The Higher Ed Marketer
The Higher Ed Marketer

Episode 66 · 5 months ago

The relationship between Athletics and college enrollment

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It’s no secret that college athletics can play a role in deciding where a student will go to college. All across the country universities use different marketing strategies based on their athletic programs to help increase their enrollment.  

Jim Carr, who is the President and CEO of the NAIA joins us to discuss how athletics programs can have a positive impact on your university and if marketed correctly, how these programs can help drive your universities enrollment.  

Hear our conversation with Jim Carr, President at NAIA:

  • How athletics can have a positive effect on campus broadly. 
  • How marketing athletics properly can help drive a school's enrollment.
  • Integrating athletics and enrollment together is the recipe for success  

More information about Jim Carr and today’s topics:

You're listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student recruitment, dontor relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, this podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the Higher Ed Marketer podcast. I'm troy singer, along with Bart Taylor, and this week the conversation is marketing and utilizing athletics for stronger enrollment, and I know this is something that Bart feels strongly about. Today we speak with Jim Carr, who's the president and CEO of the National Association of Inter Collegiate Athletics, also known as in a I A, and Bart, I think he gives us a lot of tips and a lot of information that some colleges are probably not thinking on how to utilize athletics to grow their enrollment and also to hone in on mission fit students. Yeah, I think you're exactly right on that, troy, and the thing I like about the conversation we have with with Jim today is in AIA is focused on kind of that small college athletic group. So most of their members are, I think Jim says, around eighteen hundred students and so and I know that small schools rely a lot on recruitment of athletes for the overall, you know, class fit and to get in there. And so jim kind of talks a little bit about how an AIA is supporting their member schools with data, with with resources and with ways of looking at athletics a little bit differently and helping the schools do that successfully. I think there's a lot of good tips and tricks if you've already got an athletic program in your school, on how you might be able to tweak some things to get a better marketing and better engagement between recruiters and and and coaches. But overall I just really like Jim's approached everything in the way that they kind of do things at Anaia. Here's our conversation with JIM CAR WE WELCOME JIM card to the conversation, who is the CEO and president of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, otherwise known as in a IA, to the Higher Ed Marketing podcast. Jim If you could please introduce us to you and also the in AIA. Yeah, thanks, Troy. Jim Carr, president of a A. I have been in that positions just two thousand and six I've been around for a while. Any I is membership association made up of roughly two hundred and fifty colleges and universities across the country, primarily in the Midwest, southeast and our West, and our membership is made up of about eighty percent private institutions, and those institutions on average of aboubout eighteen hundred and two thousand students. Are Really Count on athletics to be a big driver of enrollment and just a big part of the campus, and so we're there to support them in all their efforts, especially to run championships and make sure that student athletes on those campuses are eligible to compete. Thank you. And the reason why we ask you to be on the show is to get tips for our listeners on how athletics can be used to strengthen or increase enrollment, and that's a conversation that I believe you have on an ongoing basis with the presidents and leaders in the schools that are members of in AIA. Is that correct? Yeah, we do, and it's a conversation that has grown with frequency and importance. I think over the last decade or so. It used to be something that was talked about nearly as much in terms of the impact that athletes can have on enrollment, but I think schools and leaders of those institutions of particular...

