And a new Podcast on the Brink to ...
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Big Announcement plus Interesting IU-Purdue Notes (and Pick 'Em!)

This show has come a long way in five years. 

The audience has grown far, far bigger than Andy, Ryan, or I could have imagined when we recorded our first episode after the Stony Brook game back in 2011.

By the way, in case you're curious, our average audience for Big Ten games is 2,107 viewers/listeners per game -- combining live viewers, on-demand viewers, and podcast listeners. (And that doesn't account for everyone who is listening live now on WXVW 1450 The Sports Buzz in Louisville.)

Back in that first season, we were excited if 20 people listened. :-)

So thank you. 

Thank you for helping The Assembly Call grow and carve out its own small (but significant) niche among the many IU basketball media outlets. 

We love being a part of your IU basketball experience, and we really appreciate the opportunity you give us on the podcast and in these emails to share our IU hoops thoughts with you.

And inevitably, as an audience grows, especially when the audience is as engaged and responsive as you guys are, something else happens too:

Other people and businesses want access to that audience.

Which leads me to the big announcement ...

Big Announcement: We have accepted our first sponsor

It's just a trial run, so nothing is long-term yet, but ...

We are excited to announce that SeatGeek is the first official sponsor of The Assembly Call.

They reached out to me last week, I talked with them on Wednesday, and we decided to do a four-episode test of a 60-second sponsorship on The Assembly Call.

Interestingly, they also reached out to Alex Bozich about sponsoring Podcast on the Brink. (I'm not sure if they know I host both shows.) Alex decided it made sense to do a test run there too.

And really, the decision was simple for POTB and The Assembly Call: this is a win-win-win for everyone involved.

It's a win for SeatGeek, because they get exposure in front of a very passionate niche audience that is right in their wheelhouse. Many of you go to games and go to concerts, so you're ideal potential customers.

It's a win for us too, because SeatGeek is paying us $50 per episode during this four-episode test run (keep that number between us, if you would). That is money that we can put toward costs like the CoverItLive chat and maintaining this email list.

Plus, Andy, Ryan, and Will work their tails off all season long ... I'd love to be able to send them a little bonus at season's end. Umm, again, keep that between us. ;-)

And, very importantly, it's a win for you too. We wouldn't have said yes to the sponsorship if we didn't believe so.

A sponsorship like this basically means that SeatGeek is paying us to have access to you for 60 seconds each episode. We've worked hard to develop our relationship with you, and to build trust, so we wouldn't put them in front of you if we didn't think it would benefit you.

Andy and I both use SeatGeek, so we can vouch for their service. In fact, when we bought Will's tickets to the IU-Minnesota game, we used SeatGeek to get them.

And, not only are they paying us each episode, but they are offering you a $20 rebate on your first ticket purchase. 

The details are as follow:
  • Download the free SeatGeek app (or go to their website)
  • Go to the Settings tab and click ‘Add a promo code’
  • Enter promo code ASSEMBLY
  • SeatGeek will send you $20 dollars after you’ve made your first ticket purchase
And no, sending this email was not a part of the sponsorship deal, but I felt we owed it to you to let you know this was coming.

Plus, if you're looking for last-minute tickets to the Purdue game, I wanted you to be able to get your $20 back!

So ... that's the announcement.

You can expect the SeatGeek ad to come after our opening around-the-horn segment that starts every show. That's the spot where we've been promoting the email sign-up. This will take the place of that, at least for now.

We're excited, and we hope that it's a relationship we can continue into the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament, and on into next season, so long as it continues to work for all three parties.

And this would not have happened without you.

Again, thank you.

We never take you for granted.

Because without you we're just three old guys and a college kid talking about their alma mater's basketball team. ;-)

But with you, we're part of a global conversation about one of the most storied and supported sports programs in the entire world: Indiana basketball.

Hell yes!

And speaking of Indiana basketball, there's a fairly big game coming on Wednesday night ...

Who ya got? IU or Purdue?

Don't forget to submit your pick. You can do so here:

The race for first place in our second annual Big Ten Pick 'em Challenge is about as close as the race for the Big Ten title. (Maybe Steve will lose at Penn State or Minnesota and make it a major logjam in first place ... )

New episode of Podcast on the Brink with Chronic Hoosier

We recorded a new episode of Podcast on the Brink on Thursday afternoon.

If you're looking for something to help you kill an hour between now and Saturday, this episode should do the trick.

The great Chronic Hoosier joined me and Alex to discuss the current state of your first place Indiana Hoosiers as well as look ahead to the big game on Saturday night.

Enjoy. :-)

New gear up on the site (inspired by Kentucky hate!)

You know about the Assembly Call coasters.

And you may have heard about the Assembly Call hoodies.

Well now, because of an email I received this morning, we have a new addition to the Assembly Call Gear page.

Here was the entirety of the email:

"Please start selling more gear. I married a Kentucky fan, so it would be great to see her drinking out of an assembly call coffee mug."

Ask and you shall receive!

You have two choices for mugs: the full logo and the text logo.

Here is what they look like:

Assembly Call Logo Coffee Mug

Assembly Call Text Logo Coffee Mug

A portion of the proceeds (between 20-25%) for all sales of Assembly Call gear go to the support the show.

A few interesting odds and ends about IU and Purdue

And to close, here are a few random stats I came across today:

Purdue has the much-hyped defense, but the Boilers are giving up 1.005 points per possession (unadjusted) in Big Ten play, which is 4th in the conference. Indiana is giving up 1.002 points per possession, which is the third. 

Something will have to give: Indiana is 14th in the conference in turning it over (20.1% of possessions) while Purdue is 14th in the conference in forcing turnovers (13.2% of possessions). 

Purdue is actually better when Caleb Swanigan is off the floor -- by a margin of 0.16 per possession. The Boilers are better, however, when Ryan Cline is on the floor -- by a margin of 0.23 per possession. Swanigan gets the hype, but the Hoosiers better locate Cline when he steps on the floor. (Credit to Luke Winn for this stat.)

Robert Johnson has been much better over the last five games. How much better? Consider these splits:
  • First 9 Big Ten games: 5.4 ppg, 22.7 2FG%, 31.4 3FG%, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 2.4 topg, 1.5 A/TO
  • Last 5 Big Ten games: 11.8 ppg, 60.0 2FG%, 39.2 3FG%, 4.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.6 topg, 1.9 A/TO
This has been a big reason why Indiana has been able to win with Yogi struggling to score. RoJo will need to have another solid night on Saturday for the Hoosiers to notch another big win at home. (Hat tip to Alex Bozich for these numbers. Read all of his 5 takeaways from IU-Nebraska here.)

That's it, that's all I've got.

Have a great Friday, and we'll talk to you Saturday night after IU-Purdue!

Jerod Morris (IU '04)
Host and co-founder
The Assembly Call
Copyright © 2016 The Assembly Call, All rights reserved.

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