There are two benefits to community outreach for a NCAA institution:
- Providing opportunities for a student-athlete to develop while exploring areas of social relevance
- The enhancement to the brand image of the department by asserting oneself as a committed community partner, grateful to the fans for their support
Most, if not all, NCAA institutions are involved in community service and use it to achieve goal 1. You would be surprised, however, how few institutions maximize the impact of their involvement to achieve goal 2.
(Don’t believe me? Take a few minutes and Google ten athletic departments. Do you see a mention of community outreach? I know. Mind. Blown.)
A website is the window to your brand. It is the way through which most interact with your organization. Athletic departments are missing an opportunity to connect with fans and communicate their off-field value by not integrating their outreach efforts into their overall communications strategy.
Fortunately, however, there are a few schools that are integrating their civic involvement into their overall brand.
Here are nine schools utilizing their websites to communicate their impact:
- George Washington University Colonials:http://www.gwsports.com/school-bio/gewa-communityservice.html
2. University of Wisconsin Badgers: http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/give-back/
The Official Athletic Site of the Wisconsin Badgers, partner of CBSSports.com College Network. The most comprehensive…www.uwbadgers.com
3. Yale Bulldogs:http://www.yalebulldogs.com/information/community/index
4. Michigan Wolverines: http://www.mgoblue.com/community/
5. James Madison University Dukes: http://jmusports.com/index.aspx?path=cr&
6. Fresno State Bulldogs: http://www.gobulldogs.com/community/
7. University of California- San Diego Tritons:http://www.ucsdtritons.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205349352&DB_OEM_ID=5800&DB_OEM_ID=5800
8. Xavier Musketeers: http://goxavier.com/index.aspx?path=community
9. Boston University Terriers: http://www.goterriers.com/ot/bost-community-outreach.html
While each organization may take a different approach, all are utilizing the space to show their value beyond competition and sport.
All nine schools are also involved in the Helper Helper Team Works Award competition which recognizes the top performing school in each NCAA division that volunteers the most hours and has the highest volunteer participation rate between September 1 and December 15, 2015.
Any guesses on how the Team Works Award winner will communicate its impact?
This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list. Have you noticed any other schools that are doing a good job of communicating their outreach strategy?
For more information on the Team Works Award competition, visitwww.helperhelper.us.