Best of Brand: In Honor of Programs Getting After It

October 3, 2011

Following up on the NWCA “Best of Brand Awards,” I have decided to dedicate this week’s entry to identifying programs who are marketing effectively in their early pre-season efforts.  In my mind, these are programs who are doing some pretty cool stuff to build their brand (and fan base) via social network sites.  So, I am going to keep this simple and list five creative strategies that coaches are using to make a real difference in marketing.  In addition to the strategy, I will also post examples of programs that have been early trend-setters in these specific areas.  Without further ado, here are the five innovative examples in college wrestling:

1.  Themed “Pre-Season” Highlight Videos: There are several programs taking advantage of the creative ease of technology when developing solid pre-season workout videos.  In addition to corresponding music, the best videos in this area also incorporate graphics/text in different segments.

Innovative Examples: MarylandWyoming

2. Solid Community Outreach Promotions:  There is no question that getting out in the community to engage in service is a great way to build your program.  The act itself is something that is appealing to athletic administrators because it builds the brand of the athletic department.  However, coaches are taking it to a new level when posting edited videos on Facebook and Twitter to promote their efforts.

Innovative Examples: Stanford, Tennessee Chattanooga

3. Creative Ticket Sales Promotions: One of the primary goals that coaches have is to build attendance at their dual meets.  With that being said, the growth in consumer interest does not come without intentional promotional efforts from coaching staffs.  There are several coaches using social network sites to effectively promote ticket sales at dual meets.

Innovative Examples: Ohio State, Virginia

4. Edited “Inside Look” Videos: One of the greatest marketing assets that coaches have is their inside access to student-athletes and staff members.  When coaches take advantage of this access, they have the opportunity to provide their followers with unique content.  In addition, when done properly, you can also allow fans to get the chance to know members of your team.  This is extremely important because people are far more likely to attend matches when they are connected to team members (Note. Coaches be sure to upload these via YouTube or service where individuals can share your video easily.  This will help with circulating your message.  This is why some of the videos above are featured in post).

Innovative Examples: CornellNorth Carolina

5. Above and Beyond Themed Branding: This is a step that coaches take once they have truly started to grasp marketing.  With solid foundational steps in place (see previous #1-4 areas), an advanced approach is to make sure that you are using your creativity to build your program’s brand.  This will be a primary focus point in an upcoming entry.

Innovative Examples: Tennessee Chattanooga (e.g., HabiChatt and MocTalk videos), Cornell (e.g., use of Redman in promotional videos)

I will continue to have “Best of Brand” highlight programs throughout the year.  In addition, if you want to keep up with constant program updates, then be sure to follow the Elite Level Sport Marketing (Wrestling Edition) Facebook page.  If you like the page, be sure to “share” the page with all of your friends.  Keep up the fantastic work!

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About ELSMarketing

ELSM is a company that specializes in the development and implementation of innovative marketing plans for sport organizations, businesses, and programs. By focusing on the client’s goals and expectations, we strive to develop strategies that will build the brand of the entity in a way that will ensure future success. The bottom line is that we are committed to working with entities who are looking to take themselves to the next level from a marketing standpoint. While there are a variety of strategies that we implement to achieve this, it starts with the values we have in place for our company. Here at ELSM, “Innovation is the Expectation!”
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