(INFLCR is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
Over 100 college athletics marketers and creatives from INFLCR’s community of more than 70 clients, gathered in Atlanta last weekend for the inaugural INFLCR Storytellers Summit.
The festivities began for attendees began with the opportunity to attend a private dinner in centerfield of an Atlanta Braves game on Thursday evening. The main event on Friday was emceed by Darren Heitner at Turner Studios, home of “NBA on TNT”.
Friday began with keynotes from INFLCR founder and CEO Jim Cavale as well as Turner Sports VP of Emerging Media Pete Scott. These talks centered around the state of the industry in telling college athletics stories and how traditional media networks are utilizing digital platforms to relay their content.
With networks such as TNT now having channels like Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube available to distribute highlights and clips, they are able to reach their audience around the clock. And with platforms like INFLCR, more than 4,000 athletes have shared 77,000 posts to their personal Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels, reaching an audience bigger than 30M people this past year.
Blue Blood Storytelling with #RockChalk, #TheBrotherhood, #GoHeels & #BBN
In the first panel of the day, Front Office Sports’ CEO Adam White moderated a conversation featuring Dave Bradley of Duke Basketball, Eric Lindsey of Kentucky Basketball, Morgyn Seigfried of Kansas Basketball, and Dana Reynolds of North Carolina Basketball.
With the amount of celebrities and star players associated with these powerhouse brands, Blue Blood schools are able to enable these people to be brand ambassadors and give more weight to their overall story.
During the lunch period, SIDEARM Sports founder and CEO Jeff Rubin spoke on the evolution of digital media within college sports.
Engaging Storytelling For Recruits
Once again moderated by Adam White, the second panel of the day featured Tim Brogdon from the University of Miami, Jasmine Alston of Bethune-Cookman University, and Patrick Suddes of Georgia Tech Football. The group discussed college teams and athletic departments can leverage their digital content as a tool for attracting their next generation of star student-athletes.
College recruits, being members of Generation Z, use social media incredibly frequently and thusly could get introduced to a team or school for the first time through one of those platforms. Thus, it’s important to establish consistent messaging and make a good first impression.
INFLCR VP of Business Development Dustin Nichols chatted with Brent Jones (Director of Athletics at Troy University), Jeremy McClain (Director of Athletics at the University of Southern Miss), and Ted Feeley (Associate Director of Athletics for Communications at UAB) discussed best practices for seeing a return on the time, energy, and money spent on creating a strong digital presence.
One of the biggest keys to accomplishing this is to make sure to not forget calls to action. This mainly includes encouraging fans to reinvest their own time, energy, and money into the programs via social and web content.
INFLCR v. 2.1 Product Release
The INFLCR upgrade 2.1.3 will enhance the API connection to asset management platforms and servers where teams currently store their content (ie. Libris, Dropbox, etc.) to automate content uploads from teams and media partners right into their INFLCR platform, as well as improved Artificial Intelligence-powered tagging of each piece of content with facial and jersey number, color and apparel logo recognition, to identify athletes and brands more efficiently. Athlete users will also now be able to toggle between team and media company-produced content galleries to find content to post (ie. a Duke student-athlete can toggle between a Duke-produced content gallery and a USA Today produced content gallery that he appears in).
The afternoon was rounded out with a networking break, a tour of the studio, and a final keynote before dinner.
“We created the INFLCR Storyteller Summit for our user community to come together to talk about the problem we face and the solution we’ve created, to see new product features and versions that they’ve helped speak into, and for them to experience thought leadership and education from people in their industry who can help them not only get better in using our software but improve in doing their job each day by putting athletes first – we all win if we put the athlete first,” Cavale said of the event.
This annual event will resume in 2020 and in following years.
For more information on INFCLR, visit inflcr.com.