Marketing UofA, Arkansas and Fayetteville has to improve

How many times do we hear of surprised recruits that say they are amazed at how their visit was different than expected. We have to overcome decades of negative recruiting against us. In sales and marketing you have to expand your funnel to more prospects and recruiting is NO different. Currently, we take a narrow band funnel that is willing to listen in spite of the negative impression they have of Arkansas. We then take that narrow band of prospects and try to get them on campus to SEE it for themselves.

The issue is that we are MISSING a large number of recruits that will talk to our athletic or academic recruiters but won’t give us a visit to see the truth. Some aren’t even willing to take our call, open our mail, etc. because they believe the negative spin. We have to have better videos and tools. We are picking from a small pool for NO reason other than complacency.

I have talked about this with fans and it seems very real to the fans, BUT the previous admin was extremely sensitive and defensive to me. They literally felt that this negative recruiting has always been there and they have done fine in the past recruiting. Wow, so they think we have been doing “fine in recruiting” with some of the best facilities and scenery in the SEC? Some in the admin felt that “everyone already know NWA is great so why spend money repeating it”.

If a recruit says that he had heard bad things about Arkansas, then I would love for our coaches to be able to send a link to a video page on our website that has various videos and positive rankings for Degree programs, Quality of Life, Jobs, Economic Growth, Hi tech, etc. from Magazines like Forbes, Money, US News and World Report, etc. A smart recruit would think, “do I listen to the Coach at A&M, OM, LSU, etc or do I watch a video with real visual proof and quotes from major magazines saying good things?”

We need to show that our past is in the past, because our competition is telling recruits about the negative image of Arkansas. Our Previous Admin sucked at developing marketing and advertising tools to combat our competitors. Our image is not good so we need to show that the whole state has things to be proud of yet we still need to improve. Our state and Fayetteville have landed on some GREAT magazine lists that need to be AGGRESSIVELY marketed and emphasized.

Our Admin needs to use the new drone video options that are so cost effective. We can show aerial views of the environment at DWRRS, show the campus, show downtown fayetteville, dickson st, etc. In the world of drone video our AD should be commissioning videos of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Eureka Springs, etc. They should have video segments about Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, Crystal Bridges, AMP (big emphasis) and recent musical acts, Beaver Lake, etc.

They should have video segments about the national ranking by Magazines of All Arkansas cities for standard of living and job growth. They should do a video segment about the rest of the state and Little Rock, River Market, Clinton Library, Heiffer, Dillards, Stephens, etc. We need to remind people that there is something in the water here since we have homegrown giants in Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, Stephens, Dillards, etc. We need to show new improvements in Little Rock, Clinton Library, Heifer Int’l, River Market and new downtown developments.

Most 18 year olds don’t know “the world” past the city/town they live in. Our coaches and administrators are constantly linking information about Fayetteville/NWA/state on social media, you know, the venue these kids actually read?? Kids may say some of the same comments when visiting Starkville, C.S., or others cities, I don’t read their visit reports from other schools, do you?

I just can’t believe that you think the are not trying to overcome this already.

I am fairly certain they are not sending video clips of the Beverly Hillbillies to them

All the drone footage in the world can’t overcome six years of ineptitude and poor branding of the product under Smiles and Bielema.

Morris and gang are off to a good start. Their social media presence, work ethic, seemingly “getting it” when it comes to 18 year old preferences regarding uniforms, etc. are all positives. At the end of the day though they need to catch some breaks and win enough games in 2018 to show their is real hope we have a chance to climb out of the SEC West cellar where we have either resided or been next to last in six of the last seven years.

Horseshit. Plain and simple.

CBB and Co worked harder than any previous staff that I can recall. Not sure about Ford’s staff, as that was a bit before the internet coverage of recruiting was 24/7.

You jump in a thread about geographic image and university marketing and take a kindergarten slap at a former coach? Really?

Whatever … another Razorback recruiting writer I respect as much as do the writers on this site had a different perspective . He said this staff works harder than CBB and it’s not close.

Our problem is not geography or university image - those are excuses made by people trying to explain a way bad coaches. Out problem is we’ve sucked for six years and on top of that played a boring, SLOW brand of football…cellar or near cellar dwellers in the West for 6 of the last 7 years. There is a reason in the past I described us as Vandy of the West…we have been and still are albeit with a fresh start and hope for better days.

As a result we have been out of thought and out of mind for far too many kids. The coaching and recruiting RESULTS have been below quality for far too long . The efforts to brand the program as “uncommon” were weak. The tactics - not taking a recruit’s commitment until they had visited ( hello Dominick Sanders) - were mind numbingly stupid. Not taking an instate kid until they fully qualified ( hello Akiel Byars) lest you have to drop them at the end was dumb. A HS coach and recruit of below average intelligence could understand “ we are offering you and would love to have your commitment, but if you don’t do your part academically by signing day we will have to go another direction. Are we all on the same page? If not it’s best you not commit. If so, welcome to the family!” Again, dumb.

Thankfully we now have a staff working harder and working SMARTER.

I expect big improvement in the next class.

