Giving Valentine’s Day a Run for its Money

I think Valentine’s Day has company when it comes to the most hated holiday on social media. No, I am not “joking around with you,” I am talking about April Fools’ Day. While I have said before that V-Day doesn’t bother me as much as some people, I am with the growing masses when it comes to detesting April Fools’.

Never before had I seen the resentment toward the First of April more than this year. A whole week before April 1 I saw warnings about the stupidity others stoop to via social media posts, morning FM radio, and even news programs. The message was simple: Be on the lookout for bogus digital claims by people looking for attention.

I am not a big fan of April Fools' Day on social media.

I am not a big fan of April Fools’ Day on social media.

I hate what has become a yearly exercise for many. A person sits down and conjures up some story about having twins, getting married, going off to prison, moving to another country, being abducted by aliens, etc. While most people detect the B.S. immediately, some fall for it. The folks who are duped will respond back with lots of capital letters, emoticons, and questions. Of course this gives the prankster satisfaction and maybe even the motivation to pull a similar stunt the next year.

I don’t care for these stupid Facebook jokes mainly because they are just so unoriginal. Millions of people do them each year. The stories are so tired and cliché that these social media users come up with. When I think of a good April Fools’ prank, I think of someone going above and beyond to pull off a legitimate and creative physical joke on someone else. I don’t think of some goober sitting at his computer typing up some tall tale. That is just too dang easy.

I also am weary of these “pranks” because the people who do them cheapen the legitimate good news of others. If you get married, receive a big job offer, or have a baby, that should be your moment in the sun on social media. You earned it. However, just because it is April Fools’, others who have not actually achieved anything can act like they did and receive praise for it. To me, there is nothing more undeserving or foolish-looking.

I don’t particularly care for it when companies and organizations attempt to pull off elaborate pranks on social media either. Some entities will go to crazy lengths. I much prefer a more subdued approach. Here at #CCUSocialMedia we just created a cool/funny graphic (A Chanticleer is a rooster) and wished our audience a happy April Fools’ Day. We commemorated the holiday while making people laugh. I think this is much more credible and respectful than trying to pull a fast one.

This was our April Fools' graphic.

This was our April Fools’ graphic.

With all of this said, I have decided that this will be my last blog post ever…(SHUT UP BRENT!!). Okay, just kidding. Happy April Fools’ Day to all, have a wonderful month! Don’t Blink.

Feeling Bad for Coach Carty

Late last night a good friend and former high school teammate of mine sent me this link. I read it with sadness. The article conveyed the news that the head football coach of Mead High School in Spokane, WA., would not have his contract renewed. I attended Mead (2005) where I played football under Sean Carty’s program for all four years. My brother (2008) also played four years of football for Coach Carty. Preceding both my brother and myself, my sister (2002) was a track athlete and a gymnast in high school. While Carty surely didn’t coach her in gymnastics, he was an assistant coach on the girls’ track and field team.

As you can see, my family has had a long history with Sean Carty. With this timeline established, I want to say two things.

It has been ten years since I played for Sean Carty. During this span, the only time I actually had the chance to speak with him was after a football game in Missoula one year ago.

It has been ten years since I played for Sean Carty. During this span, the only time I actually had the chance to speak with him was after a football game in Missoula one year ago.

First, when I was a member of the Mead High School football team, Coach Carty ran a clean, honest program. During my three years suiting up for varsity we had a losing season, a championship season, and a 500 season. Throughout these very different experiences, Carty always did what was best for the team. I can honestly say that the four years I spent in the Mead football program made me a better person. I learned how to persevere, win, work, think, compete, communicate, work out, fundraise, prepare, and more. I am not embellishing anything when I say the following, many of the most important lessons I learned came under the tutelage of Sean Carty and his staff.

Now, I will admit that it has been ten years since I played football. It has been seven years for my brother. Things change, people change. However, I have a hard time believing that Coach Carty’s philosophy and methods could change so much as some might allege.

This rock that I am standing next to (excuse the hair) plays a large part in the legacy of Sean Carty. Read on to find out how.

