Here is the place for all other LU sponsored sports. Come here to post about: Men's/Women's Cross Country, Men's Golf, Men's/Women's Soccer, Men's/Women's Tennis, Men's/Women's Track & Field, Women's Lacrosse, Women's Swimming & Dive, Women's Volleyball

Moderators: jcmanson, Sly Fox, BuryYourDuke

By tyndal23
Posts
#652303
With NIL in flux and probably ( hopefully ) soon to have more structured/regulated parameters...how does LU rank in Recruiting Budgets across all sports ? In my mind, it is the biggest bang for our buck(s). I have addressed this before in regard to Football, but does every Christian High School in America 2A classification and up ( along with top tier home school leagues get specific “marketed” recruiting from LU In FB,Hoops,Baseball,Softball,Swimming,Track,Golf,Tennis ? Do we proactively market to these schools for our recruiting staffs to be able to vet? I know it isn’t the “ end all, be all solution” but a National Marketed “ Send Us Your Champions” campaign couldn’t hurt...Is it a waste of $ or a good idea? Is there an FCA national angle? $ Or free camps for FCA recognized top athletes in certain states? Seems like there is an angle/advantage we could be mining.
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By Sly Fox
Registration Days Posts
#652308
I am moving this from football forum but it is a valid topic.

We have discussed this concept on this board over the years multiple times even back to the old Firehouse (shoutout to Innocent Bystander). Back in the early days of this board when we were still tight financially as an institution and this was a cost-effective strategy. I never witnessed it fully utilized particularly once our coffers expanded and we became the big money program in the Big South. But I believe it has merit.

I can tell you as a homeschool dad, Liberty as a whole does a nice job of marketing itself strategically over the years to that community at regionals and national competitions. Even at things like TeenPact & Worldview Academy the school does a nice job of targeting an audience that is tailor-made for what Liberty has to offer.

But private schools are a tricky topic. First you have parochial schools who often times are often hostile toward our theology. And then many of the best athletes who we would covet are often at schools that are essentially basketball programs with an side interest in education.

We have a done a nice job over the years really focused on larger Christian schools in places like Florida, Georgia & Texas where there are Evangelical strongholds that align with our positions. Keep in mind in many cases the students attending these likeminded schools may or may not be likeminded personally. Often times these schools are havens from poorly run public schools and honestly avoiding the riffraff. Just being real here.

But there comes a point where we have to pick and choose where we invest our time, energy and resources. As a university, we have gone to the broad marketing of the web and call centers as opposed to the more targeted marketing approach. LU Online, for better or worse, has directly impacted this mindset.

Back in the '80s and '90s when Liberty was more of a national brand as a residential campus as opposed to today, we drew from a much broader cross-section of the US and beyond. With the "glory days" of televangelism a distant memory, we have lost our identity as an institution beyond being an online school for most folks west of the Appalachians. LU's sports success is practically the only thing we have that makes us distinctive in the national consciousness of the next generation of student athletes.

One final thought, I find that many of those alumni most passionate about their Liberty degree came from a public school background making our distinctly Christian (Cider Jim is smiling at this reference) experience more special. Those who grew up in Christian school often viewed their Liberty experience as just more of the same. This is just anecdotal observation but it certainly hits home in my experience.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#652312
Sly Fox wrote: March 7th, 2023, 10:08 am Back in the '80s and '90s when Liberty was more of a national brand as a residential campus as opposed to today, we drew from a much broader cross-section of the US and beyond. With the "glory days" of televangelism a distant memory, we have lost our identity as an institution beyond being an online school for most folks west of the Appalachians.
I've seen rhetoric like this over the years on this board and I don't really understand it. The way I see it, in the 80s and 90s LUs brand couldnt stand on its own without Falwell. Falwells brand was very symbiotic with LUs brand and that was pretty niche across the evangelical umbrella. I do agree that its identity has shifted since then but I don't see it as a bad thing. It's time that LU establishes a new identity and I think they are doing that... slowly.
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By LUGrad2000
Registration Days Posts
#652313
Public school kid here. When I showed up at LU, other than being grossed out by the campus, I was amazed at the atmosphere both spiritually and socially. This is a big part of my reasons for supporting the school athletically faithfully.
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By Sly Fox
Registration Days Posts
#652314
There is no denying that Liberty was driven by the Falwell brand back in the day. Few other schools had the marketing tool that the OTGH presented into living rooms that typically only had 3-4 channels. Back in those days, it was fairly uncommon to run into Virginians in classes on campus. These days the residential makeup of the campus is heavily stilted toward the Mid-Atlantic region. No one is suggesting that one era is better than another. It is just a significantly different situation. I live in Texas and outside of the pastoral staffs of megachurches and the incessant online ads, most folks down here have no clue these days where Liberty is even located ... mucb less of its attachments to the Falwell brand.

