Anything and everything about Liberty Flames football. Your comments on games, recruiting and the direction of the program as we move into new era.

Moderators: jcmanson, Sly Fox, BuryYourDuke, Class of 20Something

#594077
The Goal –
Increase the awareness, following and loyalty to Liberty University Football nationwide. Measurable outcomes would be:
• Greater attendance at road football games
• Greater attendance at Bowl games
• Greater viewership of Televised games

The Premise –
There are literally millions of Evangelical Christian conservatives in our nation. Liberty needs to have a sustained marketing campaign to target the largest pockets of Evangelical Christians and earn their affection and build Liberty Football fandom through identity of our common values.

The Message –
• Liberty University is our nations flagship Christian university.
• Liberty University is the only Christian university with Division 1 FBS football.
• Liberty University seeks to be to Evangelical Christians as Notre Dame is to Catholics and BYU is to Mormons.

The Plan –
1. Create Awareness. Not everyone knows what LU is, where it is, what it is about.
2. Create Affinity. Help people connect the dots between their personal Christian values and the values of LU Football.
3. Create Interest. Engender a desire and appetite for Evangelical Christians to want to follow and watch LU Football.
4. Create Loyalty. Have a marketing program and a brand to which Evangelical Christians can commit and be loyal.

The Ideas –
Please submit ideas below. Hopefully LU Sports Marketing sees this and takes some of the ideas into the marketplace.
thepostman liked this
#594078
Idea...

Identify every private Christian High School with a football program in the nation. Once you have a database - there are a LOT of options with marketing/promotions.

Sort database by State and Zip Code.
Build a database of Christian HS within a 1 hour drive of every FBS opponent.
Promote LU Football road games.
Have a LU Football marketing packet which is mailed to every High School Football coach to share with his players. Include a TV media guide with football schedule and how to watch games.
Ship free LU football gear to select schools.
Ship free LU football mini-poster with football schedule.
etc.
etc.
#594084
Good stuff @Geraldos Mustache !

I think your idea to leverage the Christian community is a great one. I am not a marketing expert but between social media and other avenues it is easier than ever to get your message out but how do we stand out?

I think that will go hand in hand with our success. We do a decent job marketing ourselves so if we can continue to have sustained success the rest will take care of itself.

I'm curious to read other ideas. Really good stuff here.
#594085
I live in Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia, and I have been trying to wear my Liberty sweatshirt, or T-shirt, or hat, a lot more. I also have a Liberty jacket I often wear to church. The reason? It brings up conversations with people at church or elsewhere. We start talking about football and I explain the history of Liberty football and why I root for them. People find it interesting and have more questions. I got my best friend to go to a Liberty game at Rutgers this year. I have others considering sending their kids to Liberty. Trying to find anyone in PA with Liberty gear is almost an impossibility.

I think the big problem is having only about 16,000 students on campus. Unless that number increases, it puts Liberty at a big disadvantage over other colleges. I mean, how many online students actually go to games? Just curious.

I do like the idea of Liberty sending marketing packages to private Christian high schools.
Last edited by sstaedtler on January 18th, 2020, 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#594087
Great ideas. I always wear my Liberty stuff, no matter where I travel in the country. (My mentor once told me, "no matter where you go, you should always spread the message, and recruit)

As for mailing gear to high schools, got to be careful with that, in that no NCAA regulations are broken.
sstaedtler liked this
#594088
sstaedtler wrote: January 18th, 2020, 3:46 pm I live in Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia, and I have been trying to wear my Liberty sweatshirt, or T-shirt, or hat, a lot more. I also have a Liberty jacket I often wear to church. The reason? It brings up conversations with people at church or elsewhere. We start talking about football and I explain the history of Liberty football and why I root for them. People find it interesting and have more questions. I got my best friend to go to a Liberty game at Rutgers this year. I have others considering sending their kids to Liberty. Trying to find anyone in PA with Liberty gear is almost an impossibility.

I think the big problem is having only about 16,000 students on campus. Unless that number increases, it puts Liberty at a big disadvantage over other colleges. I mean, how many online students actually go to games? Just curious.

I do like the idea of Liberty sending marking packages to private Christian high schools.
@sstaedtler
You and I are cut from the same cloth. I do the same things, too, but here in the Chicago suburbs. I wear my Liberty sweatshirt hoodie often. I rep my Liberty University logo on my red Ram 1500 rear window. In the 3 semesters my daughter has been at Liberty (plus she was committed to attending Liberty by spring of her high school Junior year) I have been having one-on-one conversations with people about Liberty. Between other parents at the high school, families at church and my customers in the marketplace, I must have explained what and where Liberty is to well over 300 people.

I have actually shown this "Liberty University Facilities" video to several dozen people. Everyone goes nuts!


This 3 minute video is an amazing way to promote the Liberty campus and brand.
sstaedtler liked this
#594093
I follow High School football here in Illinois very closely. There are a LOT of Catholic schools but very few Christian schools that have a football team.