This rock that I am standing next to (excuse the hair) plays a large part in the legacy of Sean Carty. Read on to find out how.

Second, parents ruin things. I saw it when I played, I saw it when I worked in intercollegiate athletics, and I even see it now…people who should just keep their mouths shut don’t. Luckily for me, I grew up with two parents who respected all of my coaches and would never think about confronting them, let alone going behind their backs and over their heads. But it happens every single day in America. Dads and moms live through their kids and/or erroneously believe that they know more than the coaches who spend countless hours pouring their souls into a program. It is an absolute shame. What is an even bigger travesty is when parents take it upon themselves to make the life of a coach miserable, or, in some cases, ruin it.

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Coach Carty could be a tough coach. But he was also a fair coach. As he throws what many might consider a Hail Mary as he appeals the termination, I hope the school district really analyzes its final decision. An overall winning record with fourteen issue-free seasons should always trump a group of disgruntled parents.

A couple years after Coach Carty took over as head coach, he hauled a giant boulder from his property and had it installed on the edge of the football practice fields. He painted it gold, called it “The Rock”, and started a beloved tradition where the hardest working football player each week would have his name written on that rock. At the start of every new season it was painted over and the process started again. If Sean Carty’s appeal falls on deaf ears and he is not head football coach of the Mead Panthers next season, I sure hope the high school rightfully names that rock after him. It is the least they could do. Don’t Blink.

Successfully Bolstering Our Snapchat Account

Last week I excitedly wrote about a social media event I was holding called SnapchaNt. Having already established a solid Snapchat account for Coastal Carolina University I wanted to bolster it up a few notches. Before we started marketing this past Friday’s event we had 304 followers and for each snap we added to our story we received around 150 views.

I was a little nervous on how SnapchaNt would go.

I was a little nervous on how SnapchaNt would go.

The premise of SnapchaNt was simple. On March 27 we would shut down all of our other social media outlets and communicate with our audience solely through Snapchat. Because our family of social media networks would be absent of content for the day, we would make up for it on Snapchat by snapping interesting images/video all day long.

I didn’t know exactly how SnapchaNt would go. It is definitely not beyond me to create an event that turns out to be a dud. I didn’t know if I would receive a backlash from the folks whose only social media consumption is viewing Facebook from a desktop. Sure we already had 300 people following us but was that the cap? Did any more students out there really want to connect with us on Snapchat?

Although my fears were legitimate, they never materialized. The minute we started to promote SnapchaNt early this past week we had a steady stream of users adding us. By the day of the event, the steady stream had turned into a ferocious stream. Early Friday morning it became apparent that campus was on board with our Snapchat push. Between my intern Jada and myself, we added about 50 images to our Snapchat story. The only hiccup was about mid-afternoon when for whatever reason some Snaps wouldn’t upload to the story.

We sent out fun Snaps but we also sent out informative Snaps.

We sent out fun Snaps but we also sent out informative Snaps.

A couple really cool things happened. First, I ran a few contests where I would send a Snap out inviting our student body to visit my office for a free promo item. That morning I greeted numerous students who walked through the door for a complimentary prize. Second, also through a Snap, I asked students to send us #CCU-related Snaps. Once again, we received a heavy response.

Just a few of the Snaps we received from our audience.

Just a few of the Snaps we received from our audience.

Of course the best thing of all was the tremendous growth our account profited from. At the end of the day Friday, our account had grown from 304 followers at the start of the week to a whopping 851 followers. Better yet, the majority of our Snaps added to our story received well over 600 views.

As you can see from these numbers, SnapchaNt was a huge success.

As you can see from these numbers, SnapchaNt was a huge success.

I would recommend that all universities have a presence on Snapchat. From there, I would definitely encourage that one day be set aside to devote completely to Snapchat in some sort of fun way. I don’t get to say this with all of my events, but SnapchaNt was a massive success. Don’t Blink.

Death Penalty: The Quicker the Better?

