Meet Frosty the Knowman

Jan 23, 2003, vol. 26, no. 2
By Marianne Meadahl

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Steve Frost, who coordinates media relations for SFU athletics, with four-year old daughter Abbie and university swim star Kathleen Stoody, following an international meet with China at the SFU pool.

He's rubbed shoulders - well, kneecaps, maybe - with the best hoop stars in the National Basketball Association and came close to bringing home the Stanley Cup. Those are just a few of the perks that come with a job promoting professional sport.

These days, Steve Frost is selling collegiate sports with his return to SFU athletics' media relations office. Most recently, he worked up a media splash in the SFU pool with the presence of a world record breaking Chinese swimmer during an international Clan swim meet in December.

Frost will say there are few dull moments in the world of sports. He has learned from an impressive and seasoned career that really good stories are a dime a dozen, if you know where to look.

Frost's sense of what journalists want and how to quickly meet their needs earned him immediate respect. From his start at SFU more than a decade ago, he instantly became an endearing contact known as Frosty.

“It's not hard to find amazing stories among athletes,” says Frost. “Beyond the scores, people want to read about the human interest side of sports.”

The former SFU student got a job with SFU athletics after a one-year internship with Labbatt's. His penchant for recognizing a good story eventually landed him in the Vancouver Province news room as a sports writer.

He was swayed back into public relations with the opportunity to work with the team considered the main sports ticket in town - the Vancouver Canucks - as director of hockey information.

The stint took him along on the playoff trail toward a Stanley Cup. The team's loss in New York sparked the infamous Stanley Cup riot in downtown Vancouver.

When a potential strike by players loomed in 1994, Frost found himself looking over at the new team in town, the Vancouver Grizzlies.
“The media were getting frustrated because they couldn't get access to coach and general manager Stu Jackson,” Frost recalls. He approached Jackson, who hired him.

“From a public relations perspective, it was a great chance to start something from scratch. It was like taking a blank page and carrying out an entirely new vision,” says Frost.

The U.S. approach to media was an open style that appealed to Frost. He found a good chemistry working with such hoop stars as Big Country and former SFU basketball coach Jay Triano. It was a dream job, until the team's demise.

These days Frost is back at SFU keeping university athletes front and centre on the sports pages.

Coverage of the recent swim meet hosted by SFU focused as much on SFU swimmer Kathleen Stoody as it did on Hui Qi, China's world recorde holder in the breast stroke.

“It was a great story with Hui Qi coming here after setting a new world record, but then you have Stoody, and the whole idea of what it's like to be up against someone like that."

“It's pure human interest,” he says. “And it makes for a great story.”

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