Long-tenured Alec Schimke is behind-the-scenes pro for Georgia Swarm
Director of Media & Lacrosse Relations
Schimke grew up in Minneapolis’ southern suburbs and attended Eastview High School, a Minnesota boys’ lacrosse powerhouse. Schimke wasn’t a lacrosse player in high school, “But I had some buddies who played,” he said. Schimke’s interests have always leaned toward the writing/reporting/public relations side of sports. He was part of the Sports Management Club at the University of Minnesota and spent a semester studying sports journalism and sports media at Oklahoma State University. Schimke was looking to land an internship while studying at Minnesota just as the fledgling Minnesota Swarm indoor lacrosse franchise was hiring college interns. That internship turned into a full-time position, and ten years and a franchise relocation to Atlanta later, Schimke finds himself as the organization’s longest tenured employee after co-owner John and Andy Arlotta.
While there’s little Schimke hasn’t done for the franchise over the years, he now finds himself overseeing the Swarm’s website and all of its public relations efforts, among numerous other duties. He works with a staff that includes digital media coordinator Zach Fletcher, graphic designer Michael Morgan and beat writer Ty Merrow. “We like to meet early in the week to map out what kind of content we would like to have,” Schmike said, adding that contest giveaways rank among the most successful content/promotions produced by the team. Currently, viewers can enter to win the “Ultimate Fan Experience.” The winner gets two on-the-glass season tickets, airline tickets and hotel accommodations to a 2018 road game, a personalized Swarm jersey and other apparel and exclusive player and behind-the-scenes access. “We have gone all out with it,” Schimke said. “We think a contest like this will also intrigue the non-lacrosse fan.” Speaking of lacrosse newbies, the Fans section of the site includes a Lax 101 page that is topped by a slideshow with 10 graphics depicting “Lacrosse Facts” such as there’s a 30-second shot clock to promote fast-paced action.
Schimke works to ensure content such as the game stories and video highlights are posted as quickly as possible on the site. “With our games, the postgame content is usually the most read content,” Schimke said.
The Swarm won the National Lacrosse League playoff championship in June, and website and social media traffic skyrocketed during the postseason run. “I couldn’t believe it, we had so much web traffic, so much social media growth,” Schimke said, adding that traffic swelled to five times the normal amount during championship-round games.