The Marion Patriots Activities Network (MPAN) continues to grow, as does the interest in its product.
More than 50,000 viewers tuned in to 81 unique livestream events during the 2022-2023 school year. Those events included Marion High School athletic events, the 2023 graduation ceremony, national signing day, sixth-grade track and field day, and more.
MPAN broadcasts many Marion School District events that can easily be viewed at MarionPatriots.com or on the Marion Patriots Activities Network mobile app.
“It's incredible that so many people took time out to watch our broadcasts this past year,” said communications specialist Chuck Livingston, who produces, keeps stats, and provides play-by-play commentary of MPAN events. “The best part of what we do here is showing events to friends and family who may not be able to attend in person for whatever reason. It's a cool deal for the players and coaches, and it's really cool that people make it a point to follow what's going on here at Marion.”
MPAN just finished its sixth year as an organized factor of the Marion School District, and during that time it has won five Mascot Media awards recognizing it as one of the better school-run broadcast teams in the nation.
"The work we are doing with MPAN is an integral part of the work we do to tell the story of the Marion School District," said Dr. Glen Fenter, Marion superintendent. "Not only are these broadcasts a great way to spotlight our many talented students, but they are also a way for us to connect with our community. Over the years, we have made a considerable investment to make these broadcasts possible, and we are proud we are able to provide this service for our students, their families, and Patriot fans everywhere. Our team has a tremendous passion for what they do, and it shows in these broadcasts. We look forward to showcasing more Marion Patriot events in the months ahead."
MPAN enjoyed its most prosperous fall ever as record crowds enjoyed Marion's excellent volleyball and football seasons. Volleyball attracted more than 500 viewers six times last fall, including a combined 1,777 viewers for both state tournament games in Greenbrier.
Football topped the 1,000-viewer mark for every game in 2022, including five broadcasts of 2,000 viewers or more. Marion's 16-12 victory in October over West Memphis drew an MPAN record 5,989 eyeballs, while 3,246 people watched the Pats' thrilling 27-23 September victory over El Dorado.
“People really got behind our volleyball and football teams this year because they were so fun to watch and had great years,” said Livingston. “There were a number of close games too, so I think people stayed until the end a lot of the time.”
People stuck with MPAN as the calendar turned to winter and the sport switched to basketball. Patriot hoops averaged more than 600 viewers in the 2022-23 season, with 11 of the 14 conference games drawing 673 viewers or more. Basketball road tilts at Batesville, Greene County Tech, Paragould, and West Memphis were seen by 812 or more fans.
The numbers swelled in the state tournament in Pine Bluff as a mind-blowing 4,330 people tuned in for the Marion boys' opening-round victory over Greenbrier. More than 800 people saw the Marion girls slip Russellville in the opening round of their tournament run, and more than 1,800 people watched the girls beat Sylvan Hills and eventual state runners-up Lake Hamilton top Marion's boys in the quarterfinals. Almost 900 people watched the Marion girls fall to Vilonia in overtime in the semifinals.
Spring sports remained strong as well as 753 people watched Marion baseball and softball's doubleheader at Valley View and more than 700 people saw graduation in May.
The school year finished with a bang in June as MPAN's exclusive coverage of the Arkansas Xtra Innings Summer Baseball Classic drew more than 1,800 viewers over two days, including 1,008 for the first day of action.
The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, a seventh grade school, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www.msd3.org/ or call 870-739-5100.