Publicity – What makes this news?
You are communicating “good news” about the achievements of student-athletes “off the court” and your school’s commitment to them. Understand that this special story dispels common misconceptions about student-athletes.
Who are the supporters of your sports teams?
Most universities have supporters from many different groups in the community; including corporate entities both on and off campus. These groups may include the following: boosters and corporate sponsors, season ticket holders, local media, student body, alumni, recruits, current and former student-athletes, Student Government Association, faculty and staff.
Your supporters receive information from your institution and would be interested in the academic and athletic accomplishments of your student-athletes. Let your supporters know what you are doing on campus, in the community, and invite them to join in the celebration.
How to get your story heard:
- Twitter: #nationalstudentathleteday is the official hash tag for the celebration. Let your followers know what you are planning or have already done to honor your institution's outstanding student-athletes.
- Your athletic department's social media office can assist with promoting your NSAD celebration via press release, news page on your athletic department's website, and other written or online communication. Campus and community newspapers, radio outlets, and local television stations are also a great way to promote your NSAD celebration. It is best to contact reporters and editors who cover education, sports, and human interest stories.
Sample Press Release
Date: __________ Contact & Phone: __________
THE UNIVERSITY OF __________ CELEBRATES NATIONAL-STUDENT ATHLETE DAY
CITY, STATE – Hundreds of events around the nation will mark April 6, 2016, as the 29th annual National STUDENT-Athlete Day, including activities sponsored by the University of _________. (First paragraph should close with the “who, what, when, where” of your institution’s activities. Describe the planned event as a series of concise, newsworthy facts.)
National STUDENT-Athlete Day honors student-athletes and the network of parents, coaches, teachers and school systems that make it possible for young people to strike a balance between academic and athletic achievement and who use sport as a vehicle for positive social change. The day, established by the National Consortium for Academics & Sports, is co-sponsored by the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and Northeastern University’s Sport in Society.
President Clinton has saluted those involved in National STUDENT-Athlete Day activities. In an open letter acknowledging the day, he wrote, “A healthy balance between sports and academics is essential to ensuring that our students are prepared for the challenges of the future.”
Richard Lapchick, President of National Consortium for Academics and Sports, said “Sport is a powerful tool for making positive social change. Sports' greatest ambassadors are our student-athletes. National STUDENT-Athlete Day honors those young men and women who have achieved excellence. Having honored over 3.8 million student-athletes since 1997, that is a true testament to the leadership that sport has brought to young people.” (Add other quotations; a press release is a great opportunity for your school president and/or director of athletics to be quoted congratulating those involved.)
Publicity within Your School
Many student-athletes are recognized only for their efforts on the playing field, while their presence on campus has a much farther reach. They are role models for their fellow students and give back to the community. Similarly, the efforts of academic support staff including advisors, tutors, and coaches are virtually unknown.
This is a great opportunity for your campus to hear about the academic and community service achievements of your student-athletes, the efforts of the support staff who work with them, and your institutional commitment to the ideals of National STUDENT-Athlete Day.
Utilize your Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to help spread the word and plan an event surrounding the celebration.
What can we do?
Choose a variety of methods to communicate to your entire institution:
- University-wide memorandum including faculty and staff
- Posters all over campus
- Articles in campus papers
- Interviews on campus radio
- Handouts in residence halls and fraternity meetings
What should be said?
- Explain the goal: “National STUDENT-Athlete Day recognizes the academic and community achievements of student-athletes and the positive effects that sports have on society.” Give examples of outreach and community service programs that your student-athletes are involved in.
- Explain your involvement as a member of the NCAS and how National STUDENT-Athlete Day is one part of a larger community providing outreach service during the year by your student-athletes.
- Describe the activities your institution has planned.
- List names of student-athletes and/or support staff being honored and why they were selected.
Faculty, staff, and students at your school will understand the achievements of your student-athletes in the classroom and the commitment they have made in the community.