Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Campaign Copycat

I am not a terribly political person. However, I love a presidential campaign as I tend to learn an awful lot about PR, spin, crisis management, positioning, communication, and most of all marketing.

After surfing a few presidential hopefuls' websites, it dawned on me that college athletic departments can learn a lot from the way a presidential campaign can be complemented online.

Obama 08 was the first that caught my attention. (actually, the first was W's in '04 who apparently was the first to embrace the online medium effectively - I don't count Howard Dean)

Now before I go any further, let me reiterate I do not have a current opinion on any candidate, but I am merely analyzing their campaigns from the online community only. There, I don't want my conservative buddies lined up at the office when I get to work!

Some of the highlights I like that could easily translate to college athletics:
  • HUGE "Donate button" - duh
  • Answer Center
  • Blog - I personally think an athletic fundraising blog should share stories from around the program, coaches, etc
  • Well produced video pieces carefully illustrating the message
  • Grassroots initiatives online
  • Clear objectives - recruiting your vote (fan support) and raise funds
  • Calendar of events including volunteer opportunities

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I think this can begin the thinking that would lead to a more active solicitation of an online relationship with a large group of people.

By providing some easy points of entry or new ways for fans of your school to become active, a site can deepen the relationship and emotional bond for a donor or fan.

Take care.

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