What can a college wrestler or coach learn from a former NBA player?
When it comes to building and maintaining their personal brand through social media, plenty… especially when it’s Clark Kellogg, former basketball star and now CBS analyst, in a presentation to the Xavier University basketball team reported on in the Cincinnati Enquirer Sunday.
Major corporations such as Apple and Coca-Cola spend millions to develop and maintain a brand, leaving nothing to chance. College athletes and coaches – including those in wrestling – should take the same care, according to Kellogg.
Kellogg, vice-president of player relations for the Indiana Pacers, encouraged players and managers to “buff up” their brands by engaging positively in media and social media situations. Kellogg promoted the development of good habits in an age of constant scrutiny, from making eye contact with interviewers to finding quality role models to emulate… and, yes, watching what they post on social media.
Kellogg urged the Xavier Musketeer basketball players to use what he called a “measured approach” to social media.
“That’s been my posture with my own children – to be moderate – because you reduce the risk of being misconstrued or something being controversial,” said Kellogg. “I think it goes even to a deeper core. The whole self-promotion thing is really not a healthy type of value overall. There are times when you do need to blow your own horn, but the preponderance with that as being something redeeming has gone way out of bounds in all of life. Not just in sports.”
Before Kellogg’s arrival, Xavier basketball players interviewed one another, participated in mock press conferences and studied examples of good and bad Tweets.
Because college wrestling doesn’t get the same media attention that basketball or football does, wrestlers and coaches may think whatever they say, do or write online will escape media scrutiny. However, athletes and coaches who reach out to friends and fans on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets can instantly damage their already established brand image with one controversial Tweet, photo or video.
If you have any doubt of the power of social media even in college wrestling, here's a positive example from a couple weeks ago. A Twitter conversation between Iowa head coach Tom Brands and his counterpart at Penn State, Cael Sanderson not only generated considerable buzz within the wrestling community, but also resulted in the addition of a dual meet between the two Big Ten mat rivals for this December.
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