A memory I have as a young child is watching a documentary on the death penalty with my dad. The program showed old black and white videos of firing squads carrying out executions and officials leading the condemned to gallows. It was pretty graphic stuff, especially for a kid. The documentary stayed with me and I grew up with a mild curiosity for the death penalty.

Yesterday in the paper, I read an editorial that was lifted from the Bloomberg View. The piece had a very interesting premise. It argued that modern execution methods such as lethal injection and the gas chamber are much more inhumane than other methods. If the goal is to be as humane as possible to death row inmates, the Bloomberg View states, then lawmakers should embrace options such as the guillotine and firing squad to end life. The quicker the better. The author says that a method such as lethal injection is used to make the process easier on executioners and bystanders, those who don’t want to see blood and guts. However, it increases the misery of the condemned.

I disagree.

I understand the Bloomberg View’s main point that an instant death is ideal, even if it means a nightmarish blood bath. However, I can’t come to grips with it. First off, I don’t think lethal injection or the gas chamber are that inhumane. Yes, there have been a couple cases where the execution didn’t go according to plan and the condemned didn’t die right away. However, that is the exception. In most cases, the process is flawless and a quick death is achieved.

But what I disagree with much more is that the condemned would prefer a primitive death over a more modern execution solely because the end result might take a couple less seconds. The piece believes that only the living would receive relief from the absence of decapitation. For me personally, if I knew I was going to be put to death I much rather depart the world fully intact as opposed to in pieces.

Thinking about having my head chopped off makes me sick. How awful would that be if my family was given my remains in two boxes? Or what peace would I find knowing that my vital organs/head/throat were about to be blown up by a firing squad? It makes me very uneasy and it also makes me feel very much for my family. I would take a couple of “Mississippi” counts if it meant that I would look like I had just fallen asleep as opposed to if I was butchered.

Give me the injection over the head chop any day. Maybe I care too much about the condition of a corpse, after all I don’t care for cremation, but I also have family in mind as well. I am not here to argue for or against the death penalty but rather to answer the hypothetical question about best execution method. In my opinion, a two second death is not necessarily the best or most humane way to go, especially if it means losing your head. Don’t Blink.

Wisconsin Exposure, Birdman, Big Win, My Final Four, Blooper

It is the return of the Thursday Rundown after a one week hiatus from when I was in Omaha. So it is time to shake off the dust and get right to it.

Representing in Wisconsin - A television station in Madison did a story on my counterpart at the University of Wisconsin. Yes, I am talking about Nate Moll, the same guy I got in a Twitter battle with last week. Anyway, I had sent Nate a #CCUSocialMedia t-shirt for being such a great sport. It just so happened that the shirt arrived at his desk the afternoon of the taping. He raised the t-shirt for all to see. Make sure to watch the story by clicking here, it is a fantastic look at his job.

Nate showing off the shirt I sent him.

Nate showing off the shirt I sent him.

Birdman - Last night I watched the critically acclaimed film “Birdman.” It was an okay movie but Best Picture? Wow, the Academy really sees things differently than me. Watching the movie while thinking about all the accolades it received made me even more fired up that “American Sniper” got completely snubbed.

Big Win - Our baseball team here at Coastal Carolina recently picked up a big win. On Tuesday night, the Chants welcomed the South Carolina Gamecocks to Springs Brooks Stadium. Yes, those same Gamecocks who won the College World Series in 2010 and 2011. South Carolina had not played a game on our campus since the early 90’s. Because of the long duration since the Gamecocks last played here combined with their pedigree, it was a huge game. On a gorgeous night, fans filled the ballpark. The standing room only area went at least five people deep. The home team delivered for the fans, defeating the Gamecocks in 11 innings. In addition to South Carolina, the CCU baseball team has defeated two ACC teams this year, Clemson and North Carolina.

The Coastal baseball team pulled off a big victory against powerhouse South Carolina.

The Coastal baseball team pulled off a big victory against powerhouse South Carolina.

