In preparation for my trip to Orlando this week, for my first NACMA & CoSIDA conventions, I spent last night looking over the master NACDA agenda for this week’s convention in Orlando. The event serves as the convention for NACDA, CoSIDA, NAADD, ICLA, MOAA, CABMA, CAFMA, NAAC, NATYCAA, N4A and a whole lot more.
The first challenge is figuring out all the acronyms and then deciding which sessions I should attend.
Fortunately I have been lucky enough to receive some guidance from @kirbygarry that preparation is key, to talk to everyone and to make genuine connections.
Kirby will be presenting on Friday at 10:15 a.m. in the Division II Breakout Session “Building Your Athletics Brand Through Social Media”. Am really looking forward to this session as it is being moderated by @FranReidy and @JoshLooney is the other member of the panel. I have been very fortunate to work with both of them and they are great ambassadors for NCAA Division II.
In addition to Kirby’s tips @DavidPetroff had a great post on his blog SmallSchoolSocial about what a Small School SID can get out of the CoSIDA convention. His 4 points; Talk to everyone, “Talk to everyone” means Big School SIDs too, Scale It Down, and Write It Down are great guidance for a newcomer such as myself.
There are a couple of sessions that I picked out that I am really looking forward to;
Thursday 9:30 a.m. - CoSIDA - Media and Social Media Training for Student-Athletes
Moderator: Scottie Rodgers, Associate Executive Director Communications, Ivy League
Panel: Tom Eiser, AssociateAthletics Director, Media Relations, Xavier University
John Lata, Assistant Athletics Director, Florida State University
Chris Yandle, Director of Communications, University of Miami
Mainly looking forward to this session to listen to @ChrisYandle who does an incredible job with the Hurricanes social media (not forgetting @brianbowsher infographics) and his personal blog Yandlepedia provides some great insight to Athletic Communications.
Thursday 3:30 p.m. - CoSIDA - Social Media Strategies
Moderator: Wendy Mayer, Associate Athletics Communications Director, Purdue University
Panel: Mark Hollis, Athletics Director, Michigan State University
Mat Kanan, Associate Director – Media Relations, Western Michigan University
Tony Morreale, Sports Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort
Jessica Smith, Social Media Strategist, NCAA
This panel seems to be a great mix and will no doubt provide some great insight. Mark Hollis is one of the best Athletic Director’s on twitter, @MSUAD, and is also very innovative. I particularly really liked his recent #msuintern idea. Jessica Smith or @WarJessEagle as she is well known is very active in social media discussions and has a very unique viewpoint working for the NCAA.
Friday 11:15 a.m. Division II - Breakout Session, D2 How To – Division II Town Hall Discussion
Moderator: Jim Johnson, Athletics Director, Pittsburg State University
Panel: Denisha Hendricks, Athletics Director, Kentucky State University
Vince Otoupal, Athletics Director, California State Monterey Bay
Pennie Parker, Athletics Director, Rollins College
Scott Wiegandt,Athletics Director, Bellarmine University
I am interested to see where this discussion goes as Division II is at a transition point. The division is very diverse with schools within the division facing different challenges. As a whole how does Division II move forward. The panel is a good one, notably Pennie Parker and Scott Wiegandt were recently named Under Armor Under Armour AD of the Year Award by NACDA. You need to learn from the best so this will be a great session.
Friday 2:45 p.m. NACMA General Session - Marketing Super Panel: Leaders in Sports
Moderator: Eric Nichols, Assistant Athletics Director – Marketing, University of South Carolina
Panel: Lisa Braun, Director of Digital Media, Cincinnati Reds
Pat Coyle, President, Coyle Media
Dan Migala, Publisher, The Migala Report
Pat Williams, Senior Vice President, Orlando Magic
@joshlooney raves about Pat Williams so this is a must see for me.
Finally at the end of the week I am very fortunate to serve on the CoSIDA panel for “Interview Tips for StudentAthletes”.
Saturday 4:30 p.m. Skill Set Session E: Interview Tips for Student- Athletes
Introduction: Frank Mercogliano, Assistant Athletics Director – Communications, University of New Mexico
Speaker: James Bates, Announcer, CBS Sports Network
Panel : Genevia Carter, Student-Athlete, University of Central Florida
Frank Keenan, Student-Athlete, Fairmont State University
I am very excited to share some of my experiences and also the view point of Student-Athletes. If you have any Interview Tips yourself that you would like to share please let me know.
These sessions will be a great opportunity to learn from the leaders in the Collegiate Athletics field. I recently put a post together for Lead Now Athletics about being an active follower and this week will serve as a great opportunity to do this.
