The teams off the field are just as good as the ones on it.
With the College World Series kicking off in Omaha this weekend, it presents us a great opportunity to look at the 8 teams hitting the diamond and how they stack up on social. This year’s highly-talented field features programs that know how to bring the heat, both from the mound and online. Let’s play ball!
Oregon State Beavers
Starting us off is the number one team in the nation, the Beavers of Oregon State. When you think of ‘total package’, OSU’s social team for baseball comes to mind. The design of pitcher Jake Thompson is impressive, especially with how it is highlighted next to a bolded player profile and stats on a clean white background. The Beavers have mastered the art of presentation, as I love their layout of information and emphasis on colors to accentuate the designs. Not to be overshadowed, the pre-prepared player intro GIFs are a nice touch of motion on their timeline, while showing some personality.
Cal State Fullerton Titans
Cal State Fullerton provides a social experience for the baseball program through both the school’s athletics and baseball-specific handles. Content is often shared across both accounts, as graphics and posts are cross-promoted. The above lineup video is clean and doesn’t seem overwhelming to the eye. The inclusion of a song in the background adds another dimension to the post, almost like pregame warmups. Not many teams use music with their motion content, and the Titans show how it can elevate a simpler design.
LSU’s social team delivered (and then some) by putting together that fantastic video in lead up to the team’s first round matchup in the CWS. Video content has become extremely important on social, and its execution continues to become more challenging, as more and more teams enter the sphere. The mix of highlights and non-traditional footage stands out above. As for the graphic, we knew the Tigers love their purple, but it’s also evident that they understand the power of simplicity as well.
Florida State Seminoles
With one of the more talented social teams in the land, Florida State never ceases to impress with its graphics and motion content across all of its sports. The lineup creative balances motion with information, as the batter swinging adds a depth to the design but doesn’t take away from the layout on the right.
The same is true of the home run GIF, as the flashing words are eye-catching and fun to see, while the rest of the design maintains its position. Between the font selections, unconventional designs, motion content, and emojis in the copy (a great touch, by the way!), it’s clear that the Seminoles know that a big part of building and maintaining a brand is having fun and being different.
Another team with dynamic pre-prepared GIFs, the Cardinals utilize these for situations including strikeouts, RBIs, and home runs. It’s a great idea to keep these consistent in layout and presentation for the most part, as they feature the red background layer and Louisville logo bottom-center. Instead of simple tweets with text only, why not spruce up in-game events with motion? The Cards get it. On-brand all the time, with creativity over casual.
Texas A&M Aggies
While Texas A&M tends to stay away from in-game creative, they emphasize design and content pre- and post-game. The video above is a great example of setting the stage for the team’s first tournament matchup, combining highlights with scenes that set the stage for Omaha. For fans, it’s all about building the excitement of the moment, feeling the realness of it all. The song selection to go along with the clip? So distinct. No, it’s not a popular radio song. It’s just right for the Aggies.
The Gators are no strangers to the spotlight, as they’re yet another big-time athletics program that made it to Omaha. One thing that is evident from the get-go? They know their social and they love their blue and orange. The three examples above are all very different in presentation, context, and intent, but dazzle nonetheless.
The game graphic serves as the precursor to the matchup, and is big, bold, and clean. All the important information, nothing more, nothing less. They also show that you don’t have to sacrifice style with simplicity! As for the video, it does an exceptional job at taking a direct interview quote and overlaying it with a strong, quick video compilation.
It does a great job serving its purpose — setting the stage for this particular game, which hopefully leads to more. I like the addition of the signatures to the player GIFs, as they make for a personalized touch.
TCU Horned Frogs
Last but certainly not least, the Horned Frogs continue to impress on social as well. The purple of the TCU brand is always evident with their graphics, and it makes quite the impression when contrasted with the black and white designs backgrounds. If you’re looking for a good example of how to create a quote graphic, look no further.
The social team keeps it simple, splitting the text and image side-by-side, but perfectly blends in purple and adds a signature to compliment both. What a clean presentation! The video shows the effectiveness of quick clips, as 15 seconds may not seem like much, but can have an impact if you are able to be bold. Perhaps my favorite graphic closes us out, as the TCU lineup design simply has that ‘wow’ factor.
One look is all you need to know how talented this social team is. The presentation of the players one by one, after the initial list, is fantastic, as is the layering of images, color, and text. Beautifully done!
With that, the ballgame is over, but the conversation (and real games) are only just getting started. Let us know what you think — tweet us your comments @frntofficesport on Twitter.
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