Since James Franklin arrived at Vanderbilt, the Commodore athletic department has zipped to the forefront of SEC self-promotion. And we don’t mean that in a bad way.
Whether it was a behind-the-scenes, documentary-style look at the VU offices on signing day or today’s multi-tiered coverage of the Dores’ new football uniforms, Vandy seems to “get it” in a way that most schools didn’t five years ago.
But the revolution has begun and more and more SEC schools are falling in line. As newspapers die off, more schools are hiring their own beatwriters for their official websites (how honest the opinions and reporting are is debatable, but with fans as readers that probably won’t matter as many just want to read positive stories anyway). Schools like Texas A&M have been using Facebook and social media to trumpet their own uniform unveiling today. And now Ole Miss has gotten into the act with a well-produced video introducing the latest class of Rebel basketball players.
Pushed on Twitter by new UM athletic director Ross Bjork, the video is not just some clips from the Rebs’ summer workouts. It’s an interest-generator for fans and ticket buyers as well as a recruiting tool for any hoops player with an internet connection.
And it’s very well done:
With cell phones that shoot HD video and inexpensive editing equipment that can make any video look like 35mm film, a new day has dawned for schools who can now market themselves more often, in new, more affordable ways than ever before. I started working in television 20 years ago. By today’s standards, the technology I used back then would compare to an anvil or a horse-and-buggy.
Schools no longer have to depend on outside coverage for buzz. They can and do create their own. SEC schools — like Ole Miss’ basketball program — are now taking full advantage of these new opportunities to brand themselves.
If not for the video above, Bjork’s tweet, and various websites that have posted the video after reading the tweet and watching the clip… would you be thinking about Mississippi’s basketball team today? And that’s the point.