• Loading stock data...
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Samford Athletics Innovating How Communications Teams Are Structured

Samford

Leave it to the self-described “little guy” to be at the forefront of innovation.

This year, the athletic department at Samford University — a small, private co-ed institution based in Homewood, Alabama — is revolutionizing the organization and workflow for fellow Division-I collegiate sports information teams.

“We’re going to a one-SID (sports information director) model that you won’t find anywhere else, all with an emphasis on content and enabling our students and athletes to contribute to growing the brand,” said Kevin Young, associate athletics director for marketing and strategic communications.

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

Young is bullish on the change in strategy for the school, which holds a total enrollment of 5,471 and fields 17 NCAA Division I (FCS) varsity teams in the Southern Conference. This year, Samford’s main objective is to give fans, the teams, and athletes as much high-quality content as possible both for sharing and enjoying. Beyond that, the athletic department is making a concerted effort to build out a strong Bulldog brand standard by bringing more uniformity to the public relations, social media, marketing, and engagement efforts of all the school’s various teams.

SEE MORE: UC Davis Athletics to Reap Benefits of Co-Branded Beer

In doing away with the standard practice of typical Division I schools having each individual team responsible for its own communication and fan outreach, the one-SID model is “really about streamlining the process and workflow.”

“Traditionally, there will be a few people per sport per season. We’re breaking it up differently, playing to our communication and marketing team’s real strengths,” Young explained.

Instead of breaking it out by sport, Samford’s athletic department will be organizing its staff based on each individual’s unique abilities and strengths.

“Instead of having one person trying to do all the social media, writing, and designing for the softball team, and a different person doing the same for football, we are focusing on ‘OK, who’s a good writer? Who’s the good social media person? Designer? They’ll be in charge of their speciality for all Bulldog teams across the board,” Young said.

SEE MORE: Why Georgia Wants to Know If Its Fans are Happy

Structuring the department in this new way should enable Samford Athletics’ communications and marketing to tap into and leverage their staff members’ skill-sets, which is likely to improve efficiency and effectiveness overall. Efforts like this are crucial for a smaller institution like Samford, as Young noted that schools like his don’t have nearly the same resources as some of the much larger collegiate programs.

“Being faced with a reduced budget; lowering staff numbers, we looked at the traditional model and saw that everybody would’ve been overwhelmed all year struggling to do things they aren’t necessarily good at,” Young noted. “So this year we’ll be doing it by specialty instead of by sport.”

https://twitter.com/SamfordSoccer/status/1037098030464417792

That this isn’t done more frequently is actually somewhat astounding, and seems to be a much more efficient structure and effective strategy.

The athletic department will also be turning to its student body for support in a big way as well. Samford will also be using different programs to get high-quality Bulldog branded content in the hands of the different sports teams and athletes quickly. From there, the teams and players can share, thus amplifying the coverage.

SEE MORE: How Augmented Reality Is Propelling Iowa’s Sports Coverage 

In addition, the creative team is also going to be including students with a particular affinity for sports, marketing, and communications in their efforts. “For many of our students, it’s a passion they have, and they’re all very talented, so now we’ll work to hone and develop that with real on-the-job training,” Young shared.

Including athletes and students themselves on a much higher level like this “should send Samford athletics’ engagement numbers through the roof,” as Young explained that “they — the students and athletes — really are our best brand ambassadors. They have their own followers, and a much stronger connection to the student body than any sport or team.”

Essentially, Young and his crew are capitalizing on the age-old, word-of-mouth strategy, only they’re using new technology to do it.

By making these change and improvements, Young and the Samford athletics department believe they’ll have a much stronger impact on the school’s recruiting. Demonstrating that they have the resources and dedication required to produce high-quality engaging content makes Samford a much more attractive place to play.

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

“Recruits will see high-quality content, and see that our student-athletes are effectively becoming their own brands because of our focus here at Samford to help student-athletes building their personal brands. It’s not just about Bulldog athletics, but also the student-athlete,” Young stated.

His prediction is that level of commitment combined with the resources to make it possible should lead to a higher level of recruit, which will lead to winning more games, which in turn leads to a continuously improving stream of better players coming to the university.

Harnessing technology and an innovative organizational strategy, Samford University shows it’s clearly dedicated to playing with the biggest of brands when it comes to marketing, communication, and program branding.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jan 13, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on Jan. 13, 2021, one week after it was stormed by a pro-Trump mob while a joint session of Congress was certifying the 2020 election victory of President Elect Joe Biden.

House Committee Sends Bill Banning College Athlete Employment to House Floor

The bill has gone further than any other athlete compensation legislation.
May 10, 2024; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams during a press conference before Chicago Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall.

Caleb Williams Launches Investment Firm Before Signing a Bears Contract

Williams announced 888 Midas for private equity, VC, and real estate deals.
Apr 13, 2024; Hartford, CT, USA; UConn Huskies head coach Dan Hurley greets fans as he arrives at the state capitol before the teams victory parade.

The Many Beneficiaries of Dan Hurley’s UConn Career Crisis

His return inadvertently helped the players, athletic department, and perhaps the conference.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the US Open is Designed for Drama

0:00

Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.
The Adidas ball has changed over the years.

The Most Advanced Tech at the Women’s World Cup Might Surprise You

This year’s OCEAUNZ introduces connected ball technology to the women’s game.
Sponsored

Creating Fan-Centric Content With AI

WSC’s highlight automation improved the speed of ESPN’s content creation.
Sponsored

Rewriting the Sports Media Playbook

WSC’s highlight automation improved Clemson’s content strategy and overall growth.
Sponsored

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
Sponsored

Re-Imagining Storytelling With AI

Amy Anderson, Head of Content Strategy at NASCAR Studios, discusses the role of AI technology in developing and growing new content.
Arial view of Audi testing track
December 4, 2022

Audi Gears Up for F1 with Major New Facility

Audi is building a 10,000 square-foot building to support its F1 efforts.
Woman wears Meta Quest headset while working out to have virtual reality exercise session
November 22, 2022

Meta’s Plans for VR Fitness Could Hit Snag

A government agency is looking to block an acquisition by Meta.
Nike phone advertisement
November 15, 2022

Nike Jumps Further into Metaverse With Virtual Sneaker Platform

The world’s largest sportswear company is taking its talents to the metaverse.