The athletics department recently launched a new blog called 'Pitchfork Posts'.
Aug. 22, 2012
TEMPE – The Arizona State University athletics department is expanding its social media and digital presence with the help of several new initiatives announced today.
Sun Devil Athletics has been taking strides towards improving its external communications and today’s announcement is yet another step in bringing those ideas to fruition.
Over the past several months, the athletics department brought in several talented individuals to help with the implementation of a thorough digital expansion. Vykky Hawkins was hired as the department’s Social Media Coordinator and will focus on promoting the athletic department across a myriad of different platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. The department welcomed ASU alumnus Kate Brandt as Digital Media and Communications Manager, charged with the upkeep, maintenance and running of the official Sun Devil Athletics website (www.thesundevils.com). Sun Devil Athletics also brought in Abbey Carter as Marketing Manager with the focus of developing and implementing the department’s E-mail marketing campaigns.
The positions of Brandt and Carter were specifically created as a means to invest into these new initiatives and to help the department improve and expand its digital footprint.
"We are focused on increasing the interaction we have with our fans, especially through digital and social media. We hired a digital team to develop new and innovate ways to communicate with our fans and to expand our reach to new audiences,” said Rocky Harris, ASU’s Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Communications. “We fully expect to become an industry leader in social and digital media in the near future."
Already, the digital media team has seen several marked changes in the past couple months. The SDA Facebook page (Arizona State Sun Devils) has consistently been ranked among the NCAA’s fastest growing pages according to the social media rankings at SportsFanGraph.com. With over 146,000 followers (an increase of over 12,000 followers since Hawkins’ hiring), the page ranks 28th among all NCAA Division I institutions.
The department’s official Twitter page (@SparkyArizonaSt) boasts over 17,000 followers and will be the focus on many of the new social media initiatives in coming months.
Among the changes in store for the Sun Devils will be a revamp of the department’s official webpage, which already has traffic verging on close to two million visitors per month. In addition, SDA has implemented a brand new athletics department blog called Pitchfork Posts utilizing Tumblr to keep fans engaged with the department in a more casual and interactive setting. With numerous contributors, the blog provides fans with a more in-depth look behind the scenes of the athletic department and allows fans to comment, an option that wasn’t available in previous department-run blogs.
Sun Devil Athletics has also joined the Instagram ranks (SunDevilAthletics), providing fans an outlet to become involved with the department and share all of their pertinent images as they relate to Sun Devil Athletics. The department also re-launched its Google+ page and will be providing steady content through that medium as well.
The department is in the process of creating an E-mail marketing segmentation strategy to better understand and target ASU fans. This will allow Sun Devil Athletics to send more relevant content that resonates with the specific interests of each ASU fan.
Some other initiatives in the works include:
· Sparky's Tweeps: This group will be responsible for distributing giveaways on game days. They will also monitor the main SDA Twitter account, @FootballASU, & @SparkyCares to ensure a better fan experience.
· Social Media Branding: The placement of the department Twitter handle and #FearTheFork hashtag on the football field and basketball court
· Fan Giveaways: Weekly social media campaigns that will give fans the opportunity to win prizes like signed football helmets and weekend hotel getaways.
· Website Upgrades: In the process of making slight adjustments to the home page in order to enhance the visibility of stories and videos.
· Fan Pages: The department is creating 16 sport-specific fan pages to highlight the individual sports and all their accomplishments.
The Sun Devil Athletics department is committed to providing the best digital presence available to its followers to make the fan experience more enjoyable and know that this increase in a digital footprint will go far into making the department one of the top and most recognizable brands in the nation.