I have to say that CBB and his staff got more credit for less than average results than I’ve ever seen.

He as a coach got more excuses and support it was almost mind boggling. It in my mind was due to the deep disappointment everyone had when BP was fired. We were finally at the top and then bam it was over. So so many fans bought into Bret, blindly, and would’ve sworn his crap was gold.

I think it’s obvious they didn’t recruit near as hard as this staff already is, I mean they were a couple of hours from Texas and signed how many Texas recruits in 5 years? Very, very few.

Instead we wasted too much time in Florida. Yes we got some good players, but the chances of getting a kid to move 600 miles are much less than 200. The retention probability is also much, much lower if they break out of that 250 mile radius.

Amazes me that people still come to commend Bret for his time, which was full of lousy football and worse coaching. Worked well for him he looks like a champ sitting on 30 Mill with a half way brainwashed fan base still saying he was such a great guy and did so much good. May have been a good guy, but his job in the football program was piss poor.

I like this staff and I think they’re going to do very well. They’re obviously more active on Twitter. I’ll wait for a few months before commenting on a staff’s recruiting efforts.

Schools often don’t take a a kid’s commitment because they like someone better. That’s not unusual.

There were other things considered in regards to Akiel.

It helps to talk to recruiting experts and even our local experts that are willing to say something off the record. Yes this is unique to Arkansas, and those of us in Arkansas think it is the greatest place but these out of state kids have a negative image of us. I am amazed at how defensive our fans get about promoting our positive truths. It is downright ODD to me that some of the fans on here are so sure of our marketing. They may not like what they see in comparison to other schools that I have posted before.

Reid you never cease to surprise me. You want to bitch and moan about recruiting all the time and pin it on the head coach. CBB didn’t perform as expected but that has NOTHING to do with the concern about our weak marketing of Arkansas, UofA and Fayetteville. Those of us in Arkansas think it is the greatest place but these out of state kids have a negative image of us. I am amazed at how defensive fans like you get about promoting our positive truths. It is downright ODD to me that some of the fans on here are so sure of our marketing. They may not like what they see in comparison to other schools. I have posted links before and will go look for them.

Virtual tour…impressive … fornia/rt/ … ompletion/

LSU 360 videos … =205139246

360 athletic campus tour video … M_ID=31000 … M_ID=31000

Ole Miss

USCe forever loyal to thee video 5 part series … .yqxz27762 … .2xuqhvn8v … .uaa4z1p4e

Florida State … M_ID=32900

Texas … h=football … ture=watch

Richard would you agree not taking a kid that turned out to be an All American, Georgia safety All American Dominick Sanders, was a very poor decision? As I recall it wasn’t because they wanted somebody else. Rather, it was because he had not yet visited. There were others including a DE that went to Miami.

As for Byers grade problems were hinted at, but I saw him in the field for Mizzou this past season. If it was because he wasn’t uncommon enough well, there are enough choir boys to win. Have to take some kids with issues and mold them. It’s part of coaching in a world with far too many one parent homes.

So Sanders would’ve been a Hog if Ga. wanted him? As far as his talent, it’s an educated guess on how a kid will turn out. Of course, he was just a 3-star at the time so he wasn’t worth taking. Right?

Again, there were other things with Akial.

I can’t believe they haven’t put you in charge of marketing, simply amazing. Tell us, what are these people saying “off the record”, which of course, you can’t prove, lol.

Does it surprise me that a kid from inner city New Orleans, Houston, or Atlanta doesn’t have an understanding of Arkansas, much less Fayetteville? Not at all, most probably couldn’t identify 20 states in the US, so no, it doesn’t surprise me in their attitude.
Our virtual tour is clumsy singular buildings and does not use any aerial footage to show the vistas, scenery and total campus layout of the singular buildings. … rtual-tour
Miss State of all schools has a easier to navigate virtual tour yet they have very little to promote like we do.
Even Arkansas State has one with a good user interface like Miss st.

I am not surpised at all by your response as you are part of the sheep that are drunk on access.

You seem to have some super power that knows what people are saying off the record and that it isn’t valid. Sticking your head in the sand is not productive.

Yep, access like the Strivr system to show recruits while on the road what it’s like to play, be in a classroom, and be on campus. You hang on to those “talks” I’ll continue with my access.

I’m not surprised the previous recruiting department was not on the cutting edge…subpar was the norm.

I’m all for being cutting edge with technology, but biggest problem now is years of losing and a stale brand.

I seldom agree with Jackson as he takes opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to take potshots at the former regime (it’s former, get over it!). But I will agree with him on the losing part. The biggest part that is hurting us in recruiting is the losing record, but not just from the last six years (though it’s the part our recruits remember the most), but overall in 25 years of the SEC. Our 25-year record speaks for itself, and while there have been bright spots, we keep finding a way to step on ourselves and fall back into being what everyone outside of Arkansas thinks of Arkansas.

Obviously, we have built-in disadvantages that have often been addressed on this board. We need to use every ounce of technology to our advantage, but I imagine this staff, the previous staff, and staffs before them have done all that they can to show the beauty of NWA and do their best to overcome the “hick state” idea that people have of our state,