Aurora Christian (Aurora, IL)
Wheaton Academy (Wheaton, IL)
Chicago Christian (Palos Heights, IL)
Rockford Lutheran (Rockford, IL)
Walther Christian (Melrose Park, IL)

There are two other decent sized Christian schools but they don't have football programs

Harvest Christian Academy (Elgin, IL)
Timothy Christian (Elmhurst, IL)

These are the only Christian high schools in Illinois with 200+ students. Of the five schools with football, there may be 200 football players to market to plus the coaching staff. Would be cool to mail a 50-piece marketing packet to each of the five head coaches. Imagine doing this nationwide for the next 5 years.
#594097
ballcoach15 wrote: January 18th, 2020, 3:58 pm I always wear my Liberty stuff, no matter where I travel in the country.
Ballcoach, maybe you should BURN that Nationals hat. :liar
thepostman, JK37 liked this
#594102
I remember LU doing a somewhat national campaign of the school, billboards in NY, Atlanta, etc. I can’t remember how long ago that was, but do something similar, but of the football program, billboards all over. Market all the big Christian conferences. Do we have a presence at passion in Atlanta ever New Years? If not we need to be.
Geraldos Mustache liked this
#594103
I'm not sure how common this is among other pro sports teams but the St Louis Cardinals always have a Christian day every year that is a big deal for many churches across Missouri/southern Illinois.
This seems like a perfect opportunity to market to Christians that also love sports. Finding opportunities like this across the country to market the University and what they stand for could help with the awareness issue.
#594105
Liberty22 wrote: January 18th, 2020, 5:41 pm I remember LU doing a somewhat national campaign of the school, billboards in NY, Atlanta, etc. I can’t remember how long ago that was, but do something similar, but of the football program, billboards all over. Market all the big Christian conferences. Do we have a presence at passion in Atlanta ever New Years? If not we need to be.
Passion conference in Atlanta would be an amazing idea! There were 65,000 young 18-25 year old Christians in attendance. I imagine Liberty could produce and pay for an LU sports commercial to run a few times during the event. The commercial could cover both Football and Basketball since the conference is over NYE each year - could be a recap of a successful football season and runs smack dab in the middle of the basketball season.

This is an amazing idea @ Liberty22. I cannot think of another venue in which you have a captive audience of 65,000 young Christians in one place! Thanks for a solid contribution to this thread!
Liberty22 liked this
#594106
There were a couple of ladies sitting next to us at the bowl game that lived in the Orlando area that had a daughter that graduated and wanted to support the University. I know we sent something like 200,000 emails about the game. Maybe she was drawn in by that.

Winning tradition is the only real way. People will support winners. Combine that with all of the other great ideas in the thread and we will truly have Flames Nation.
#594110
If we can get consistently get 3 to 4 guys drafted every year that will help as well. Don't be surprised if we start doing that consistently soon. I wouldn't be surprised if we get 2 or 3 drafted this year. AGG, Dontae and Frankie. Jessie may get a look as well as Buckshot.

Getting some high profile wins will help as well.
#594114
FlamesHighontheTide wrote: January 18th, 2020, 7:44 pm If we can get consistently get 3 to 4 guys drafted every year that will help as well. Don't be surprised if we start doing that consistently soon. I wouldn't be surprised if we get 2 or 3 drafted this year. AGG, Dontae and Frankie. Jessie may get a look as well as Buckshot.

Getting some high profile wins will help as well.
Goes without saying.
Of course wins help.
Of course LU grads playing in the NFL help.

This thread is about IDEAS. More specifically MARKETING ideas. What you got?
#594135
Tapping into captive markets(Passion)

Tapping into SM markets that have more than faith in common with the program were targeting. (Dude Perfect doing a trick shot video on campus, compete against players around campus. Bend the disc path around the track while it's up, include the tower somehow, drop the first arena tour in the video.)

We The Champions has been a great augment to Training Champions for Christ. The charge they wrote with it is underused. It feels like a marketing campaign not a part of the identity of the school. Fix it. Make the flags easily available too.

Have an annual SM tradition. Something that gets the residential, online, alumni, and fans all on the same hashtag for a week. Be it a Christmas gear hashtag, a first day of school, something where the hashtag is unique to the day but doesn't change from year to year.

We need to leverage relationships to have people that are friends of LU but not employed, specifically folks with massive social presence to highlight the work that CSER and LUSendNow accomplish. It can't look like tooting our own horn.
#594140
Class of 20Something wrote: January 18th, 2020, 11:50 pm Tapping into captive markets(Passion)

Tapping into SM markets that have more than faith in common with the program were targeting. (Dude Perfect doing a trick shot video on campus, compete against players around campus. Bend the disc path around the track while it's up, include the tower somehow, drop the first arena tour in the video.)

We The Champions has been a great augment to Training Champions for Christ. The charge they wrote with it is underused. It feels like a marketing campaign not a part of the identity of the school. Fix it. Make the flags easily available too.