And for the record, how thankful is everyone that Doc never branded the university based on his iconic name? Oral Roberts and Jimmy Swaggart built their schools on their brands that eventually fell. Doc had the foresight not to set us up for that failure.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#652317
On campus enrollment has increased dramatically in the last 20+ years. Do you think the number of students from across the country has decreased since that time or it has just decreased proportionally to the mid Atlantic students? I imagine the number of students from across the country has increased in aggregate since that time but there's no data available to back that up.
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By Sly Fox
Registration Days Posts
#652319
Unfortunately it hasn't increased in aggregate. Total numbers have increased consistently since the '00s when we were teetering on the verge of bankruptcy until LU Online took off. We have become a stronger brand regionally but the national scope has waned except when negative attention has come our way. Our athletics success is helping in general, wider-ranging recognition. But is limited primarily to sports fans.

This is not a critique, it is just an observation. Not really sure what the next phase looks like once we get new leadership in place.

Great discussion BTW.
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By ATrain
Registration Days Posts
#652327
As an LCA alumn, most of us who went to LU felt it was definitely "more of the same."

That said, from '03 - '07 (or '09 if we want to count my grad school years), when I was there, most of the people I knew were from either the Carolinas or Mid-Atlantic area (VA/WV/MD/PA), or were international (Canadians and Koreans until I started working with the tennis teams). I knew a few New Englanders, a few Floridians and some from the midwest including Texas, but as a percentage, it seemed most students were from the Mid-Atlantic region.
Last edited by ATrain on March 7th, 2023, 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By ATrain
Registration Days Posts
#652328
tyndal23 wrote: March 7th, 2023, 1:42 am With NIL in flux and probably ( hopefully ) soon to have more structured/regulated parameters...how does LU rank in Recruiting Budgets across all sports ? In my mind, it is the biggest bang for our buck(s). I have addressed this before in regard to Football, but does every Christian High School in America 2A classification and up ( along with top tier home school leagues get specific “marketed” recruiting from LU In FB,Hoops,Baseball,Softball,Swimming,Track,Golf,Tennis ? Do we proactively market to these schools for our recruiting staffs to be able to vet? I know it isn’t the “ end all, be all solution” but a National Marketed “ Send Us Your Champions” campaign couldn’t hurt...Is it a waste of $ or a good idea? Is there an FCA national angle? $ Or free camps for FCA recognized top athletes in certain states? Seems like there is an angle/advantage we could be mining.
As far as tennis, the sport is international and most people on high school teams here in the states aren't the level needed to compete at Division I.

