‘U’ of Miami, Other College Programs Expanding Engagement Strategy With Infographics

Last Updated on June 5, 2014

Whether it’s football, basketball, or any other college sport, box scores are pretty bland to say the least. They don’t really tell a story maybe like, let’s say, an infographic does.

For the University of Miami (Fla.) and other college athletics programs, that’s exactly where they’re headed as they expand engagement with fans, alumni, and students through informative infographics following certain games; other infographics are devoted to the entire athletic department.

According to Director of Communications, Chris Yandle, the infographics have certainly grabbed fans’ attention, so much so that now they expect them after games.

“We then started telling fans that the Canes win wasn’t “official” until we released the infographic and branded it as #InfographicU,” Yandle explained to BusinessofCollegeSports.com.

But the infographics aren’t really that brand new to the University. Prior to Yandle’s arrival on campus last summer, Miami utilized infographics off and on as a way to engage with its following. Before the Canes’ college basketball run this past season, Yandle consulted with Brian Bowsher, Digital Media Strategist, in order to revive the athletic department’s use of the creative feature.

“All of our inforgraphics are done in-house. Brian took elements he liked from various other infographics and I would forward him anything I liked. With our new graphic designer on staff, we have some more options of creativity that we’re really excited about moving forward,” Yandle said. 

So what makes a great infographic? Well, as Yandle stated, it first starts with a clean look. Then, throw in some heavy graphics with clip art, icons, and several photos. If it flows pretty easily and the amount of graphics is greater than text, then you’re making great headway.

As of late, Miami along with the University of Michigan, Rhode Island, and the University of Oregon are teams currently excelling in the digital space and generating attention-grabbing content.

“There is so much static being shared among social media channels so a fan’s attention span may be only 15-30 seconds. That’s not enough time to read a game recap or a box score,” Yandle said. “But, if you make it aesthetically pleasing and pretty — like an infographic — then you can tell your story graphically and reach an entirely different audience that may not read the game recap afterwards.”

With infographics, there then comes the possibility of adding another revenue stream for athletic departments, even if it is relatively minimal. If you look closely at a few of the Miami infographics, you’ll notice a GMC logo in the bottom right-hand corner.

“If your infographics are getting a tremendous amount of hits, likes, traffic, etc., then it could be beneficial for them to be sponsored,” Yandle said.

Follow Mark on Twitter for more #SportsBiz talk.

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