionals in Spokane, it’s time for celebration. Why? Because the Spokane Regional MarCom Association is back in session! Networking, learning and most importantly, BACON, await us all at another highly anticipated programming year at The Lincoln Center. But before we pull out our power suits and business cards, let’s squeeze in the last bit of summer we can – MarCom style. Yep, that’s right! Tod… Read More >


17 May 2016

I recently was having coffee with a good friend of mine. We were discussing his new business venture and my job change. When he asked me, “Are you excited for your new job?” I contemplated my response. He looked at me and said, “You don’t like change much, do you?” Both questions felt too complex to respond with a simple yes or no. Because in order to embrace the new, I have to accept and let go of the past.   In chatting with friends, colleagues and mentors these past few months, it is clear that … Read More >


15 May 2016

It’s weird to think this is my last column. Our last breakfast meeting of the programming year is right around the corner. My year as president is coming to a close, and it’s gone shockingly fast. We’ve had some great programs, but other board members have done a much better job summing that up. Instead, I want to talk about why I’m so glad I got involved in this group. 1)      It’s a great network to have. I’ve met so many people through this organization that I always kno… Read More >


20 Apr 2016

The 2015 – 2016 programming year has been packed with lessons-learned across the MarCom spectrum. We’ve heard presentations on everything from public affairs and internal communications to reaching millennials and how to protect your brand. A lot of ground has been covered. With so many to remember, let’s take a look back at some of the presentations and key takeaway’s from this past year… September | Rise to the Top: Winning Support from Public Office Presented by Gallatin We learned how to win s… Read More >


I’ve been thinking a lot about the presidential election despite my best efforts to do otherwise. It’s not that I don’t care about the direction of our country, don’t get me wrong. I love politics. Washington, D.C. is just about my favorite place to visit. I watch Meet the Press every Sunday, and I watch the White House Correspondents’ Dinner like some people watch the Academy Awards. (OK, you caught me, I watch that too.) But this election cycle has been so very, very strange. The rhetoric has been getting … Read More >


14 Mar 2016

Years ago, I worked in a small office, and our executive director got very excited about Strengths Finder 2.0. You take a quiz, and it tells you what your top five strengths (or themes, as the book refers to them) are.  For the team I was on at that time, my director used it to modify her leadership style for each person and in making new hiring decisions.   It was a pretty interesting exercise. Though it didn’t surprise me that communication came out as my first strength. I mean, it was a relief given my career choice th… Read More >


14 Mar 2016

That $1 you paid for freelance design “I know there are some places overseas that can fix my logo for $5 but I want to stay local so I’m hoping you won’t charge too much more"        ~ A recent phone conversation with a potential client I’m a freelance design professional in Spokane. By most standards I’m nothing special. Every day I get up, drink some coffee, put on yoga pants, and then attempt to follow a monastic rhythm of prayer and work, with a heavy emphasis on the prayer part. And because I’m nothing … Read More >


16 Feb 2016

“We should create a viral video!” How many times have you heard that suggestion? We’ll just create something so clever, it will be shared a million times. Everyone will share it on Facebook, and we won’t even have to pay for advertising. That’s how it works, right? If only it were that easy. It doesn’t mean creating hype is impossible. But it takes effort, strategy and budget. I can’t wait to hear from our March speaker to hear how the Spokane Arena markets their big events. I’m sure th… Read More >


12 Jan 2016

I’m an obsessive list maker. I love a good hand written note that I can cross off for real. My life is full of scribbled on Post-It notes. It’s what works for me on a day-to-day basis, but obviously I need something more sophisticated for strategic, long-range planning. I’m excited to hear from our speakers at the February workshop. I’ve written many a marketing plan, but every organization does it a little differently. I’m always up for learning new ways to make a plan and think strategically, along with re… Read More >


05 Jan 2016

New Year! New You?

New Year! New You? By Stephanie Lilla, Spark Awards Judging Chair Happy New Year!  Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season; as we enter our first week back to the grind you may find yourself drinking an extra cup of coffee or pressing snooze on the alarm one more time. Many take this time to refresh, set new goals and work toward a better self.  Let’s run through how you can do this with your company’s marketing and communication strategy!   How can we avoid the content fatigue and attract the atte… Read More >


13 Nov 2015

We all know that if you can’t write well, you won’t be of much use in the marketing and communications industry. That’s why our profession is so important. The ability to communicate truthfully and effectively helps organizations immensely. Which brings me to the Calgary Mustangs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. The Mustangs are not playing well. In sports, that often ends with the firing of the head coach, which is exactly what happened. That’s nothing out of the ordinary, and the team issued a pr… Read More >


