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New UNLV AD Erick Harper tasked with reinvigorating fanbase

New UNLV AD Erick Harper will be "tasked with reinvigorating an increasingly tepid fan base amid a general lack of success within school’s two prominent revenue-generating programs: men’s basketball and football," according to Sam Gordon of the LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW. The basketball team has not qualified for the NCAA Tournament since '13, coincidentally the last year the football team had a winning record and reached a bowl game. Waning attendance has "limited revenue streams," though Harper in his introductory press conference yesterday did express "confidence in basketball coach Kevin Kruger and football coach Marcus Arroyo as they look to revive their respective programs." Harper did not "detail the specifics of his strategy," nor did he speak "specifically about pursuing membership in a Power Five conference -- noting that his primary focus for now is on the Mountain West." Harper said that he plans to "strengthen relationships between UNLV and the professional franchises in the market," listing the Raiders, Golden Knights, USL Lights, WNBA Aces, UFC and the Triple-A  Aviators (LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW, 1/13). Harper added that UNLV is "close to unveiling a new campaign to lure students to games by giving away electronics, swag and other items." In Las Vegas, Casey Harrison writes part of the campaign also may include "transportation to games" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 1/13).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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