November 7, 2011
With the season now in full swing, there are so many opportunities for programs to capitalize on new content to enhance their marketing efforts. The challenge is that there is the constant pressure of making sure that your student-athletes are competing at a high level. It is my experience that this can be a recipe that forces many key initiatives (including marketing) to the back burner. I caution coaches about allowing this to happen because many of these initiatives are ones that can help sustain and grow your program in future years. Marketing happens to be one that has the potential to help take your program to an elite level in all areas. This particular series will focus on the pieces that you can create to engage segments of consumers with a specific interest in the sport.
The Gold Standard
1. The “Jimmy V” Video Feature: Sport fans are drawn by individuals who can give solid pre-event speeches to get athletes ready for competition. They also enjoy post-game talks when athletes are celebrating a victory. Why not use this to your advantage and show clips of speeches from competitions during the year? Heck, this could even include talks from your team captains if they are able to keep it clean. The bottom line is that these “insider” features are a great way to building interest in your program.
2. Staff “Day in the Life” Feature Series: This is not something that is evolutionary. In fact, it is something that is becoming quite common in sports like football leading up to a big game. The Alabama v. LSU game is a great example. The entire week leading up to the game they had insider specials showing how the coaches prepare for their competition. It would be outstanding if a program could turn out a solid piece that shows what coaches go through on a daily basis to run their program. Someone will do this and it will be a lot of fun to watch.
3. The Coach & Student-Athletes “Cribs” Special: Most of you are probably familiar with the MTV Cribs special that used to be really popular. Well, this is something that has had some success in different sports since the show reached its peak in popularity. For a program who wants to provide a real insider perspective, why not use this theme for showing your fans the inside of your facilities and homes. I know this will work for some program who is looking to take a risk.
Silver Elite Status
4. Video Analysis Insider: This is a piece that I have not seen released by any program up to this point. With a large base of potential consumers interested in the tactical element of the sport, it would make sense to create a video where you show clips of your coaching staff doing video analysis with one of your top wrestlers. This is certainly a process that could add great value to some of your followers. Even better if you can infuse some good personality into the piece.
5. Competition Preparation Piece: In many ways, this would be a spin off of the previous idea. However, this would be a little different because it would provide a more broad view of the things that go on the day leading up to a competition. There could be some great value in putting together a piece that documents the different elements of a competition day for staff and student-athletes. Use your creativity here and put something together that will really build the brand of your program.
6. Practice Planning Piece: This is a piece that I know would be interesting to coaches and younger athletes. There are so many of these individuals who are fascinated by learning how to train the right way. If you have this skill set, then provide an inside look in how you develop practice plans throughout the year. You might even learn a little by having to go through this process.
Certainly Some Potential
7. Moments in Coaches Meeting: I might be a little of base here, but I think it could be cool to do a piece that shows an “insider” look at a regular coaches meeting. In addition to providing insights into how the program is run, the intimate look at your staffs interactions can provide a foundation for building loyalty with potential consumers. There is very little of this in wrestling and some team will take advantage of these “Insider” concepts.
8. Post Practice Interviews: This is a simple piece that all coaches should take advantage of. However, there is a need for a creative approach if you are going to differentiate here. Building on the highlight videos that have been released, it could be very effective to do interviews with student-athletes following a big workout or week of practice. Find a talented side line reporter and make it happen!
Now Take It Home…
As you have probably already realized, many of these ideas are simply a foundation to get you started with new video feature ideas. Within each of these ideas, there is an opportunity to use your creativity to put your own personal stamp on marketing efforts. First, you can strive to put your program’s own touch on the messages that are sent within the videos. Second, it seems beneficial for you to come up with creative names to build your brand. If this is somewhat difficult at this point, keep an eye out for the innovative version of these ideas that will be released in the future. And remember, the season offers a unique opportunity to really take your program to the next level in your marketing efforts. Be sure that you do not let this opportunity pass you by!