Miami Hurricanes Social Media Day/Q&A with Chris FreetFebruary 18, 2011
by Claude Clayborne
Today, the University of Miami will hold the FIRST EVER “SOCIAL MEDIA DAY” where the athletic department at UM will solely communicate with its fan base through social media.
Miami will be the first college athletics department to “shutdown” its official website for a full business day and communicate solely through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, UStream, and YouTube for an unprecedented 14 hours of live chats with Hurricane coaches and standout student-athletes.
Personally, I think this is one of most brilliant and trend setting moves I have seen in some time. This is what could be the “forward pass” in relation to athletic departments and social networking. In two years, I think this type of communication will be a full-time platform for all athletic departments and the new standard for colleges across the country. Kudos to the University of Miami for not only embracing social media, but using it as tool to improve access to the program and bolster the program on national level. Social Networking is the future and being ahead of the curve is always the best place to be. “The Mastermind” of all this you may ask? His name is Chris Freet (twitter @chrisfreet) who is the Associate Director of Athletics at the University of Miami. Chris Freet and I sat down for a quick Q&A session regarding the Social Media Day at THE U.
Claude Clayborne: How did the Social Media Day come about?
Chris Freet: There is a lull from national signing day February 4th until March 5th when spring ball starts and we wanted to keep the momentum going for the University of Miami. We want to embrace technology and break down some pre-existing barriers and open the virtual doors to every Canes team by interacting with our fans for 14 straight hours.
Claude Clayborne: Is this “Social Media Day” concept something that you feel is the future at athletic programs across the country?
Chris Freet: Well the focus is reaching all Canes fans and with social media so they can have full access to UM sports as long as they are willing to embrace the technology that supports social media. Social Media gives the fans the opportunity to get to know the program and experience your favorite team in a new way. It also gives us opportunity as an athletic department to press the envelope and see where it takes us.
Claude Clayborne: Why has Miami embraced Social Media when it has had so many negative connotations in the media?
Chris Freet: This is a new avenue to reach the fan base for the athletic department at UM. Involvement is a requirement in our age. It is about leadership and accepting the challenge to evolve with technology. Miami strives to be a leader and this is just another step in that process. We are constantly working with compliance to make sure that we are staying withing the rules, yet still embracing this new opportunity to making information and communication readily available of what we think is the strongest brand in college athletics.
I would like to thank Chris Freet for sitting down with 6Magazine and taking the time share this new concept. I think this just the tip of the iceberg and we will be able to look back as say all this started at Miami. Fans of teams across the country will be thankful for the increased access and interaction. My twitter is @6Magazinemiami and stop by Hurricanesports.com to check out the first ever “Social Media Day” going on right now.