Twitter Interview Lassiter Article posted on June 27, 2013

After hosting June’s packed event in connection with NACDA — the inaugural Win AD Think Tank – where perceptive insights were presented, actionable ideas were shared, and research topics suggested, Winthrop Intelligence had just a few more questions for two of the participants.

We decided to use Twitter to conduct our first #WINterview with Michael Thompson — Ole Miss’s Senior Associate AD/Communications & Marketing — and Zack Lassiter UCF’s Senior Associate AD for External Operations. We wanted to get more of their takes on fan engagement, social media, game day experience, marketing strategy, and revenue. Thanks to Zack and Michael for participating!

Q1: @ZackLassiter @mtjrolemiss What’s an effective fan engagement strategy you’ve employed? #WINterview
@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss Fan engagement has to be more than a strategy, it must be a department mindset to be effective. #WINterview

@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss Your department must be a good listener and engage fans across all communication platforms. #WINterview

@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss A department that values customers can’t make policy decisions based on internal organization convenience. #WINterview

@Win_AD @ZackLassiter This sounds obvious, but that doesn’t make it easy – create effective channels to listen to your fans. #WINterview
Q2: @ZackLassiter @mtjrolemiss Is there a strong correlation between fan engagement and donations? #WINterview
@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss It can help but there’s no guarantee because so many other factors come into play #WINterview

@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss A2: At UCF, we believe that if we work together, serve the customer and tell our story, our support will grow #WINterview

@Win_AD The correlation is strong. The keys to making it even stronger are transparency and simplicity in the giving process. #WINterview
Q3: @ZackLassiter @mtjrolemiss New court looks great! If courts are the latest trend in brand extension, what’s next? #WINterview
@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss Good question. There’s no limit. Schools are constantly finding new ways to innovate and tell their story. #WINterview

@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss Trend I’m following closely is the evolution of athletic department websites. Love what Washington is doing. #WINterview

@Win_AD I agree with @ZackLassiter – it is not as much about new exts., but getting the basics (website, advertising, etc) aligned. #WINterview
Q4: @ZackLassiter @mtjrolemiss What’s the most innovative use of social media your ath. department is working on/has implemented? #WINterview
@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss We launched #OperationBlackTop to unveil our new basketball floor. Coverage we got not possible w/o SM. #WINterview

@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss Strategic collaboration across multiple external units essential – video, communications, marketing, IMG. #WINterview

@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss Love the new world of SM because it levels the playing field. The only limit is your own creativity. #WINterview

@Win_AD @ZackLassiter Love leveraging SM for realtime interaction. @RebelGameday provides info on traffic, parking, etc. #WINterview

@Win_AD @ZackLassiter another one for real time content is @RebelRewards – a favorite for students bc of key info on check ins. #WINterview

Q5: @ZackLassiter @mtjrolemiss What advice do you wish you’d been given when you started working in college athletics? #WINterview
@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss Embrace empathy and vulnerability. One of the best answers you can give: I don’t know but let me find out. #WINterview
@Win_AD @ZackLassiter Be ready to constantly learn about your fans, monitor what they value & shift your focus to those values. #WINterview
Q6: @ZackLassiter @mtjrolemiss What other school’s marketing strategy do you admire? #WINterview
@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss I learn from everyone. Love departments that take chances. Akron, Mississippi St and Miami come to mind #WINterview
@Win_AD @ZackLassiter Washington and Michigan definitely jump out. I am a big fan of @HunterLochmann & @_CsH #WINterview
Q7: @ZackLassiter @mtjrolemiss Last one. Any ‘must-follows’ on twitter who you can recommend to sports marketing folks? #WINterview
@Win_AD @mtjrolemiss My current go-to is the daily @D1ticker email. Also, can’t get enough @HarvardBiz. #WINterview