Tuesday's news conference announcing the partnership of Towson's football and men's basketball programs and CBS Radio was attended by several school officials and some radio executives at the station's headquarters in northern Baltimore.
Towson athletic director Tim Leonard hopes that the broadcast of the regular-season games for the football and basketball teams for the 2014-15 year appeals to a much larger audience.
"This really establishes Towson University as Baltimore’s university," Leonard said. "We’re the college sports program of this market, and we’re excited to formalize this partnership so that we can be perceived and put our brand out there, because it certainly strengthens our brand as well as broadens our audience."
Broadcasting the Tigers’ regular-season games fills a void for CBS Radio, which dropped ESPN programming in December 2012. Dave Labrozzi, the vice president of programming, said the station was also drawn to the success of the football and basketball programs.
“We’ve been watching Towson for a long time, and we love what the coaches and programs have done and the timing of this was perfect for all parties involved,” he said. “Towson needed a voice, and we were looking for great local programming. We thought it was a perfect fit and a perfect time to make a partnership.”
Towson football coach Rob Ambrose was proud to see his alma mater get a chance to extend its reach throughout Baltimore.
“It shines the spotlight on all things Towson,” said Ambrose, a 1993 graduate. “Everybody has known what a great school that is and what I could always be athletically, but now there truly is a spotlight and now a voice and a sound on the radio that goes to signify how strong the community is, how strong the institution is, and how strong the metro area is sports-wise.”
Basketball coach Pat Skerry said joining CBS Radio affirms the school’s emergence.
“We’re on our way up,” he said. “Under Tim and his staff’s guidance and leadership, we know the sky’s the limit. When you can win in football and men’s basketball, everybody can gain. That’s the goal. No one’s going to put more pressure on Rob and myself to get that done.”
The football and men's basketball programs reached school records in wins in their most recent seasons. The football team went 13-3 last fall and reacged the Football Championship Subdivision final, where the Tigers fell to North Dakota State, 35-7.
The men's basketball team compiled a 25-11 record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament before losing to Murray State, 85-73.
Leonard said the agreement pays homage to the work that Ambrose and Skerry have done.
“I also think that this validates the great work that coach Rob Ambrose and coach Pat Skerry have done,” he said. “They have turned around some programs that haven’t been nearly as successful as they have been lately and made the name that is something that is a hot commodity – something that people want to be a part of, want to know about. So it just validates the great work that they’re doing.”