ELSM Staff Writer: Katie Burger
Armed with innovative marketing strategies and the goal to win it all, the University of Maryland dominated the competition in the 2011 Best of Brand Awards winning the overall, Gold Standard category. Terrapins Assistant Coach, Todd Beckerman, discussed his team’s high standards, as well as their constant dedication to improving their social media presence, all in relation to the Best of Brand Awards.
Unlike some Best of Brand participants, from the very beginning the Terps’ main goal was to win. Beckerman, a self-proclaimed social media addict, explains, “We saw the criteria and said ‘we are going to win this. These are the areas and let’s work on it.’” He continued by saying, “We took the all-around approach, try to win it all and worst case, we’re improving our program in all these different areas.”
Everyone in the program had a hand in making improvements with videos and fan interaction, from the players who “show their hearts and souls as they go through training” to coaches who offer new ways to expand their virtual reach. One new media outlet that the Terps have begun using is Pinterest; Beckerman describes their use of the page as “a way to keep the history of the program with photos. It’s a timeline for us and our alumni.” Alumni and fans also saw a step up in the videos and content posted on other sites with updates multiple times a day. “We really like to interact with fans, to make them feel like they are with and a part of the program,” explains Beckerman, “and it’s very easy, from wishing someone a happy birthday to an update about what we’re going to work on.”
Still, Beckerman hopes to improve in the video categories for this year’s competition. His plans to make progress mirror his suggestion to new Best of Brand competitors in the development stage, “The biggest thing is learn what you want to do first, have an idea of how you want to promote your program through social media and then go for it. Try and get people involved with what you’re trying to do with the program. Whether you reach 10 people or 100 people, you are building your brand over time.” And he also emphasizes the importance of staying on top of social media, “There are so many tools and apps, and they are constantly changing, so you have to keep up with the new updates to get the most out of your efforts.”
As for the Terp’s expectations this year, “We want to win again,” says Beckerman. “We’re going to keep plugging away. Everyone is looking for new and creative ideas; we’ve got a lot of people gunning for that award, coming after us. We’re going to have to step it up a notch this year. But we’re excited, we love a challenge.”
The Terrapins are competing again this year in the 2012 Best of Brand Awards: Collegiate Division. To follow their season, visit their social media sites:
And to view The University of Maryland’s winning social media sites, visit the Best of Brand page on the Elite Level Sports Marketing website.