The Mid-American Conference (MAC) has announced the launch of a new marketing initiative to increase the conference’s reach and fan engagement on social media. With Opendorse, the conference will streamline social media collaboration and publishing between the conference and its key ambassadors – athlete alumni and conference leaders, as well as accounts of member institutions and teams.
“We are always looking for ways to elevate our brand,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to highlight our institutions, coaches & student-athletes — both on & off the field.”
This partnership and program mark a turning point for what we believe to be an emerging — and powerful — trend at every level of sports.
While leagues, teams, and even conferences are investing human capital and monetary resources in maximizing their owned social media channels, many have yet to embrace advocacy marketing programs that connect their organization with the social media influence of leaders within their organization.
Simply: important people in sports don’t share enough content.
From ADs and commissioners to athletes and coaches; leaders in sports have the attention of massive fan bases on social media. With this attention comes powerful results. These individuals engaging their audiences over 10-times more effectively than their organization’s owned channels.
But even with dialed-in audiences of passionate fans, the majority of these individuals miss the opportunity to enhance the value of their personal brands while helping their organization achieve growth outcomes with social media.
Moving Forward with the MAC
The new program will help the MAC achieve organizational results and establish a stronger presence on social media by distributing its message through the channels of its most influential stakeholders. Using Opendorse, the conference will schedule and send media and suggested messaging directly to its network of athletes, leaders, and institutions. That content is then approved by the individual and published directly to their social channels with a single tap.
In addition to empowering its network to share more content and achieve organizational goals, the MAC will use Opendorse Advanced Analytics™ to benchmark the conference and its ambassadors’ performance against that of other conferences and properties in college athletics.
“Brand marketing in college athletics is only becoming more competitive and data-driven,” said opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “It’s exciting to see power players like the MAC embrace the need for deeper insights, and to take concrete steps to build its fanbase by including the conference’s most powerful ambassadors in its social marketing strategy.”
Embracing your Advocates
Advocates may be more intertwined in sports than any other industry. Consider a college athletics conference like the MAC. From the top-down, the conference’s social media advocates could include:
- Conference Commissioner and leadership
- Athletic Directors and leadership at member institutions
- Head Coaches at member institutions
- Assistant Coaches at member institutions
- Athlete alumni from member institutions
- Student-athletes at member institutions
- Social accounts at member institutions and individual teams within each institution
These individuals can be champions of the conference. They can be brand ambassadors that extend reach, boost brand affinity, and help the conference achieve tangible business outcomes. With social media’s emphasis on human-to-human connection, their impact stands to dominate that of the conference acting alone.
But these brand advocates need help.
They often lack the time and resources to be effective advocates on their own.
Making Leaders Champions
The good news for marketers at teams, conferences, and leagues: most leaders want to advocate for their organization. What’s good for the organization is typically good for them as individuals. You just need to make their participation simple and efficient.
The MAC has ensured that with Opendorse. The conference isn’t tasking its advocates with hunting through libraries to share posts on their own time. While access to media is valuable, simply making it available makes the strategy unpredictable, difficult to manage, and often impossible to measure.
The conference is instead teeing up tap-to-publish posts. This allows the MAC’s advocates to lend a helping hand without adding another task to their already-heavy to-do lists. Alternately, the success of the program is in the hands of the marketers. They are empowered to build, execute, and measure the advocate marketing strategy with a platform built to deliver results.
With an industry-leading vision and scalable solution in place, the MAC is ready to take advocacy marketing to the next level. We’re ready for some #MACtion.