AFCA's Crystal Football Goes Digital with Online Fan Experience
On January 6, the American Football College Association will bid farewell to the BCS and the iconic Coaches Trophy. To keep the tradition and trophy alive, AFCA partnered with Mass Relevance to create a Social Hub that connects fans with their favorite BCS moments. Living on http://coachestrophy.com/, the Hub consists of a social photo mosaic as well as a video poll.
I had the opportunity to interview social marketing guru Jordan Gill, AFCA’s Brand Marketing Coordinator, as she shared her thoughts on the new integration. Gill oversees AFCA’s brand awareness strategy and plans new ways to enhance the organization’s visibility. She spoke on the end of the BCS era, the legendary crystal trophy, and the power of social engagement:
Q: What were the social objectives of the implementation?
A: We are trying to make people aware that the crystal football represents the coaches, not the BCS. Many people refer to it as the BCS trophy when in fact it is the Coaches Trophy that the BCS borrows the rights of. It is a conversation that we believe happens socially through an interactive photo experience around the Florida State vs. Auburn game.
Q: How are you providing fans an amplified and enhanced experience around the BCS game?
A: We are providing an amplified experience through fans having their own “coaches trophy moment.” We figured let’s celebrate the head coach’s moment with the trophy as inspiration for fans to lift up something significant in their lives. Giving away a replica trophy is just icing on the cake for a super fan.
Q: How does this experience uniquely connect fans to the Coaches Trophy?
A: This uniquely connects people through being in the conversation that is already being had. Fans and media are already talking about the last trophy being given!
Q: What do you hope to achieve by including a focus on social participation in the campaign?
A: We hope to capture the fan’s authentic love for the crystal football and find its significance in the arena of college football. By having fans participate, they can support their teams and coaches through supporting the crystal football. We are looking for ways to have more a presence with fans, as most of them do not know about the AFCA’s role in college football.
Q: What do you see as the future of sports and social?
A: The future of sports and social has come to an intersection and are now running together. If someone goes to a sports game without seeing integration with Twitter or Instagram, it is a major missed opportunity. Fans are always looking for ways to get more involved in the game. Sports executives shouldn’t get discouraged that fans are looking down at their phones more often, but use that to their advantage through in-game experiences.
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