The PreP Sports has blossomed since its Orchard Lake St. Mary’s coverage evolved into a multisport and multilevel coverage team.

The PreP Sports has blossomed since its Orchard Lake St. Mary’s coverage evolved into a multisport and multilevel coverage team.

Photo provided by The PreP Sports

The PreP Sports cements itself as successful media team

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Royal Oak Review | Published September 21, 2022


ROYAL OAK — It was an idea based on an itch.

“The itch to get into broadcasting — and I hadn’t picked up a microphone till I was 30 — kept nagging me and getting at me,” The PreP Sports founder Chad Bush said.

As Bush found himself laid off during the pandemic, his mind went into a creative mode.

He had a sports background as a former Central Michigan football player and sports play-by-play broadcaster for the better part of 15 years with Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University, but Bush saw a new avenue that could build into something bigger.

“There was no chance this was not going to work,” Bush said.

Bush, an Orchard Lake St. Mary’s graduate, noticed how the pandemic was going to affect his alma mater and its basketball team heading into the season.

Bush felt that the high school athletes needed a chance at exposure, but they weren’t going to reach the usual viewers because of the pandemic. As Bush brainstormed the idea with St. Mary’s basketball coach Todd Covert, Bush’s plan came to fruition.

The Royal Oak-based media company set its sights on creating its name in the media industry, starting with the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 2021 basketball season.

“It was just the thought of going into basketball season, and my alma mater, Orchard Lake, has always been an interest of mine, so they really started it all.”

As Orchard Lake St. Mary’s started the 2020-21 season on Feb. 11 against reigning Division III champion Flint Beecher, The PreP Sports made its first of many broadcasts.

“Most people were interested in what we were doing,” Executive Producer and Technical Director Alex Westphal said. “We were offering something bigger and better than anything else out there.”

What started as a two-man crew covering basketball, baseball and football has blossomed into more than 50 employees with 150 broadcasts to their name. Bush was able to hire on-air talent, producers, photographers and directors, and with the added help The PreP Sports has expanded into girls soccer, boys lacrosse, girls volleyball, boys soccer, and hockey.

“When we first started, we were using a couple cameras with two, sometimes three cameras; I was producing everything pretty much on my laptop,” Westphal said. “Now that we have a bigger crew and can divide that stuff up, our content is better and we’re able to cover more things.”

The PreP Sports recently added the Detroit Pistons G-League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, to its coverage.

Bush’s familiarity with Pistons’ Assistant General Manager and Cruise President Rob Murphy helped The PreP Sports enter a new area of coverage.

“It’s something I never thought we could do, but with their trust and the hell of a team we have, we were able to do it,” Bush said.

The PreP Sports is currently livestreaming a high school football game each week with close to 6,000 viewers per stream. The media group focuses on a marquee football matchup each week that entails interviews with each coach and expert analysis on both squads.

“We are a full broadcast production company,” Bush said. “What we do is a full-game broadcast that takes about 50 hours to prepare for; it’s a grind.”

Aside from focusing on St. Mary’s volleyball and soccer matchups, The PreP Sports also shares postgame write-ups of headline football games on its website as well.

With such expansion in just a year, there’s no telling what is in store for The PreP Sports as they continue to grow.

“I want it to grow organically,” Bush said.