...just growing to understand and appreciate the importance of it. So, you know, we talked at every leadership meeting about it in some regard and we've been created a major initiative called reternal athletics. That's that brings in a lot of data and assists our schools to not only understand the potential opportunities and how things are working on their own campus, but then people to compare that with the two hundred and fifty other institutions around the country and and make some make some decisions based on on those data. That's good to know. Jem I'm working with several organizations, you know, the different different groups that support especially private education, and I think that shared data is so important. I think sometimes it feels like, why, I'm out here by myself, what's it like? And you kind of think, Oh, I'm competing against that other school down the down the road that we you know that we compete in athletics with, but a lot of times we're not really competing against one another, as private schools were competing against the the other alternatives that the community college is, the publics and things like that, and so the bigger republics, I should say, and so I think that I think that's interesting. I mean, what are some of the things that you kind of tell the schools as far as enrollment and and I guess part of it is even retention? Talk through that a little bit, because I think athletics does provide a little bit of a unique solution for some of that. Yeah, you know, we talked a lot about and I guess I first should say that we're only in the second year of collecting data from all of our schools. We had a couple of years of a pilot program. We had eight institutions than forty, but this is the we're completing the second year of a full data set. So we're still somewhat is in its empathy. But the things that we've concentrated so far was some of our research breeves and some of the information we're sending out or we've been really focusing and retention, as you mentioned, and just trying to analyze things like what what size of a roster and various sports as kind of a sweet spot for retention. And if you get too large, is that, I was retention go down and vice versa, if you're too small, what's impact there? And then in terms of enrollment, things like the impact of financial aid or competitive success out of those impact the ability to attract student athletes onto your campus. And so right now it's because two years does not make a trend in most people's eyes. Were we're we're speculating a little bit and then really showing here's our here's our theory around those kinds of things. But is that as we have more longitudinal data, I think it's going to get even stronger and stronger. But at a minimum it allows leaders on campuses to take a step back and say, I wonder and we thought about the maybe I thought about the appropriate roster size for us, but I didn't have any data to help support that decisions. And now they're starting to think about it in that way. Of course, on their own campus they should have data going back even farther to help them analyze it on their own own campus. I like that approach because I think that it's so important. I mean, I think so many times historically colleges, universities have kind of seen athletics, as you know, that's that's over there, that's the that's the ads responsibility. And I'm noticing a lot more schools are partnering between the Athletics Department and the and the admissions and enrollment department to just start to and to degree student life with retention, but to really just make sure that everyone's talking with one another. I know that, you know, a lot of time schools, especially smaller privates, rely a lot on the you know, thirty, forty, fifty percent on the recruitment of the coaches for to fill their classes. But talk a little bit about, you know, how how these how departments can be more facilatory with each other, because I think that's a challenge at some schools face. Yeah, I think it's a great, great point, Bart and for us most of our data in that area is going of anecdotal at this point. We're trying to gather various models and talk with people about what does what does work best and how do you how do you think about, as you said, essentially the cooperation between admissions, financial aid and the Athletic Department, of the VP of enrollment coming in to that equation?...

And think the schools that are having the most success in athletics, and by that I don't know Sary meaning competition, but the right the most success in terms of attracting students, do it in a way this consistent with the discount rate they're trying to keep and in retaining those students at a high percentage. Those those schools tend to have great integration between the admissions and the enrollment side of the House and athletics, and it can be structured in many different ways. Some even put their afflets department most of the coaches and bed them in the enrollment area, where others just have cross functional integration in some way. So there's a lot of a lot of ways to do it. But the schools who are are not very effective that at that crosscommunication, that integration, or finding themselves struggling more so than the other schools. Okay, good, and I got a few more questions about the business of student athletics before I get that, before we kind of move away from this data point. Is there a place that people can access the state it, or is that for members, or how does that work? It is it is right now from verse members only. It's a never benefit. We are in the process of creating what we're calling the return Netflix calculator, which is kind of a if you think of a mortgage calculator. You can go into a website of a mortgage company and put in your own data and find out what what it might look like if you were to take out a mortgage with that company were we're creating a similar type tool so that schools who are not members can come in and get a little sneak peak and, if they are is in getting more information. It's a pretty worrious process to give us the exact same data that a member would give us, but we would ask for some smaller data set and then be able to give them a little bit of a snapshot. I would like to be in any I and have access to return athletics, but that would be on it. We've done it in a couple of occasions already and we're getting some INC a division two and division three schools interested in learning more, especially as we're getting the chance, like we are with with you all today, to talk a bit more about it and have people make people aware that it's a possibility. That's great. I love that idea of that tools. So we'll make sure that we've got a note of that for everyone, I guess. Moving on, you just mentioned NCAA. You know, two and three divisions and I know that the way the n Ai a approaches things. You know a lot of people are familiar with NCAA and and that's kind of the de facto, but tell me a little bit about the different approach that you take. You know that that people might not quite fully understand. Yeah, you know, are our strategy and our vision for the any I is to be the experts in the business of small college athletics. Are Membership is made up of only small college just essentially. You know, we do have a few that might be north of five or going a couple north of ten thousand students, but, as I mentioned earlier, our average enrollment is is just under two thousand, and so the ways in which those kinds of schools use the athletics is very different than pick your big state school, University of Oklahoma or university to see they're going to be at a drive revenue through, obviously through sponsorships and their big television contracts and those kinds of things that just start available to small schools. So our belief is, and now I think the vast majority of our membership is an agreement, that they need to understand how to use athletics to drive enrollment and if they can keep their discounts and check to be a net tuition revenue driver and things like that. So are we. I want we also focus on quality competition and making sure that our championships are run well and that only student athletes on the field and competition or ones that are membership agree should be eligible. Kind of distinate when people think of as the standard role of an athletics association. Those things are still really important, but if our schools can't figure out a way to be be profitable in the sense and keep keep the doors open, then none of that really matters. Right. And then about you know, how does that work with, you know, like when we when we all think about, you know, DNE schools, it's all scholarship based. How does that work with in Ai Schools? Yeah, so when as a comparison didn't see a most people think of us is kind of a hybrid between NC Division Two and division three, and by that I mean that our scholarship limits and ability...

