05.21.2013Personal Tech

Verizon Helps Radio Stations Capture Kentucky Derby Magic



This is a guest post from Brent Turner, Promotions and Marketing Assistant for Summit Media Corporation in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Kentucky Derby may be known as the greatest two minutes in sports. However, the period leading up to those two minutes is known as the most exciting two weeks in Louisville. Beginning with the largest annual firework show in North America, Thunder Over Louisville, and including everything from bed races, boat races and the Pegasus Parade, the latter half of April in Louisville is filled with events rich in tradition and is full of life. With the world’s eyes on Louisville during this time, the media from all over the area needs to be able to cover each second of that week flawlessly. Verizon Wireless loaned Summit Media Corp. of Louisville several devices to help us cover these festivities. Summit Media owns four of the top radio stations in Louisville, one of which was the host station for Thunder over Louisville. Covering events during the Derby, for the most part, means our radio shows are broadcasting remotely from the studio. Reliability - both for the network and the devices we use during this time is huge.

Being the promotions and marketing assistant, as well as one of the social media captains, I have a ton going on and much of it is time sensitive. I need to be able to take clear pictures with a device and post them instantly on our social media sites. Out of all of the devices that Verizon loaned us, I used the Droid DNA the most. This device made my job easy and helped make our group of stations social media content leaders. We often have giveaways for tickets, prizes, etc., on our social media sites as well, so I need to monitor these sites fairly often without having to wait for information to load. The 4G Mobile Hotspot was also an essential device for Summit Media during Derby - it allowed everyone to have wireless internet access on their computers. When we were broadcasting from Churchill Downs on the backside of the track, this device allowed us to have internet in the middle of a field, which is amazing to me.

Some of the apps that I relied on while using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 were the Facebook Pages Manager (to monitor each station’s Facebook page), Twitter (to post live tweets from Churchill Downs during Derby and Oaks, which is a famous race that takes place the day before Derby) and the Comrex ARC (to make wideband connections to Comrex hardware codecs).

On top of the reliable devices that were loaned to us, Verizon also brought in a boost of their 4G LTE network during Thunder over Louisville, the Derby and Oaks. They did this by bringing in COWS (cells on wheels) and COLTS (cells on light trucks). With thousands of people coming to Louisville from all over the world during this week, most people would expect some delay on their mobile devices. Verizon helped ensure that this would not happen.

Which horse was my pick for the Derby? I bet on Revolutionary across the board. I also bet on some other races, eventually leaving the track $25 ahead!

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