If you have ever followed the LSU men’s basketball Twitter and seen tweets that read “new uniform drip” or “Waters is raining from three,” chances are LSU Sports Information Director Kent Lowe didn’t hit the send button on that one, but he does play an integral role in the ever-changing landscape of disseminating sports information and the expanding role of social media.
From working with LSU head coaches that has spanned an era from the days of Dale Brown to Will Wade and all the time in-between, Lowe has had to adjust to every aspect that has gone into being an SID here at LSU.
Lowe is a native of Shreveport and went to LSU-Shreveport’s campus for a degree in Communications before coming down to Baton Rouge for his Masters in Journalism — a time in the early '80s in which he recollects as, “the dark ages of the journalism school.”
Before becoming a part of LSU’s Sports Information Staff in August of 1988, Lowe’s road here is an interesting journey.
“I did a lot of everything to be honest with you,” Lowe said. “I worked at the newspaper writing stories. I was doing high school football on the radio. I did Centenary [College of Louisiana] basketball for a year, I did [Centenary] baseball for three or four years on the radio. My last six years in Shreveport I worked at the [Louisiana Downs] race track as first the head-writer, broadcast director, and eventually the PR director.”
The term ‘Sports Information Director’ can be pretty vague to people unfamiliar with the administrative side of college athletics. So what exactly does an SID do and how has that role evolved over time for Lowe?
“Sports information has kind of become a term that has faded from view, just because of all the things that are involved in it now”, Lowe said. “Obviously you write all the press releases about your team, all the publicity efforts that are going on, but now it involves social media, Twitter, Facebook. The technology aspect is amazing. I’ve kind of been drug, kicking and screaming into the twentieth century with it — twenty-first century I guess it would be now.
“You’re as much as the media, as the media now”, Lowe explains. “It used to be you fed everything to the media. You were hoping you could give them something that they would write, but I’m very old-school and very adamant about the fact that there is still a media-relations component to our job. We still have to provide the information for the media.”
If Lowe was a preacher, then the media guide would be his scripture.
Stored inside Lowe’s brain is an encyclopedia of LSU men’s basketball stats and facts like the gospel, and he could probably tell you off the top of his head the longest home winning-streaks for “The Cow Palace” [Parker Coliseum] and the PMAC.
“You have to have some point of reference for the history of your program”, Lowe adds on the importance having a media guide. “It’s very important. The ones that we printed up til this year, I have a big shelf with copies of every media guide from about the last 50 years.”
Covering and traveling with the LSU men’s basketball team can team can be very time-consuming, but Lowe still does find time to pursue his other passion of bowling. He’s not just your regular mid-week after-work league bowler, either.
In fact, Lowe won the Baton Rouge city championship in bowling last November in the singles division and is even a member of both the Baton Rouge and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame for bowling, not sports information.
“Very lucky. Just happened to bowl very good one particular Sunday afternoon when it counted,” Lowe says as he modestly deflects the praise. “I’ve been very fortunate to be put into the bowling Hall of Fame, but it’s more for my contributions. I’m not one who bowls one or two 300s of games.”
Lowe is very honored to be a part of each Hall of Fame but he doesn’t bask in the praise or let the city title go to his head. When you ask him about it he puts it in a humble perspective, “I’m a bowler who writes.”