Communicating to your own staff often gets the short shrift. Sometimes you can be so focused on getting your message out to your customer, you forget that important audience of those closest to you. It might get passed between public relations and human relations. Maybe no one really has time for it. But we should make time and here’s why: Employees who don’t think they are getting information are disconnected and dislike their jobs. In a poll last year, it was found that the top three causes of negativity at work are all… Read More >


By Ronda Weaver, MarCom Sponsorship Chair One of the first things I do with new clients is a competitive audit to analyze what their competition is doing, especially as it applies to inbound and online marketing. This can help you discover new markets, provide insights into content that needs to be developed, and clarify your unique value proposition. Obviously this always starts with a few good google searches and a thorough review of known competitors’ websites. Not sure who your competitors are? Here are a couple tools … Read More >


Poor millennials. It seems lately this generation is the new cultural punching bag. They are seen as entitled, addicted to their smartphones and unwilling to pay their dues. The recent Saturday Night Live skit about millennials in the workplace touched on all of these:                    I’ll admit. I laughed pretty hard. I’m right on the edge between generations as I was born in 1981. Some charts classify me as a (much older) mil… Read More >


14 Sep 2015

The Myth of Brainstorming The Myth of Brainstorming (is it just a bunch of BS?) By Heather Berndt, MarCom Visual Communications Chair On a recent episode of On Being with Krista Tippett I heard something surprising about the brain. According to neuropsychologist Rex Jung, when it comes to creativity, brainstorming is one of the worst things we can do to generate ideas. I also learned there is plenty of research going back to the 1950s that supports his statement. Say what? As a graphic designer who has sat through many a mastermind session, hearing that a t… Read More >


Anniethology: Armchair Marketers and Social Media I think we’ve all experienced the well-meaning but often misguided armchair marketer. I can’t be the only one who has had to bite her tongue at, “I like to make my own posters in Publisher.” Or “I do a bit of writing myself.” You don’t say? Look, it’s great you took a design class in college. So did I, but I’m not a designer. Just like psychology 101 doesn’t make me a psychologist. The area of marketing and communications that is now the worst for this phenomenon is social m… Read More >


MarCom Mumblings: Working With Uncle Sam The first MarCom breakfast features Gallatin Public Affairs talking about government affairs. In my two main jobs as a professional, I have been able to experience work in government relations and have come up with what I believe are some good tips when it comes to working with local, state and federal governments. Here they are, in no particular order: Know thy enemy There may be opposition to what you’re asking the government for. After all, government work involves public money. There may be naysayers and skeptics. Cas… Read More >


To relive the awesomeness of this past year, here are a few tidbits and tricks from MarCom's expert presenters:   1. Cause marketing campaigns must tie to the company's brand and values in order to work. Three panelists - Eric Dahl with Crowdswell, Jessie Wuerst with Avista, and Keith O'Brien with Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery gave us insight into aligning for-profit and nonprofit organizations, how to track success, and when to walk away from partnerships.         2. … Read More >


It’s 2015, and life is a lot different than, say, 2000, or 1995, or any year prior to 2005. That’s because our lives are now more public than ever, thanks in large part to the Internet and easier access to information.  I’m not so sure that’s always a good thing. We now publish things online – in public – that we used to say in friendly circles. There are many tales of people getting fired for what they post online, but there are also tales of people being fired for what they say in other … Read More >


10 Apr 2015

Last month, Starbucks made news because of its “#RaceTogether” campaign, which aimed at starting conversations about race relations in America. A bold campaign like this is sure to gain criticism, and this one sure did. But why? Why would a global company like Starbucks be criticized for wanting to simply have discussions about race relations? What’s wrong with that? Here’s why: Because Starbucks is a coffee maker, not a comparative ethnic studies class. Here’s what Tai Tran, a social media marke… Read More >


As one who works in technology, I’m often an early adopter searching out the latest tools, tricks and tips. In addition, working solo, I like finding tools that make my life easier. So, I thought I’d share a few favorite helpful websites and apps! Graphics Canva -  Definitely not a replacement for a fabulous graphic designer, but great for making up simple graphics for social media, blog posts, and other one-offs Pixlr -  Web-based version of photoshop Placeit -  Can enter a screenshot/videos onto v… Read More >


