Smith and Fisher shoot for success: Two students pursue Magic media source

Smith+interviews+Magic+forward+Tobias+Harris+for+his+and+Fisher%E2%80%99s+blog.

SCOTT FISHER

Smith interviews Magic forward Tobias Harris for his and Fisher’s blog.

ELLIECLAIRE GORDON, STAFF WRITER

Before the Orlando Magic’s second all-time worst season, Juniors Jake Smith and Scott Fisher teamed up to create what has become a thriving blog.  “Orlando Magic Stuff” is a website, with corresponding social media sites, that discusses the highs and lows of each game, player, coach and more.  Smith and Fisher, both long-time Orlando Magic fans, have made it far enough with their blog that they receive press passes for every home game.

Last summer, Smith e-mailed the Magic Public Relations Department about getting the chance of attending media day over the summer.  The woman who e-mailed him back said that they needed to be 18 years old, but Smith and Fisher assured her that they were mature enough and aware that they would be in a professional environment.  They were allowed into the Magic’s media day and soon after given press passes to all of the home games.  Also, improving their website helped Smith and Fisher assure everyone that they were serious about their website.  The NBA had to approve it, so a man who works for NBA Digital offered to help them for free.  He gave Smith and Fisher a more professional logo and site background.

“My passion as a fan eventually made me want to talk about the team on a bigger platform,” said Smith.

Because of the Magic’s league-worst record in the 2012-2013 season, little competition for blogs on the team existed, steering more attention towards Smith and Fisher’s “Orlando Magic Stuff” blog.

“There are still thousands and thousands of fans due to the fact that the Magic are a professional team,” Smith said.  “While the audience might be limited right now as a result of the team being in the lower tier of the NBA, there’s still a lot of interest in the Magic.”

Press passes provide Smith and Fisher with a multitude of inside opportunities.  They attend the pregame and postgame press conferences, sit on the floor while the players shoot around before the game, and even talk to players in the locker room before and after the games.

For the duration of the games, Smith and Fisher sit in the media lounge section of the arena where they bring their computers to keep up with their website and social media accounts.  They have access to the media room, where there are work stations set up for the journalists.  Smith and Fisher concur that the best part about having press passes is speaking with players and coaches inside the locker room.

“We get to interact with the players and learn more about their personalities.  At first, interviewing them was a little intimidating, but now I’ve gotten used to it,” Fisher said.  “My favorite player to interview is probably Victor Oladipo, but Kyle O’Quinn is also really funny.”

Smith and Fisher both agree that at first, they were hesitant about interviewing the players and coaches.

“It was extremely surreal at first, just being in the locker room with guys like Jameer Nelson, Victor Oladipo, and the other players that we’re used to seeing on TV,” Smith said.  “They’re really just normal guys in the locker room who have made basketball their profession, and it gives us a much different perspective now that we’re able to see them in a backstage sort of way.”

The articles written vary from topics such as potential draft picks for the Magic to the feats of specific players on any given night.  They update their Twitter and Facebook accounts throughout each game, giving play-by-plays and opinions of the team’s strategies.  When they can’t attend home games, Smith and Fisher are given information from the Magic’s media-only Twitter account.

“When we are at the games, we can break the news when coach tells us or by talking to the players,” Fisher said.

Smith and Fisher have learned to take advantage of any free time they get for schoolwork.  On nights of the games, they spend seven hours at the arena.  In addition to that, they write articles and manage the social media accounts for “Orlando Magic Stuff.”

Both Smith and Fisher plan to keep up with their website even when they leave for college in less than two years.

Visit orlmagicstuff.com, “follow” @OrlMagicStuff on Twitter, and “like” Orlando Magic Stuff on Facebook to stay updated with the constantly improving basketball team.