No, I'm not talking about Christmas. It's shoot season!

It's the time of year when we get to travel around the country and see our clients in real life! I also enjoy getting to see everyone in their natural habitats on campus.

Recently, Dustin and I adventured out to Salt Lake City to see our friends at the University of Utah. We were on-site to capture football and volleyball photos. The photos we take at this shoot go on pretty much every marketing piece Utah sends out, so we make sure to take plenty to last them all season. 

We also caught up with our on campus Old Hat designer, Douglas. It's always great to see him as well.

Here's a few photos I captured on my iPhone while Dustin was capturing photos on his "real camera":

Yay Douglas! 

 

When we got to our hotel, the power was out for most of the evening.  All I had were these two glow sticks to light up my room.

Obviously we have to take some diving photos.  Always one of my favorites.

Very intimidating.

Dustin...also very intimidating.

Swoop came by, and before we knew it, we had a handstand contest on our hands!

Dustin and Swoop in deep conversation...not having a handstand contest.

Once every four years, the world turns its attention to the Summer Olympic Games. The hype begins even before the start of competition...have you had your fill of incomplete construction updates, been scared by the Zika virus, and are waiting to hear more news on the Russian doping scandal? And in more positive news, are you following any of your favorite athletes on their road to Rio and looking forward to seeing Team USA's final medal count? 

Beginning on August 5, and for the next 16 days, our attention is placed on a variety of sports. So many people get first-time exposure to competitions they've never seen. Many of us will become USA swimming, wrestling, track & field, beach volleyball and gymnastics superfans, as these events and athletes enter our world through primetime television and are all over social media. But why let our fandom remain just temporary? Can you use the piqued interest during the 2016 Olympic Games to build a bigger fan base for your sports OTHER than football and basketball? Can you take advantage of the attention the Olympics brings to get fans to more of your volleyball, field hockey and soccer games? Here are some ideas that may help get you started. We know all programs are different, but perhaps one or more of these would work for you or spark another thought.

If you have a 2016 Olympian on your campus, make sure you're promoting them heavily on social media and your athletics website. Not only now, before the games begin, but after, as they can offer a recap and inside look at experiences that so few get the chance to have. 

Consider hosting Olympic watch parties and give fans a chance to get to know your facilities and mingle with your athletes. Develop relationships with potential fans now so they'll support you during your competition season. 

As childhood inactivity/obesity continues to pose a great concern, why not host offseason youth sports clinics and camps to increase youth interest in your sport and promote activity and good health at the same time? Face time with athletes they can look up to could lead to increased interest in your sport and attendance at your events. Believe me, you want those kids begging their parents to take them to one of your tennis matches or swim meets.

Do you have any former or current Olympians in your program? Or even that live in your area? If so, can you schedule them for an appearance and autograph session at one of your games? Consider honoring or retiring their number and making a promotional night that could bring in new and different fans. 

Make sure to cross-promote your events. Take advantage of full houses at football and basketball to give your other sports a chance to shine - maybe gymnastics could perform at halftime or your field hockey team could be introduced between quarters to promote next week's game? 

Consider offering and promoting season ticket packages for your Olympic sports earlier than usual to take advantage of peak fan interest at Olympic time.

Could you offer an Olympic-sports mini plan for people who wish to attend several events each across multiple sports? Maybe with two general admission tickets each to a volleyball game, soccer game, tennis match, a track meet and more? A plan like this may entice fans to attend more games in the future if they enjoy their experience.

Enjoy the Olympics and good luck promoting all of your teams this year!

 

As more and more social media platforms make their debut, how on earth are you supposed to figure out which platform is the best fit to promote your program? What's best for your brand? Which platforms attract which groups of fans? Which social media platforms will just eat up your time? 

Let's make this fun and think about social media like a party. Each platform can be thought of as a different guest. Who do you want to invite? Here's a breakdown of each social media platform’s personality type to help you decide who will keep your shindig super-awesome.   


Facebook - "The Conversationalist"

Frannie Facebook likes to let everyone know she is a one-stop shop of knowledge on your team. We're not talking simple fun facts, we mean LONG and IN-DEPTH responses. Some might even say she’s long-winded.

Having a lot to say isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most social media users go to Facebook for information, and that includes long status posts or blogs being shared. If you have important information that needs a little bit of explaining, use Facebook to get that message out. But be careful not to over-post or overshare. Millennials and Gen Z love reading up on certain topics but can be turned off it gets too long-winded.

 

Twitter- "Mr. Know It All"

Teddy Twitter loves to shoot off quick little bursts of information. He can jump quickly from conversation to conversation, only staying in each one for a couple of minutes.

Think of Twitter as a way to get quick little messages out to the masses. Have a blog post that you want your followers to read? Link to it while giving a brief synopsis of what it's about. Have a last minute change to an event? Tweet it out. This platform is based on short posts, and if a user is on Twitter, they expect short messages.

 

 

Instagram- "The Model"

Isabella Instagram loves for people to look at her, and she always looks her best. She chooses her appearances selectively, but that makes her all the more memorable.

This is the same philosophy you should have for your Instagram account. Don’t over populate your followers' feed with a gazillion photos from the same event, especially all at the same time. Use this platform to show off one or two AMAZING pictures that sum things up. Instagram is using the same algorithm as Facebook now, so if you want to reach your followers and grab their attention, you need to post an image that really showcases your brand.

 

Snapchat – "The Scatter Brain"

Stacey Snapchat loves to be the star of the party and often shows up early to help set up. She’s not afraid to be candid. She likes to be in every photo, but she is only there for a short time.

Use this to your advantage with Snapchat. This is your chance to grab the viewer's attention by giving a behind the scenes stadium or arena tour. Most users of Snapchat don’t mind being flooded with photos of an event because they can easily click and move on to the next photo. This is a newer platform for brands to use, so it can get a little tricky. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. They are only there for a couple of seconds.

 

 

YouTube- "The Social Magnet"

York YouTube is that one friend you want at every party. Everyone loves him because he knows all the cool how-to's and can even show you things you never asked for!

YouTube has actually become the search engine of choice for most Millennials and Gen Z! For that reason and more, this is a platform you cannot leave out of your brand's social media plan. The opportunities are endless for your YouTube page. Not sure what to share? Think of things that need a little more explanation, have a story to tell, or that just have fun visuals. Want to show off your new coach? Create a set of videos that intro him/her to your fans and give the inside scoop. Want to ensure your fans have a great gameday experience? Why not create a video featuring some tips on where to hang out pre-game, give parking and construction updates, highlight new concessions and merchandise available, and more. 


Everyone is different and it can be hard to figure out what's right for you. One final tip: millennials who are in the workforce can be a great resource for you. They’ve spent most of their life on social media, and they can be tasked with brainstorming your social media strategy.

 

 

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