NCAA Tournament - March Madness picks back up again tonight with the regional semifinal games. This evening’s schedule has some great matchups but I am looking forward to tomorrow when Gonzaga plays. To see the Bulldogs beat UCLA and then possibly win on Sunday to advance to the Final Four would be a great thrill for me. I would love to see Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Gonzaga in Indianapolis.

Latest Coastal Now - With the #CCU NCAA Tournament experience, this segment is now completely outdated but if you got two minutes take a look at my latest Coastal Now piece. If for no other reason, watch it just so you can see me totally goof up on saying the very awkward phrase of “our record for retweets per single tweet” (yes, I write these). Just for your information, a week ago tonight I sent out a tweet on our @CCUchanticleers account that received 275 retweets.

Watch me stumble though the Social Circle.

Watch me stumble though the Social Circle.


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Have a wonderful evening! I am putting down the computer and watching the basketball games. Don’t Blink.

Why I Hate Specialty Brackets

I made it clear over a year ago, I don’t fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket. So, it goes without saying that I don’t take time to fill out, or even entertain, non-basketball brackets that have fun with the March Madness format.

These days around March, there is a bracket of 64 for pretty much everything. You hop on Facebook or open up your e-mail and you can view brackets for ice cream flavors, candy bars, past “Survivor” contestants, hard rock bands, fast food restaurants, cartoons, and much more. Aligned on slots just like college basketball teams, these brackets aim to capitalize on the tourney frenzy. I understand the thinking. In fact, a long time ago I liked seeing one of these “fun” brackets every now and then. However, this is no longer the case.

Your typical candy bar bracket.

Your typical candy bar bracket.

Parody brackets have spiraled out of control. Simply put, there are just way too many of them. Besides the fact that too many exist, I have two main problems.

Here is a cartoon bracket.

Here is a cartoon bracket.

First, parody brackets are a complete gimmick. People behind a mascot bracket or a comic book bracket do it solely for website traffic or blog hits. Creators view a mock tournament as a way to cheaply reach out to 64 companies/entities/fan bases/etc. and hope that each one will promote whatever lame tournament they come up with. It is all about shares, retweets, and likes. I opt not to advance their quest for viral notoriety as I will never use one of my own social media channels to draw attention to these brackets and most often I don’t even look at them.

Second, parody brackets are completely flawed. The way “champions” are crowned is erroneous. Many times, the creators of these brackets don’t actually have people vote on their favorites through each round. Rather, it is just the nerd making the bracket decisions himself. Take candy bars for example. If you jot down 64 candy bars according to the traditional seeding system, it should play out according to chalk every single time. If you have a Baby Ruth as a #5 seed and a Milky Way as a #12 seed, there is no conceivable way the Milky Way should ever win. As opposed to an actual basketball game where you have two teams playing each other in a physical sense where anything could happen, when you say you like one candy bar more than the other, the case is closed. Your taste buds won’t automatically change and decide they like a Milky Way better than a Baby Ruth. A bracket is not an acceptable way to express the best in a category. Rather, creating a list and leaving it at that is the best method.

In the past I could appreciate a parody bracket that was created simply to bring a smile to someone’s face. These days the intentions are greedy and the methods flawed. Don’t give me a “Best Movie Villain” bracket, I will just stick with the best teams in college basketball. Don’t Blink.

SnapchaNt

About ten months ago I wrote about the launching of our Snapchat channel here at Coastal Carolina University. I explained my strategy and I also talked aloud about how shocked I was that more universities were not on Snapchat. Almost a year later, if institutions still aren’t on SC, they have severely missed the boat.

Follow us on Snapchat by searching "ccuchanticleers."

Follow us on Snapchat by searching “ccuchanticleers.”

I task my intern, Jada, with creating most of our Snapchat content. However, about three weeks ago I was logged in looking at our account. I was viewing the amount of users who looked at various snaps within our story. To my delight, all of these pieces of media had triple digit views. To know that roughly 150 people (mostly students) look at each image we send out via our Snapchat story is gratifying. It became very clear that we needed to leverage this service as much as possible. Thus, the creation of our latest #CCUSocialMedia event…

This Friday, we will hold SnapchaNt. On this day, we will shut down all of our other social media channels and communicate to our audience solely through Snapchat.

