SPARTANBURG, S.C. – USC Upstate and ESPN Spartanburg have reached an agreement to have ESPN Spartanburg serve as the radio home for Spartan men's basketball games beginning in 2012-13, announced the Athletic Department and the radio station jointly today.
Upstate Athletics and ESPN Spartanburg have had an ongoing relationship with each other over the years, serving as the local radio affiliate of Spartan men's basketball early in the school's transition to Division I athletics. A shift in the station's broadcast offerings allowed for the station to bid on Upstate men's basketball starting this season and the bid was successfully awarded yesterday.
"Our agreement with ESPN Radio in Spartanburg heightens our marketing platform and gives our program the chance to be known by the people in this community," Spartan head coach Eddie Payne said. "With the increase visibility brought by our affiliation with ESPN Radio, we will have the opportunity to grow our fan base and get more people involved in our program."
"We could not be more excited about the opportunity to have ESPN Spartanburg as our home for Upstate basketball on the radio," said Mike Hall, Director of Athletics at Upstate. "The station has a long history of representing Spartanburg sports with a high standard of quality and we look forward to a strong and rewarding relationship with them."
In total, ESPN Spartanburg will broadcast 29 of Upstate's 31 regular season games this season, beginning with the Nov. 9 season opener at Saint Louis. The entire A-Sun slate of games will be aired this season. In addition, ESPN Spartanburg will serve as the radio home for Upstate in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament and any other postseason games.
The agreement between Upstate and ESPN Spartanburg is for one year and is renewable for two additional years, based on the provisions of the contract issued in the state procurement process.
"We are excited to be working again with Mike Hall and Eddie Payne," said Matt Smith, President of ESPN Spartanburg. "The USC Upstate program features a lot of people that we're happy to be involved with; from sports information director Bill English and his staff to the athletic training staff headed by Michael Sandago. And, it doesn't hurt that the team features players like Torrey Craig, Ty Greene and Ricardo Glenn. The Spartans have a home here with us and we think it is a great fit."
ESPN Spartanburg can be heard on 97.1 FM and 1400 AM, with the FM frequency extending into Greenville and Cherokee counties in the Upstate of South Carolina. The station is also the home of South Carolina Gamecock football and basketball. Despite being the home of South Carolina basketball, the schedule worked out where Upstate and South Carolina basketball games will be aired throughout the season. The station also broadcasts the Atlanta Braves, Charlotte Bobcats and Boiling Springs football games.