In addition to the sessions I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet with other Collegiate Athletics professionals. One of the reasons I really enjoy working in Athletics is its social nature. I have been very fortunate to meet many people who are willing to share ideas and thoughts and to learn from each other. Twitter has been a great resource for this and I look forward to meeting “in person” a number of people who I have connected with over twitter over the past year. So please do say hello if you see me in Orlando, I am looking forward to learning every day.
A little late putting this together, but was very fortunate to attend the NCAA Inclusion Forum last week in Indianapolis.
“Celebrate rather than tolerate differences” – Bernard Franklin NCAA
“We need to all collectively exercise leadership, to change cultures and to encourage inclusion. There is no time for rest, leadership needs to be consistent and persistent, inclusion is not a one and done project.” – Dr. Emmert NCAA
The forum was a great learning experience with a lot of information, thoughts and ideas to take in. For me it generated wide ranging set of meaningful questions that can be asked of Student-Athletes and colleagues, with the responses generating positive inclusive actions;
In addition to these questions the Forum provided me with some great guidance to pass on to Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC).
Student-athletes consider their team environment to be even more inclusive and respectful than their college in general – NCAA Research
Student-Athletes are leaders and have the opportunity to be advocates
SAAC does not solely have to be about service it can be about advocacy. Student-Athletes are in a unique position where they are well-known and can influence their campuses as a whole. As such SAAC has an opportunity to promote the inclusion that exists within athletics throughout their campus.
SAAC can decide what is and isn’t acceptable and then publish that and advocate it across campus and their conference.
It wasn’t all “work” though. We were very fortunate to attend a Wheelchair basketball Exhibition game hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with the highlight for me being able to see British paralympian Helen Freeman play.
— Frank Keenan (@Frank_Keenan)
Having started the @TheFalconFlock fan club this year at Notre Dame College we were looking to produce a poster that encapsulated the year in Athletics at the college for fans and students.
The challenge was trying to fit everything on one poster, but after looking around we found that our Instagram page TheFalconFlock did a really good job of showing everything that happened.
This is what we produced -
The poster is already a hit with the Student-Athletes, as they count how many times they appear and look back at the year.
The poster was pretty simple to produce and all the programs used to produce were free.
First all the images were downloaded from Instagram using Instaport, then I used the collage creator CollageFactory on Mac, there are other apps and programs available such as Diptic and Pic Stitch that could also serve the purpose. It is as simple as that and produces a great image that can be shared and printed.
Social media provides a huge amount of valuable content, the challenge is finding ways to use the content not only online but offline too. In this case the images produced are combined with the more traditional media of a poster.
The University of Louisville Athletic Department is definitely doing something right; A Sugar Bowl victory, a Men’s Basketball National Championship, Women’s Basketball National Runner-Up, and many other successes.
In March I had the opportunity to travel to Louisville for the NCAA Division II Elite 8 Basketball Tournament. I took some time to have a look around the athletic facilities of the University of Louisville and they are very impressive. They are arranged alongside the I-65 and are both metaphorically and actually the front porch of the University as they are the first thing you see from the highway.
The facilities themselves are not only impressive but the way in which they are branded, using the success of athletes and coaches to sell the school and its athletic programs.
In college athletics and athletics as a whole there is a magnitude of creative content being produced on a daily basis. Keeping up to date with this content and seeing what others are doing is essential and helps me to formulate my own ideas. I even attempt to directly emulate the content of others as I did with this Recruiting Video that was featured by Football Scoop.
I work within NCAA Division II athletics but limited budgets and time pressure doesn’t mean that creativity or the search for it should be stifled. Ideas are everywhere and not just within the world of athletics. Creative industries surround all forms of business and using ideas from other industries can possibly make you a pioneer in your own industry. For example the infographics created for @CanesHoops by @brianbowsher such as the one below have been the first of their kind in college athletics and are already being emulated by other athletic departments.
With creativity to be found everywhere there is a value in following a diverse group of people and blogs, seeing how their thoughts and ideas can impact your own.
I hope to use this video technique to create a campus tour and facilities tour videos which I am creating at the college I work at.
Some say that a lot of the worlds greatest inspiration comes from beer and in this case it may well!
It’s easy to forget that in today’s not-so-optimistic world real progress continues, beauty appears, brave new worlds are explored,— frank keenan (@itsgood17) March 28, 2012
and creativity flows. We keep seeing–and occasionally finding–our best selves. There are, in fact, reason for optimism everywhere we look— frank keenan (@itsgood17) March 28, 2012
A year ago I tweeted the above quote from Reasons for Optimism.
It comes from the sites “about” section and does a great job in encapsulating why you should be optimistic. A year has passed since I first read this and the thoughts, hopes and optimism it provoked then are even stronger now. I try to adopt this attitude throughout my life; looking for the positive in any situation, looking for opportunities and appreciating progress.