@ChicoState uses power of #socialmedia to connect fans, school sports

The Chico State athletics department hopes you’ll accept its friend request this season.

Please adjust your Twitter feeds accordingly.

Starting this fall, Chico State students can expect to see a lot more of Wildcat sports news while navigating their favorite social media platforms. It’s all part of the plan, according to Jeff Kragel, marketing director for Chico State’s Intercollegiate Athletics Department, who hopes to better utilize many of today’s most popular social media services while promoting this year’s sporting events.

With more and more organizations using social media as an ideal communication resource, many traditional forms of promotion, such as handing out leaflets or posting flyers on campus, have become woefully outdated.

Of course, it’s not hard to see why social media has supplanted most conventional marketing strategies. As of January 2013, Facebook reported having one million active users per month. Additionally, The Huffington Post indicated that 23 percent of all Facebook users check their accounts up to five times per day.

Many students have already taken notice of Chico State’s boost in web presence. Danny Woellfer, a 22-year-old senior, views the increased attention toward social media as positive.

“I think it’s a cool idea,” Woellfer said. “Almost everybody has a smartphone these days and they’re always using them for social media. It’s a really easy way for everyone to learn about different events.”

Confidence in the power of social media is high, and its value has been proven by empirical evidence. BusinessInsider.com reports that 93 percent of marketers use social media to communicate their goods and services, opting to shelve out-of-date advertising techniques in favor of newer, streamlined approaches to reach their target audience.

“It’s always changing,” Kragel added. “It seems like every day there’s a new service popping up somewhere.”

Although the athletics department had dabbled in social media before, their plan for the future sees them employing the newest social media services as soon as they begin to rise in popularity.

The department hopes that by reaching students and community members through all available social networking media, they stand a much better chance of increasing awareness and boosting overall attendance at games.

Student athletes likely stand to benefit the most from these new social networking initiatives. Rashad Parker, a 21-year-old senior and men’s basketball team member, welcomes the marketing effort with open arms.

“I think it’s great, because it’s going to reach people who may not always hear about games at Acker Gym,” Parker stated. “The more people we have coming out and enjoying the games, the better.”


Taylor Maddox can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.