COLLEGE STATION, TX: Texas A&M University has hired Lodestone Social to create a social media strategy to improve fan engagement with its sports teams.
The firm is also helping the university integrate social media into existing marketing campaigns and generate in-game fan experiences, according to the RFP for the contract. The scope of work includes developing a digital strategy consisting of content, in-game activation, Facebook growth and targeting, local community work, and alumni efforts.
“Texas A&M is one of the few universities in the country where our institutional social media audiences are larger than the ones we have in athletics, which signals we have tremendous growth potential,” said Jason Cook, senior associate athletic director of external affairs at Texas A&M University.
The university began the search for a firm following its success in its first year in the Southeastern Conference, saying that now is the time to expand its brand through social media exposure. Six firms competed for the contract, Cook said. There was no incumbent on the account.
The school picked Lodestone because of its “significant presence in the collegiate athletics space, which allows us to benefit from best practices.”
Lodestone will work with the university's athletic marketing department to increase Texas A&M's fan engagement via social media using the 12th Man Rewards program, which awards prizes for attending games.
“Our plan is to help A&M engage their fans on any device, any time, and on every customer touchpoint with the intent of amplifying their converged media [whether that be] paid, owned, and earned media and grow their fan base," said Mark Drosos, co-founder of Lodestone Social Media.
In addition, these programs supply additional inventory to monetize big data about user behaviors, interests, and more that Texas A&M can leverage to better service their fans.
The firm has a one-year contract with four option years. The budget is $30,000 annually.
The University of Kentucky recently re-hired Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions to support its athletics department.