As far as basketball, I remember at one time we had a pipeline to Klaipeda, Lithuania (nice city by the way), and was kinda curious as to how/why that dried up.
By Humble_Opinion
Registration Days Posts
#652347
There has been an uptick in strategy/recruiting efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region for numerous reasons. First, is the potential for retention among the student, as they're more likely to retain if they are able to see their family more than once or twice a year, especially as a freshman. Second, is the importance as it relates to after-college support as an alum. You're much more likely to attend games and purchase season tickets if you're within a half-day drive of the campus. Otherwise, it's going to be difficult to really fill out the Bill with 30K people on a weekly basis, much less eventually get to 50K+. Third, there are pricing comparisons across states where LU compares themselves from a sticker price, then net price perspective vs. private and public 4 yr. institutions. We've found ourselves a nice little advantage from a pricing perspective vs. states like PA and several others in the NE. In the south, you have the Bible belt and more conservatively aligned people, which provides fruitful grounds for recruitment. The increased footprint in the mid-atlantic just makes sense. Hopefully, the administration recognizes the importance of raising our academic profile some, as we continue to grow our athletics program. If we really want to join the big boys at some point, we will need both. At the moment, I'm left wondering who's really steering the ship?
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By tyndal23
Posts
#652360
Humble_Opinion wrote: March 8th, 2023, 1:48 pm There has been an uptick in strategy/recruiting efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region for numerous reasons. First, is the potential for retention among the student, as they're more likely to retain if they are able to see their family more than once or twice a year, especially as a freshman. Second, is the importance as it relates to after-college support as an alum. You're much more likely to attend games and purchase season tickets if you're within a half-day drive of the campus. Otherwise, it's going to be difficult to really fill out the Bill with 30K people on a weekly basis, much less eventually get to 50K+. Third, there are pricing comparisons across states where LU compares themselves from a sticker price, then net price perspective vs. private and public 4 yr. institutions. We've found ourselves a nice little advantage from a pricing perspective vs. states like PA and several others in the NE. In the south, you have the Bible belt and more conservatively aligned people, which provides fruitful grounds for recruitment. The increased footprint in the mid-atlantic just makes sense. Hopefully, the administration recognizes the importance of raising our academic profile some, as we continue to grow our athletics program. If we really want to join the big boys at some point, we will need both. At the moment, I'm left wondering who's really steering the ship?
Makes sense for students and future alumni, but I am talking specifically about marketing for Athletes. Even a simple digital campaign - LU could do an ad campaign for Christian Schools using MaxPreps or Hudl. ( every kid watches his own highlights) and will see an ad) Maybe we already do a ton behind the scenes - I am just curious if anyone knows specifics. Our Marketing and Campus Branding are top notch ( production wise ) when watching ESPN +. Just wondering if we are combining that type of quality ad/campaigns specific to individual sport recruiting - If not - why not?

Perhaps $ is much better spent on extra staff focused on transfer portal in each sport than a high school campaign - things have changed pretty dramatically.
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By Ill flame
Posts
#652362
We've already got a large support staff that most G5s would be envious of that's job is to sort through hundreds of hours of film and narrowing down what players the coaching staff should recruit. I'm not sure you can get more targeted marketing to athletes than that.
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By cruzan_flame13
Posts
#653262
tyndal23 wrote: April 8th, 2023, 12:05 am
badger74 wrote: April 7th, 2023, 11:24 pm https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb ... r-AA19v7CH
Proof that recruiting budgets are a big part of success. I expect a fleet of no less than 12 of these in the LU hanger by 8/1/23

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=htt ... AdAAAAABAE
No @tyndal23 , we don't need that or spend a lot of money to get big recruits here. According to what's usually stated here in forum, we are highly stable enough to get people here on the mountain. Just seeing the campus will get top recruits on board and want to play here! :D
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By Ill flame
Posts
#653264
tyndal23 wrote: April 8th, 2023, 12:05 am
badger74 wrote: April 7th, 2023, 11:24 pm https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb ... r-AA19v7CH
Proof that recruiting budgets are a big part of success. I expect a fleet of no less than 12 of these in the LU hanger by 8/1/23

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=htt ... AdAAAAABAE
If Alabama is the template we need to maximize the number of waterfalls in our facilities. Maybe instead of 12 helicopters we should get one luxury private jet with a nice waterfall inside of it. I don't think Alabama has that yet.
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