Our official SnapchaNt logo created by the wonderful Gwendolyn Washington.

Our official SnapchaNt logo created by the wonderful Gwendolyn Washington.

We have a few goals:


1. We want to build our Snapchat following as much as possible. We already have 300+ followers*, I hope to double it by the end of Friday.

2. We want to continue to provide our #CCUSocialMedia audience with fun and creative ways to engage with us on Social. When have you ever heard of a university staging a Snapchat day? I am guessing never. We pride ourselves on being unique.

3. We want to generate fantastic user content! I am already excited for the snaps that our followers will send back to us. I will be screenshotting like crazy so I can create a gallery featuring the best of the best.

It will be fun! We will stage Snapchat giveaways throughout the day for students to cash in on. We will make our audience laugh. We will bolster our strong Snapchat channel even more. We will experiment a little. We will make one heck of a Snapchat story for all to enjoy.

Make sure to have fun with us on Snapchat this Friday.

Make sure to have fun with us on Snapchat this Friday.

Sure, we will alienate some traditional social media users who want nothing to do with Snapchat. But I know for a fact we will also convince others to join the service and follow us. The target market I am especially after, our students with accounts who just haven’t added us yet, will hopefully follow us in droves. It has actually already started to happen. After the announcement of SnapchaNt yesterday I spent five minutes Monday evening confirming new adds. I did the same this afternoon. Who knows what is awaiting our account right now.

In my opinion, having a strong Snapchat account is imperative. There is no faster way to reach students these days than through a simple Snap. Besides the practicality and necessity of having an active Snapchat account, it again just sends home the message to our social audience and specifically our students that we care about the social media experience we give them. Make sure to add us on Snapchat by searching “ccuchanticleers” and join us for some fun this Friday. Don’t Blink.

* I equate 300 Snapchat users to 3,000 Twitter users or 13,000 Facebook page likes.

A Classy Twitter Battle: Coastal vs. Wisconsin

The reputation of a social media program is much like that of a public figure. After much hard work, careful vigilance, and perfect choices up to a certain point, things can come crashing down after just one mistake. Conversely, when the pressure is on and people are watching, the opportunity to define your social program in a positive way is also possible.

Late last week on the morning of our basketball team’s NCAA Tournament game against #1 seed Wisconsin, our @CCUChanticleers Twitter account was tagged in a tweet from the official Twitter account at the University of Wisconsin:

This was the tweet that started it all.

This was the tweet that started it all.

It was a completely wide open and general tweet that didn’t reflect any menace or ill-intention. However, I did want to proceed with caution. I am pretty outspoken on how much I despise it when official Twitter accounts decide to go head-to-head in a game of who can be the wittiest while trying to make the other look like a complete fool. I have seen too many respected and well-followed entities completely embarrass themselves by clashing in social media battles that made all involved look like whiny children.

There was no doubt I was going to respond to the Wisconsin tweet. This had the potential to be awesome. Not only was it David vs. Goliath in basketball, it was also David vs. Goliath in social media. The @UWMadison account boasts almost 90,000 followers, a complete dwarfing of the 5,000 followers we have at #CCU. Any mention that the Wisconsin account gave us would help the exposure and following of our own account. However, all that potential help would be completely washed away if the conversation went badly. I chose my words carefully and issued a warm greeting back to the Wisconsin account.

I needed to test the waters.

I needed to test the waters.

The @UWMadison account responded back asking if we had our dancing shoes on, a second harmless question that let me know that Wisconsin was not out for blood. I answered back with the date that our team had won the conference championship and then sent a separate tweet asking about the best part of the Wisconsin campus.

Here is where the dialogue started to get interesting.

Here is where the dialogue started to get interesting.

The ice was broken. I felt comfortable. We exchanged more Tweets while our respective audiences looked on. We both sent out playful jabs that the Twitterverse could laugh at rather than cringe at.

For space constraints I had to eliminate the photos but you get the idea of our dialogue.