The Scene: Beware of Automated Social Media Feeds Here at WSU Spokane, we are currently working to redesign our website. One feature we are considering is a feed of Instagram photos that use the #SpokaneCougs hashtag. These photos with that hashtag would be featured on a page under the “Student Life” umbrella. It’s a fun way to connect with current and prospective students and is something that we’ve studied from other universities. But while this all seems like a good and fun idea, we must think about any unintended consequences. We can’t make this… Read More >


MarCom Mumblings: Preparing for a job interview By Jonathan Manfredonia, MarCom Internship Chair Do your research! Employers don’t just want skilled candidates. They want to hire individuals who want to work and will thrive in their organization’s culture. By doing the right research beforehand, you can confidently demonstrate your interest in the company and make sure they’ll have no reservations about hiring you. Beyond just knowing the basics of what services the organization provides and who their customers are, you also want to show that you’re awa… Read More >


Our next breakfast program on emergency communications couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Last month, a perceived threat hit the WSU Spokane campus – where I work – and I was thrust into emergency communications mode. Thankfully, the threat was taken care of in a reasonable amount of time, without incident. But my team and I learned some things about emergency preparedness, and although there were no communication hiccups, there were still lessons to take away. Without providing too many details –… Read More >


Those pesky millennials, with their eyes on their phones all day. How can companies and organizations reach them? I don’t know all the answers, but being a millennial myself, I know nostalgia works. As a child of the 90s, I love it when I get to harken back to the days of Ace of Base, Saved by the Bell, SNICK and Super Nintendo. That’s also why I’m a big fan of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Fallon does a tremendous job of slipping in 90s references, subtle or not. This Full House sketch reminded me of … Read More >


08 Jan 2015

By Annie Gannon, MarCom Programming Chair and Vice President There are a lot of questions you don’t want to get while you’re at the doctor’s office. Especially when you’re nine months pregnant. So when the nurse practitioner looked at my blood pressure cuff and asked very seriously, “Are you still working?” I felt nothing but panic. Of course I was still working. Where do you think I was headed after this quick checkup? I had three weeks until my due date, a new employee starting that day and my tr… Read More >


The Spark Awards: Judging Updates for 2015 It’s that time – the 2015 Spark Awards are right around the corner! Whether it’s an individual project or a campaign, group up your best work from 2014 and submit it for the chance to receive a snazzy trophy and recognition from the regional marketing and communications community. Entry packets will be due on Wednesday, February 18. We’ll have our annual drop-off party at Dean Davis Photography (216 W. Pacific Ave., Suite 102) from 4 – 6 p.m. The Spark Awards Ceremony will take place on April 22 at the Spoka… Read More >


12 Dec 2014

I can’t tell you how, but I was able to get my hands on a copy of Santa’s Naughty List for 2014 (let’s just say I know some elves up north). It is meticulously indexed and separated by industry, which is weird. I flipped through the “Marketing and Communications” chapter and found some unsettling things. I won’t name names, but it gives you a good idea of what not to do, lest you want to upset Santa. So here is a sampling of some marketing and communication tactics that could land you on Santa&rsqu… Read More >


MarCom Mumblings: Planning a Nonprofit Event PLANNING A NONPROFIT EVENT By Barbara Comito, MarCom Events Chair Here’s an irony – an introverted homebody writing a blog post about how to throw the perfect party. Full disclosure: I have an aversion to party supply stores, crowds, small talk and anything resembling a game. I’m bad at organization. I don’t decorate, and I’d much rather put on PJs and cuddle up with Dickens than don a little black dress and heels or mingle with VIPs. Still, my fellow MarCom board members were adamant (tyrants!): the… Read More >


“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘faster horses.’”        - Henry Ford Henry Ford, as you might recall, developed the first affordable automobile. It changed our way of life and is – in my opinion – one of the two greatest inventions ever (the other being the personal computer).  That quote, though, flies in the face of what many of us do quite often: research. If Ford did research on what the public wanted back in his time, nobody woul… Read More >


17 Oct 2014

Today’s news cycle is a fast one. Is that a good thing? Yes and no. Marketing and PR professionals will someday be faced with a crisis, or some bad news from your organization. A fast news cycle pushes that bad news off the front pages sooner than in the past, for better or worse. But a fast news cycle also means your good news is pushed off the front pages sooner. That’s why it’s important to be precise in getting the attention of your audience and being creative so you keep that attention. And sometim… Read More >


16 Oct 2014

Last month I had the great opportunity to travel in Europe for three weeks. Work was the vehicle that got me there (big thanks to HOTSTART!) so it's only fitting that I glean some knowledge from the experience that will hopefully make me a better employee. Here are some highlights of the trip (just to make you jealous ;-) ) and some insights I learned from stepping WAY outside of my comfort zone. The work still has to get done: The main reason for my trip was a trade show in Hamburg, Germany. Trade shows are probably 40% of what I do… Read More >


