SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University Department of Athletics announced Friday that the Lions have entered into a partnership with Stretch Internet on a multi-year agreement that will solidify and enhance the University’s live streaming offerings of both video and audio broadcasts.
Stretch Internet is a familiar name to fans of the Lions as they helped launch the Saint Leo Lions AudioCast Network with audio-only broadcasts back in 2005. The original agreement allowed Saint Leo to expose a developing competitive product to a national audience through broadcasts using landline and cellular telephone technology. Since the original partnership, Stretch has expanded their offering into live video streaming featuring the Game Central portal, a place where Lions’ fans can access any and all game information within a single, polished Saint Leo-branded interface complete with on-screen graphics.
"As our coaches and amazing student-athletes strive to be the best in their respective arenas, we're striving to find the best ways to tell those stories and the best ways to connect our great university to the community and our national fan base," Saint Leo Athletic Communications Manager Evan Ortiz said. "Ryan Ermeling and the staff at Stretch Internet have continued to develop an excellent product and they have waited for an opportunity to again partner with the Lions. With the new technology, on-campus facilities and various partnerships, now is the perfect opportunity to develop a solid foundation towards all broadcasting mediums in the future."
As has been the case since the first broadcast in 2005, all video and audio streaming content will continue to be free of charge with added usability via mobile streaming to the Apple iOS platform - which includes iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices - and to Android and other mobile devices that support Flash. For the first time ever, archived versions of select sporting events will also be available, allowing DVR-style functionality to fans that can't watch or listen live. Additionally, the agreement allows for Saint Leo Athletics to upload custom media content like student-athlete features, post-game interviews and coaches’ shows as podcasts.
Complementing the focus on video streaming, the Lions will also continue to partner with the Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network as the company’s president, Rick Sassone, will serve as the play-by-play voice of Saint Leo Basketball, and Eddie 'The Eagle' Kenny will handle broadcasting duties as the voice of Saint Leo Soccer; in addition to broadcasts of numerous other Saint Leo Athletic events this year. Plans will also feature Stretch Internet broadcasts on the FM dial in central Pasco County with simulcasts through the University’s radio station WSLU.
"Adding Stretch Internet to an already amazing partnership between Rocket Sports and Saint Leo makes it an even better fit," Sassone said. "I can’t think of a better time, or a better opportunity to expand Saint Leo Athletics to a nationwide, and even a worldwide audience. This is an exciting move that will benefit Lions’ fans and alums alike."
Saint Leo Athletics boasts more than 325 student-athletes and 17 NCAA Division II teams competing from its University Campus location in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. All of the Lions’ teams compete in the nationally known and highly recognized Sunshine State Conference. Saint Leo University’s athletic success is not only prevalent in competition, but in the classrooms as well as it continues to produce Academic All-Americans, Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll representatives, and an increased number of annual President’s Club honorees.
Stretch Internet, based in Mesa, AZ, was founded in 2003 by a former college athletics media relations professional who saw a need to provide affordable, high-quality streaming to college and university athletic departments. Stretch Internet now works with nearly 300 colleges and universities, high schools and professional sports organizations. A devotion to utilizing the best streaming technology possible and providing a first-class presentation backed by the best customer support in the business have helped Stretch Internet become one of the largest streaming media specialists in the sports industry.
More information about Stretch Internet can be found by visiting the company's website at www.stretchinternet.com.