CWU Athletics

The new front-facing Wildcat logo used by the CWU athletic department, adorns the lobby floor of Nicholson Pavilion April 12, 2018.

Social media has been an everchanging platform, and Central Washington University graduate Chris Pribbernow (’15) has used it to his advantage.

Some CWU fans might be familiar with a Facebook page known as “CWU Crimson Committed”, or formerly known as “CWU Wildcat Nation”. It’s a page where news pertaining CWU sports can be found if that’s articles from various media outlets, photos, polls, discussions, videos, etc.

Pribbernow is the founder of the Facebook page which he created as a freshman at CWU in 2012. His aspiration was to create a spark in the community, something he didn’t see when in his first year as a student — specifically from the athletic department.

“I kind of saw they’re not that active on social media, at least at the time back then. I think a big part of it was we had an athletic director who was about to retire,” Pribbernow said. “… And so, I came on social media and they weren’t that active, they just would post recaps of the game.”

That was his motivation, a place to create hype and excitement about Division II Central Washington.

It’s drastically grew when he first created the page. It started picking up within the first year and today the page has over 3,400 likes. It was mainly word to mouth, but once CWU football parents concatenated with it, it spread vastly.

Not only are fans and parents following this page, but players, current and former, as well as coaches.

“I thought I can make a page where I can have a comprehensive source from articles from The Daily Record, The Herald-Republic, The Observer, kind of post photos and stats and polls and do things to get fans more involved,” Pribbernow said. “A lot of times, fans kind of learn things about players or about athletes that they never knew before.”

Pribbernow also created a Twitter account, mainly to follow potential recruits. In today’s age Twitter is where most student-athletes will post collegiate offers they received, who they committed or signed with, and video highlights.

Pribbernow used that to produce a recruiting list of the plethora of CWU football signees this past offseason. It showed more than where they were from, but accolades and a link to their film highlights.

“It’s something that can keep the fans involved more, and more informed,” he said. “… The fans kind of learn about the athletes before, instead of just looking at the roster and saying, ‘Oh, he’s from Seattle. Oh, he’s from Carnation. Oh, he’s from wherever.’ But not really knowing anything about him.”

SIDE GIG, NOT CAREER

Pribbernow clearly impressed current athletic director Dennis Francois. According to Pribbernow, in 2014, Francois offered Pribbernow a graduate position in the sports information department if he were to get into the masters program of athletic administration.

But Pribbernow wasn’t looking to get into that field.

“That’s just something I didn’t want to do as a career,” he said. “I love doing it as a hobby, kind of a side gig.”

He stays active with it, as well as being part of the conversations on the “D2 message board”. It’s a website that’s full of discussions on Division II athletics.

Albeit, the general dialogue is of main stream sports such as football and men’s basketball. And like Pribbernow’s Facebook page, it’s where most the likes come from – fans of football and basketball.

But he stays balanced as best as he can.

“I try and give some love to other sports,” Pribbernow said.

Pribbernow lives on the West Side, but will attempt to make a few football games and the famed basketball rivalry with Western Washington University.

He likes where CWU athletics is headed and doesn’t plan on changing anything with his Facebook page.

“I want to continue this page especially with the development and the upgrades to the football program and to the athletics department,” Pribbernow said. “I like seeing that their really busting on the recruiting trail for basketball, and they’re really trying to make these upgrades in trying to be one of the best D2 college athletics programs on the West Coast.

“So, I just want to continue to follow it. It’s fun for me to follow, and I’m just going to continue to run the page like I’ve been doing. And you know, keeping people involved and excited about sports.”

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