Have an annual SM tradition. Something that gets the residential, online, alumni, and fans all on the same hashtag for a week. Be it a Christmas gear hashtag, a first day of school, something where the hashtag is unique to the day but doesn't change from year to year.

We need to leverage relationships to have people that are friends of LU but not employed, specifically folks with massive social presence to highlight the work that CSER and LUSendNow accomplish. It can't look like tooting our own horn.
Appreciate your thoughts but did not follow everything you mentioned.
I am very interested in SM (Social Media) to promote games. I particularly like the idea of being able to promote an image/photo or short video of an upcoming game. Would love it if there were a "call to action" in which thousands of LU students, followers, alumni etc. are asked to post something on the same day to promote an event. I just don't know enough about how that sort of thing works.
#594141
How many Facebook followers does LU have vs. other FBS schools?

Liberty Flames Football - 19,000
UVA Football - 27,500
Virginia Tech Athletics - 211,000
NC State Football - 73,000
Duke Football - 45,000
Wake Forest Football - 6800
North Carolina Tar Heels - 1.1 million
Tar Heel Football - 2500
Appalachian State University Football - 59,000
Charlotte 49ers Football - 9900
Marshall University Football - 5000


BYU Football - 166,000
Notre Dame Football - 725,000

Considering Liberty Football has only been FBS Division 1 for two years, I'd say 19,000 followers is decent. Would love to have a campaign which boosts this.
#594145
Geraldos Mustache wrote: January 19th, 2020, 1:06 am How many Facebook followers does LU have vs. other FBS schools?

Liberty Flames Football - 19,000
UVA Football - 27,500
Virginia Tech Athletics - 211,000
NC State Football - 73,000
Duke Football - 45,000
Wake Forest Football - 6800
North Carolina Tar Heels - 1.1 million
Tar Heel Football - 2500
Appalachian State University Football - 59,000
Charlotte 49ers Football - 9900
Marshall University Football - 5000


BYU Football - 166,000
Notre Dame Football - 725,000

Considering Liberty Football has only been FBS Division 1 for two years, I'd say 19,000 followers is decent. Would love to have a campaign which boosts this.
Facebook alone is way too narrow. Twitter, instagram, and especially tiktok need to be leveraged in the growing phase.

I think it's also important that people understand the importance of hashtags and what purpose they serve. Hashtags are designed to communicate and sort post that reference a specific topic. That girl on facebook that writes a full sentence in her hashtag isn't doing anything. You should be able to search a hashtag on any platform and see everyone that has used it. It's a way of seeing what other people outside your network are saying about a topic. Get enough people using it at once and it trends.

#RiseWithUs is a great rallying cry. Except for the cricket team that also uses it.

There needs to be a single hashtag that's sports related in the future. I'm in favor of dropping both #GoFlames and #RiseWithUs for #LightEmUp.

There needs to be a single hashtag associated with Williams stadium. I don't think we should be above something to the effect of #FillTheBill.

Any hashtags need to be prominently displayed on SM, on promo materials (physical and digital) and in the stadium on the video and ribbon boards.
#594148
First thing to do is find a way to fill Williams stadium. A half empty stadium doesn't look good on TV, and TV cultivates a national fan base. Ticket prices are the first thing that come to mind. All sports in general are killing themselves these days with high ticket prices and empty seats (NFL, NASCAR, NCAA sports). People see empty seats on TV and it takes away some of their enthusiasm for attending a game. Find away to make your revenue from TV. And then reward people with affordable ticket prices for getting off the sofa and attending.

Another tool that would encourage attendance is to use flames club points to reward fans for traveling. Say a member buys a ticket to the cure bowl he/she gets an extra 5 pts.
#594149
sstaedtler wrote: January 18th, 2020, 3:46 pm I live in Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia, and I have been trying to wear my Liberty sweatshirt, or T-shirt, or hat, a lot more. I also have a Liberty jacket I often wear to church. The reason? It brings up conversations with people at church or elsewhere. We start talking about football and I explain the history of Liberty football and why I root for them. People find it interesting and have more questions. I got my best friend to go to a Liberty game at Rutgers this year. I have others considering sending their kids to Liberty. Trying to find anyone in PA with Liberty gear is almost an impossibility.

I think the big problem is having only about 16,000 students on campus. Unless that number increases, it puts Liberty at a big disadvantage over other colleges. I mean, how many online students actually go to games? Just curious.

I do like the idea of Liberty sending marketing packages to private Christian high schools.
I wear my gear in South Jersey and Philly.
#594173
Of course but this thread is more about how to we market ourselves go better grow support for our program. Simply sending recruiters out isn't going to do that. The fact we couldn't sell out the Syracuse game this year proves we have much further to go than anybody really realized.

Leveraging social media is key and finding ways to create legit connections to churches. Having a school president who is, at times, vulgar on social media probably doesn't help that cause but that is another topic altogether.

Also local support is something we need to grow. The ad campaigns are there but for whatever reason the local support doesn't seem to be there. The city has grown in the past 20 years but the support hasn't. It's really mind boggling why that is.
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