A very interesting article popped up on my news feed recently. “How To Win In Recruiting” by Mike Nowoswiat and James Moss proceeds from the assumption that recruits will likely pick a school based on his perception of the school’s brand.
Brand perception is not only one of the most important assets to an athletic department, but it is one of the easiest assets to change as well. Darlow describes in his book that perception, recruiting, winning, and money make up the four phases of an Athletic Program Life Cycle, in that order. All four phases are interrelated, yet the ability to affect the different phases is not equal. It is difficult for an athletic director to wake up and say, “I want to make 20% more money this year.” It is more realistic for an athletic director to say, “I want to improve my brand perception.” Perception in turn affects recruiting, which affects winning, which affects revenue. Each phase is most greatly influenced by the preceding phase. This explains why the recruiting results have a stronger correlation with our brand rankings than the revenue rankings. We documented how Clemson, a relative newcomer, topped the brand rankings yet was only 27th in the trailing revenue rankings. As the life cycle evolves, we expect Clemson’s improved perception, recruiting, and winning to drive it’s ranking up the revenue charts in years to come. In short, the name of the game in college athletics is perception. Perception is the product. Get perception right, and the rest will take care of itself.
Read the full article here: