In just the past few short months, I have had the opportunity to conduct a couple of big time social media campaigns in support of some pretty well-known personalities within Grizzly Athletics. At the start of September and running through the end of football season, Monte competed in the Capital One Mascot Challenge. Currently going on right now, our head football coach Mick Delaney is a finalist in the FCS Coach of the Year running. Both of these competitions are decided entirely (Mascot Challenge) or partially (FCS Coach of the Year) by fan voting. A good social media program and an engaged fan base are both necessary to achieving success in these challenges.
Let me start off by saying this: Just having a horse in the race for both of these competitions is a tremendous honor and accomplishment. It brings a lot of good publicity and recognition to our program. It shines light on the great work that is being done inside Grizzly Athletics. The reward is great too. With the Capital One Challenge we got compensated handsomely and if things go well for us in the Coach of the Year race, local Missoula charities and our alumni association will receive a major boost. Overall it is a very, very good deal.
However, if I had the power to do so, I would like to change one thing: Disclosure of the votes! With both the Mascot Challenge and Coach of the Year race you have absolutely no idea the quantity of points/votes that separates one competitor from the other. Rather, you simply get either a percentage or a ranking system that tells you who is ahead. Okay, I understand that Monte currently trails the Pirate from East Carolina 53% to 47% but please put that into quantitative terms for me. How many more 100 point challenges must we exactly complete or how many times must we press that “VOTE” button until we make a dent in that gap. Or I can clearly see that Mick Delaney is fourth in the rankings but how many votes separate him from Craig Bohl who happens to occupy the first spot?
In my selfish nature I want to know black and white numbers of what needs to be done to start moving up in the rankings. But even beyond my own desires, I want this info available more for our fans. Many Griz Nation fanatics spend literally hours voting non-stop. In my opinion they deserve some type of confirmation that they are/are not having an impact. When they pour so much effort into something and see that there is no change, there is an understandable sense of discouragement. It also paves way for conspiracy theories (i.e. Hey, I just spent my whole morning voting and completing challenges for Monte but nothing has changed. The sponsor of this contest secretly hates us and is not counting our votes).
Let’s put an end to this. If in fact someone in Butte who is voting non-stop is not gaining any traction because there are 5,000 people in East Lansing voting just as ferociously at the same time, let him or her see that reflected in a visible vote total. Or even though we can’t see any evidence of a campaign for the head coach of Southeastern Louisiana while everyone here in Montana makes sure to vote for Mick Delaney each day, please just disclose the voting numbers and let us see that Coach Roberts does in fact have an objective, legitimate vote lead on Mick.
In no way am I biting the hand that feeds me so to speak. As I mentioned at length above, I am incredibly grateful that the Grizzly Athletics is represented in these national campaigns. And in no way am I saying that Monte or Mick Delaney got screwed. I just want something that clearly paints a picture of where everyone stands in these high stakes contests. Let’s do it for the fans. Don’t Blink.