For space constraints I had to eliminate the photos but you get the idea of our dialogue.

After we went back-and-forth a couple times I decided to make sure we concluded while we were both on the top of our games. I sent out a pleasant tweet to Wisconsin that was almost immediately met by a similar response from them. I felt really good about what had just transpired.

We ended the morning conversation the right way.

We ended the morning conversation the right way.

Little did I know that it was just the beginning. Throughout the rest of the day and even into Saturday, Twitter users both related and unrelated to our schools expressed how much the dialogue touched them. One person said it brought a tear to her eye, another said it restored his faith in humanity, yet another said it was the best Twitter exchange ever. Too many other tweets to count used the words “classy,” “respect,” “adorable,” and “beautiful” to describe the conversation. More than one person remarked “that’s how it’s done.”

Here is just a sampling of some of the tweets received regarding the Twitter conversation between Wisconsin and Coastal Carolina.

Here is just a sampling of some of the tweets received regarding the Twitter conversation between Wisconsin and Coastal Carolina.

Then came the media coverage. A newspaper in Wisconsin wrote a piece that they posted on their website highlighting the exchange. It was quickly favorited, retweeted, and shared numerous times. Our Myrtle Beach outlets soon followed as news channels WPDE and WMBF posted articles as well. I was quoted in one of these pieces and I was able to give credit to my counterpart at Wisconsin who had done so much to make sure the Twitter conversation stayed respectful and fun. Nate Moll, the man behind #UWSocial, humored me that morning. We quickly followed each other on our own personal Twitter accounts (follow Nate…@natemoll) and had the opportunity to exchange messages about the big morning. Indeed, it was a big victory for both of us.

When the buzzer had sounded and the Badgers had eliminated our Chants by a closer-than-expected score of 86-72, there was this final exchange:

And this is how it ended.

And this is how it ended.

When it comes to social media, if you are out looking to “win” by shaming someone else you will lose. There is little consolation in acting like a jerk in front of thousands of people. However, if you take an approach where you are creative yet respectful, the outcome will be fruitful for all. Friday was a proud day for the social media programs at Wisconsin and Coastal Carolina. Don’t Blink.

A Great NCAA Tournament Experience in Omaha

Yes, I know I sound like a broken record. As I have said before, attending the NCAA Tournament is special; occupying a spot on the travel party for a participating team is a career highlight. Just about 24 hours shy from returning to Myrtle Beach from Omaha, I am still on a high from the experience I had watching the Chanticleer men’s basketball team compete in the most well-known tournament on the planet.

It was a pleasure to travel with the team to Omaha. I took this photo after the public practice in CenturyLink Center on Thursday night.

It was a pleasure to travel with the team to Omaha. I took this photo after the public practice in CenturyLink Center on Thursday night.

But what is it that makes the NCAA Tournament experience so special? Well, let me tell you one thing that doesn’t make it special…the city. God Bless Omaha but I won’t be moving out there anytime soon. You see, there is something about the tourney that transcends geographical boarders and makes whatever town you are in irrelevant.

It is the respect.

Team charters, police escorts, hotel employees dressed in university apparel, school logo plastered everywhere, locals looking at you in awe, national media on location, and an organizational structure that is ten times better than what the phrase “on point” can ever express all convey a deep level of reverence. It is intoxicating.

This is the police escort that led our bus to the CenturyLink Center for Thursday night's public practice.

This is the police escort that led our bus to the CenturyLink Center for Thursday night’s public practice.

Personally, I had a wonderful trip. I had complete freedom and access to do my job but at the same time I also had fun. Throughout the duration of the trip, #CCUSocialMedia was able to give our audience a real time look inside the tournament experience through constant posts in addition to the release of four videos and three photo galleries. When I wasn’t sharing the sights and sounds with #TEALnation I was able to visit the site of the College World Series, eat an Omaha steak, check out a cemetery, and tour the downtown part of the city.

I got to see TD Ameritrade Park, eat an Omaha steak, and visit a cemetery.