12 Sep 2014

The Scene will take a look at the marketing and communications industry each month, analyzing campaigns, providing opinion and allowing readers to be informed and enlightened. September 15, 2014 We all know decision-making is a valuable skill in the marketing and communications industry (or any industry, really). A good, smart and strategic decision can do you and your company or organization a lot of good. A bad, shortsighted decision can cause it all to hit the fan. You decide what to tweet, what reporter to call, who to h… Read More >


“Cause Marketing” is the topic for our first breakfast of the new MarCom year.           That got me thinking about some other “Cause Marketing” campaigns I’ve come across, and one in particular.     Recently, the Internet has been flooded with videos of folks dumping ice cold buckets of water on themselves. They’re doing this to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease in the … Read More >


I love MarCom programs. Each one has a few golden nuggets I can take back to my company to help with internal communications, our social media strategy, or how we market ourselves. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from this past MarCom programming year. What was your favorite golden nugget?     1. People need to be prepared for change.             Ketti Mulrine with IKEA taught us about the importance of being intentional when communicating changes that a… Read More >


17 Apr 2014

How to Be A Good Client (and Agency) How to Be A Good Client (and Agency) The art of the client/agency relationship By Kelly Fry, MarCom Membership Chair   Agency creatives and account staff (whether it be advertising, public relations, design, etc.) earn their living building brands, implementing campaigns and coming up with “The Big Idea.”   But without clients, an agency is nothing but great lighting and fancy computers. A good relationship results in stronger brands, satisfied partners and loyalty. A bad relationship causes hear… Read More >


17 Mar 2014

By Annie Gannon, MarCom Events Chair Whether it’s an auction for hundreds or a small board meeting, planning an event can be stressful. But it can also be a great way to show off your organizational and leadership skills in a very public way. To make sure it goes smoothly, here are six tips for a successful event: 1. Don’t assume anything. This goes for every vendor you’re working with, regardless if you’ve worked with them in the past. They can’t read your mind. Be very specific about how you want … Read More >


18 Feb 2014

by Jennifer Van Eps, Marcom Visual Communications Chair Producing beautiful, award-winning designs is tough. The quality of a piece, whether print or web, is closely tied to the quality of the message you’re sharing. To reach your target audience effectively, clear input and direction from a client to the designer (either internal or external agency) will result in the best end design. Here are a few tips on WHAT NOT to say to your graphic designer as a client. Follow these and you’ll be on your way to Spark Awards f… Read More >


08 Jan 2014

#WINNING

How to write an award-winning entry With the entry deadline for 2014 Spark Awards just around the corner (February 19), we know you’re all diligently working away, crafting eloquent entries that will dazzle our judges. Or…maybe you haven’t even started thinking about it yet. Well, whether you’re putting the final touches on your entry or just getting started, we wanted to share a few tips and tricks to developing an award-winning entry so you can be #WINNING at the ceremony on April 16. Here’s what we t… Read More >


13 Nov 2013

Spark Awards Judging Updates for 2014 Creating an awards show that fairly and accurately represents the best marketing and communications work throughout our region is a tough task. This is what the Spokane Regional MarCom Association has always strived to do through the annual Spark Awards. We are so fortunate to have such an engaged membership that provides thoughtful feedback about the Awards show, giving us ideas on how we can improve the judging process, scale and awards distributed to make them the best they can be. In the spirit of continual improvement, the board… Read More >


11 Oct 2013

Be a great manager to your interns You expect great things from your interns. Remember how much they impressed you during the interview? Just because they’ve been hired doesn’t mean your work is done. As an intern manager, here are some tips to make your interns have a rewarding and career advancing experience with your organization. Overcome first day jitters With an age gap and odd, part-time hours, it can be difficult for interns to feel like they’re a true part of the team. As their manager, you can offset the inherent intern isolationism by crea… Read More >


ESPN Faces Competition from Fox Sports 1 By Kevin Dudley, MarCom Programming Chair (Ed. Note: Hey, this is MarCom’s inaugural blog. Let’s have some fun!)       When a new competitor is born, companies better have a game plan ready. Take, for instance, the battle between ESPN and the brand new Fox Sports 1 network.     First, a brief background:     As you may know, ESPN dubs itself, “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” and that is probably true. Until the NBC Sports Network debuted in Janu… Read More >