INFLCR’s athlete-first approach is continuing to make an impact, as we’ve partnered with the University of Southern Mississippi to distribute photo and video content to all of their sports.
Southern Miss AD Jeremy McClain has been an INFLCR champion for some time, having used the platform previously at Troy University with major success.
“Our athletic department, we were in a situation there at Troy where we needed to really maximize our dollars. And so, we had already begun a process of scaling down on what would be your traditional media releases, press releases, and spending much more of our time on content,” said McClain.
Following Troy’s upset victory over Nebraska in 2018, the athletic communications team felt they had a plan in place to maximize coverage and news about the win, including the use of INFLCR to help distribute content to players and athletic staff.
“If you go back and look at the exposure, from a social media standpoint that we gained in those 24 hours, it was beyond anything we really had ever done before. Just a great example of…being prepared and not letting success sneak up on you.”
Fast forward to Southern Miss, and McClain and his team are ready to put communications plans into action for the fall of 2019 with their department-wide INFLCR activation.
“I sat down with our external people, and we just talked about what we wanted to do at Southern Miss, and INFLCR was right at the top,” says McClain.
“To your credit, I didn’t really have to bring it up. It was already a point of conversation. And so, that was easy for me to say to our external group, ‘here’s what I want to do, and here’s why.’ And so, we’re excited about that partnership, and moving forward at Southern Miss.”
Planning Athletic Communications by Looking Forward
Part of the reason for McClain’s past success with INFLCR and the new approach to content is his understanding that as ideas and technologies evolve, athletic departments must be willing to adapt their staff roles and workflows.
“What’s easy to do is continue to do what you’ve done over time, and I think the SID role is a great example of that. And so, for us and for me, communications-wise, it’s just about continuing to look forward,” says McClain.
“I won’t say I’m the most up-to-date AD in the country as far as technology is concerned, but I have my finger on the pulse. And I try to surround myself with people who do have a great understanding. And, it’s about choosing where you spend your resources.
For me, it was a pretty easy decision to focus on what was ahead of us instead of continuing to spend resources on what we had done in the past.”
Social Media and the Benefit to Student-Athletes
INFLCR’s content distribution platform is providing distinct benefits to athletic programs, both in amplifying marketing and communications reach for the schools, but also delivering measurable value to the individual student-athletes who are taking advantage of the mobile app.
Data from Troy’s 2018 football season showed that an average of 70 athletes used INFLCR to download and share content after each game, resulting in posts that reached 450,000 people. That’s in addition to Troy communication department efforts.
Athletic Director McClain is hoping to bring that same enthusiasm about social media to Southern Miss, where he can also be a central figure in educating student-athletes about the best ways to approach social media.
“The other piece of it that we probably don’t talk enough about: I’m excited about helping our student-athletes understand why their brand is important, and educating them on how to use social media in a way that has a positive impact not only on the people around you, but on yourself as well,” says McClain.
“I’m excited about that aspect of it, so there’s different levels of the benefit [INFLCR] brings to our department, and a big piece of that is the exposure of our successes. We’re going to be prepared at Southern Miss to celebrate success.”
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Productive two days at the Conference USA Spring Meetings with some very innovative college sports leaders like my guy Jeremy McClain here, who is the Athletic Director at CUSA’s University of Southern Mississippi. # Early on, when we were first launching #INFLCR, there were a few college athletics leaders who took a chance on us and really; on me. # Jeremy McClain was one of those leaders (then at Troy as the AD and now as the AD at Southern Miss in CUSA). # # Excited to watch him continue to grow as a leader and for @INFLCR to continue to bring value to his college athletics program and the student-athletes under their leadership! #Ath1etes #smsports