Title: The Purple Podcast: Episode 251
Date: November 23rd, 2017
Length: 32 minutes
Hosts: Matthew Coller and Judd Zulgad
Extra: You can subscribe on iTunes and 1500espn.com
Let’s start with a scenario: It’s Thanksgiving Day and you’re a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan. Your team is 9-2 after winning a tough NFL North rivalry game in Detroit. You’re jacked up, your team looks like one of the best in the NFL and you want to consume audio that’s talking about the big win. However, it’s a holiday and some stations may be off the air. Where are you supposed to get your fill?
No, I’m not a Vikings fan, but I pondered this exact scenario as Matthew Stafford threw a back breaking interception to seal the fate of the game. That’s when I came across the Purple Podcast by 1500 ESPN. Along with their daily programming, host Matthew Coller puts out a 30-minute podcast centered entirely on the Vikings. Coller isn’t a one-man band, he’s joined, mostly, by either Judd Zulgad or Courtney Cronin. In this instance, it was Zulgad who co-hosted with Coller as they discussed the Vikings’ 30-23 win over Detroit, and how the quarterback situation will figure with the team’s hot start.
There are so many things I like about this podcast. First, let’s start with the choice of topics. Yes, I want to hear a general wrap up of the game, which should include the key plays, who played well, who played poorly and the implications of the win. Coller and Zulgad did that nicely and put a quick bow on things. However, I loved how the conversation was centered on the peculiar quarterback situation with the team. That’s one subject that every Vikings fans has a passionate opinion on and it draws interest and reactions. Smart move by these guys to recognize and appeal to what their listeners want to hear. It sounds simple, but it’s a mistake that’s often made by hosts.
Secondly, I love the timely manner in which this podcast was released. As a listener, I was able to consume the episode shortly after the completion of the game. Recording a 30-minute postgame podcast on Thanksgiving might not be the most enjoyable thing, but it’s instances like this that create a loyal following. It also feels fresher when you’re giving sudden reactions after the game. This particular episode doesn’t serve the listener near as much if it’s released the day after the game. Coller and Zulgad understand that and did a great job of getting the content out in a time frame that serves the listener.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, this is an awesome idea by 1500 ESPN. Maybe my commute to work only lasts 15 minutes and I live in the Twin Cities. I want to hear Vikings talk, but the Timberwolves, Big 10 football and other topics may be the talking points while I’m in the car. But by releasing the Purple Podcast, the listener is guaranteed to get quality Vikings talk in the manner they want to listen. Plus, it exposes another one of your employees to your listener base, as well as creating another revenue stream for the company. It’s a brilliant strategy that’s produced benefits for 1500 ESPN. And it doesn’t hurt that the hometown team is rolling.
I like the tandem of Coller and Zulgad. They feed off each other well and offer a balanced discussion. There’s not a dominant voice and both give equal takes on both the win and quarterback situation. The Purple Podcast gave me 30 minutes of solid, uninterrupted talk on the Vikings. That’s not easy to accomplish.
Also, I love the opening to the show. The production value is excellent and sets the tone for the beginning of the podcast. Though it may seem subtle, I’m a huge proponent of well-produced opens and closes.
The concept of Purple Podcast is a good one which I give 1500 ESPN credit for creating. Great topics delivered in a timely manner help make it a must listen for Minnesota football fans. If I’m a program director, I’m taking note of this idea and figuring out a way to institute it locally with my station. Checkmarks all the way around for the team at 1500 ESPN.