Thunder web coordinator says OCCC helped him

His job requires running a news operation in a digital format, said Matt Bishop, website publications coor-dinator for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team.

He has to meet deadlines and race to get the story online before the competition.

He said his experience in journalism and broadcasting has been key.

“We like to provide the latest, most up-todate information on the Thunder and really bring in the fans,” Bishop said. “We are basically a newspaper online.”

The website includes stories of games, interviews, community appearances and programs the Thunder players take part in — complete with videos and photographs.

“We use a conservative approach on basketball,” Bishop said. “We do not trash talk other teams. We have respect.”

He then presented the website and navigated through different areas of interest.

One story showed three children who are up for adoption.

The Thunder players had met them and the youngsters got to hang out and watch the Thunder play.

Bishop mentioned different community involvements of the players.

“There is a lot of emphasis on health and education with children,” Bishop said. “They hold workout clinics at schools and hand out books once a week.”

He said his work group will be revamping the website this summer to look more like the National Basketball Association’s template, with six windows appearing on the homepage with headlines.

This will give an option for more sponsors.

“We have really grown with social media,” Bishop said,.“We now have a nationwide fan base and interactions when traveling to other cities.”

Thunder is gaining inter-national recognition with a Facebook page with 3.7 million likes, a Twitter with the popular use of #WeAreThunder and Instagram.

He said when the team’s rookie Steven Adams was drafted, the website and team support skyrocketed in New Zealand.

“We also have a Thunder Girl, Kei Hiarta, who has her own blog in Japanese with a big following,” Bishop said.

He shared experiences of traveling with the Thunder throughout the country, visiting cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Orlando.

“There is always something new,” Bishop said. “It never gets boring.”

He also recited the time Christopher Mintz-Plasse, best known as McLovin’ in the hit movie “Superbad,” wanted to meet Kevin Durant.

“He asked if he could just get a few words with him and my boss thought this was great,” Bishop said.

Bishop worked for the Pioneer in 2007. He received notice for an internship for KSBI during the winter break that year.

He recalls that he missed the opportunity by not checking his email over the holidays.

He said that he did not give up, on the advice of mass media Professor Gwin Faulconer-Lippert.

He made several phone calls until he finally was awarded a part-time job to work for Ron Matthews, Interactive Media and Publications website director, in 2008.

“I was only working five to 10 hours a week with the Thunder but hard work paid off,” Bishop said.

“I learned computer coding in the field, like HTML and CSS and became full time in 2010.”

Bishop, 28, a graduate of Newcastle High School, has accomplished all of this with an associate degree.

Graduating from OCCC in 2008, he now attends the University of Oklahoma where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

“You have to be driven and love what you do to succeed,” Bishop said. “That is your main skill.”

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