I got to see TD Ameritrade Park, eat an Omaha steak, and visit a cemetery.

But let’s get real here, the trip was about the student-athletes and it was a complete pleasure observing them and following them. The team let me shoot everything from breakfast to the private shoot around at Creighton University to moments before the game when they were stretching in the bowels of the arena. From the time of the sendoff to touch down in Myrtle Beach yesterday, everyone on the squad was a complete gentleman. It was a joy to cover them.

I have a couple of personal highlights from the trip. First was attending the public practice/press conference at CenturyLink Center the day before the game. The minute the fleet of police motorcycles lead you into the private entrance of the arena you really realize what a big deal it is. The size of the media workroom, the hospitality area, the staging area, and of course the facility itself quickly remind you that you aren’t in the HTC Center anymore. Watching the team practice in high spirits while Marv Albert and other notables looked on was really cool.

This was me at the shoot around at the CenturyLink Center on Thursday night.

This was me at the shoot around at the CenturyLink Center on Thursday night.

Second, the game night experience itself was awesome as well. Once again, the prominence of the tournament hits you when you have schools like Oregon and Oklahoma State playing right before you. You feel like you have really made it when Barry Alvarez walks right by. You know your school is center stage when at halftime the TBS feed is displayed on the video board and Charles Barkley is talking about Coastal Carolina. Add that with a full arena with countless staff members/tournament officials in suits walking around and you can’t help but feel the pageantry.

Me on the court moments before Coastal and Wisconsin tipped off.

Me on the court moments before Coastal and Wisconsin tipped off.

Our men’s basketball team represented our university gallantly on the huge stage. The Chants played Wisconsin tough and registered the slimmest margin of defeat in the tournament between  #1 vs. #16 teams. The Badgers just had too much size. When the buzzer sounded, our student-athletes had nothing to hang their heads about.

Badou Diagne goes up against Wisconsin's big stud, Frank Kaminsky.

Badou Diagne goes up against Wisconsin’s big stud, Frank Kaminsky.

Our other students who came along on the trip didn’t either. The pep band, cheer squad, and dance team did a fantastic job at the game and conducted themselves with class the whole time in Omaha. It is really cool to observe them as well and see how much fun they have. They did a lot to earn their way on such a special journey so it is gratifying to see them enjoy it.

The CCU dance team, along with the pep band and cheer squad, did a great job representing Coastal.

The CCU dance team, along with the pep band and cheer squad, did a great job representing Coastal.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one final aspect that makes an NCAA Tournament trip so memorable…the relationships made. In addition to the ones I already knew, I got to meet and hang out with more staff members from the athletic department, many around my age. To talk with them and have fun with them was a great opportunity for me to connect with other young professionals who share the same interests as me.

Many thanks to Athletic Director Matt Hogue for allowing me to go on the trip. He understands the importance of having someone who specializes in social media covering such a major event. I brought back a lot of memories from Omaha and will always look back on this trip very fondly. Don’t Blink.

Off to Omaha for NCAA Tourney

When it comes to college athletics, there is nothing more special to attend than the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament. To actually have a working function with a participating team makes it even more sweeter. During my entire time working for Grizzly Athletics, I identified my trip to the 2012 NCAA Tournament as my #1 moment working for Montana. It was an experience to remember.

Starting today I have the opportunity to enjoy first hand another March Madness adventure. I am off to Omaha, Nebraska, with the Chanticleer men’s basketball team. The #16 seeded Chants will take on the top seeded Wisconsin Badgers on Friday night in a second round NCAA Tournament matchup.

I am part of the travel contingent so I can cover the experience for our #CCUSocialMedia audience. As I have remarked before, the NCAA Tournament is a gold mine for any university’s marketing program so I hope to capitalize as much as possible.

As I will be working solely on promoting one brand over the next few days (Coastal Carolina University), I will not be posting to Don’t Blink. However, upon my return to Myrtle Beach you can bet that I will be back and better than ever. Have a great rest of your week, enjoy the NCAA Tournament, and GO CHANTS. Don’t Blink.