Wednesday, November 23, 2011

All #HailState The King of Social

If you had any doubt after CoSIDA if Scott Stricklin was THE best athletic director when it comes to digital and social media, check out the Egg Bowl tomorrow. Miss State makes history with the first ever end zone hashtag.

I am not kidding you - #HAILSTATE across one end zone.

This is game changing. Here is a contest that is the Thanksgiving turkey, hapless Ole Miss against a less than lucky MSU on the evening of turkey comas.

Mashable has picked it up, and every online or social oriented publication. This breaks Miss State out of all kinds of stereotypes and puts them In a ton of new markets. If you haven't seen it this year, the institutional TV ad by MSU is one of the best, and it puts a high emphasis on innovation and breaking the old State image.

Can't call them "cow college" with this new outlook.

Stricklin is the AD with the best vision of what this all means. All the others in the SEC that think they know how to tweet are just attention whores. There is a plan, s deep thinking strategy and he has assembled a team of guys who want to and know how to exploit social. Like his marketing director Chad Thomas.

From the Mashable story, the genesis of a genius move:

The hashtagging-the-endzone plan was hatched during a weekly marketing meeting, according to Mississippi State’s athletic director, Scott Stricklin.The original plan was to simply paint “Hail State” in the endzone. But when someone suggested hashtagging the slogan, Stricklin said, “there was this moment in the room, like, ‘Ohhh, that’d be different, no one’s done that before.’”

Miss State got Mark Cuban's attention. Reckon who might be up for an investment in some tech or scholarships now? I chuckle at this because of a crazy long shot attempt I heard of how Ariansas could play an angle toward that several years ago. Betcha Cuban would take Stricklin's call next week. Won't even bet that Cuban tweets about the hash tag bring State a new group of social media oriented followers that never would have thought about Starkville, Miss.

Friends and colleagues in the SEC understand this; those of you across the fruited plain may need to substitute the most yokel college or town in your league or area. Then imagine overnight they are the hipster. Strickliln continue to strike gold at State. For the Bullogs, good thing he is a graduate having gone home - that will even the odds when the Parker Executive search firms of the world come calling trying to lure him away.

One more hit as to why this is demonstrably awesome. How did I pick up on the story? From my vast network of Internet sources? No, it was sitting atop my Facebook news feed today - a link from Mashable, a link from Miss State but most important, the trigger was a like from my friend and former student worker Tyler Vaught. An Arkansas grad and Oregon master's, he is a former lead PR worker for EA Sports in Canada, now living in San Francisco and working still in the video game industry. He is nowhere near someone that I would have thought cared or noticed anything from the Bulldogs.

Scott Stricklin got Tyler's attention last night. On the West Coast. In the heart of online world.

Scott is changing what people think of Stark-Vegas. Not with a huge budget. Not with tens of consultants. With his simple commitment to being social, and by well thought out moves.

Well played, Scott Stricklin. Well played indeed.


Raigan said...

You will not see a hashtag in this end zone tomorrow. The game is saturday NOT Thanksgiving.

Bill Smith said...

And now, some kind words in return as today's post made Miss State's blog. I think the neat part - now I'm a "sports blogger".