...to give athletic aid is very similar TONC division to okay, but our schools look a little bit more like Inca, a division three schools, and since that most Inca schools in c d three schools are private and small for the most part, and so the schools that are with us, at least some of them, like that model. There they can they compete against like minded institutions, so they're not having to break the bank to compete, right, but at the same time there is some value and being able to give a student or let their parents know they're getting, an athletic scholarship. People can draw their own conclusions about what that says about society that some value an athletic scholarship more than an academic scholarship, but I think that's just that's just the way it is these days. And so yeah, schools are able to use that to their advantage in a strategic way and it's really nice fit or a niche for any I good Jim. When I think about Collegian athletics. Right now, image and likeness comes to the forefront and I'm not sure if it's accurate, but when they first announced it I thought that's going to give the bigger schools advantage over the smaller schools because of the smaller schools might not be able to offer as much or offer some of the same things. Could you speak to how smaller schools are taking advantage of the image and likeness rules? Yeah, and Troy, I think you're your shop. Your assumption is correct in the sense that they're just more dollars available and economics are different at the big schools can fair to compare to smaller schools, but we're seeing and theny I we eliminated all of our restrictions around they image and like this about three or four years ago, kind of a year year and a half before then. See a got to that place and we're kind of forced by the by the number of states who fast laws. So we've been at it for for quite a while now and we have thousands of student athletes. We have a total of about eightyzero student athletes and our our estimates are that two to three thousand of those at least or in some way, shape or form taken advantage of name, image likeness. Now for them, typically the the higher dollar amounts would be maybe in five figures. There are a few students who might be any more than tenzero. So, but that's mostly because they have a huge following on social media and mostly outside of their athletic ability or talent or just like they just content. It's rating videos and other things and influencing. But they those things would have been against the rules five or six years ago because the primary restriction that was was lifted is students weren't allowed to associate themselves as being a student athlete, that of tickular campus, and we all know on social media that's almost impossible to remove that from your profile or whatever else maybe a part of. So that's really open the door for a lot of those things. And then, you know also can give pitching lessons or help coach kids and basketball and make some money again, things that weren't allowed number of years ago, and you know those are make a few hundred bucks here and there post of thousands. But and then we do have the occasional Jo's pizza shop that will give all the offensive limb and Free Pizza, just to just as a feel good thing and to help them out all those some of those things you heard one but just at a smaller, smaller levels. Let's work well. We be remiss about and mention our great partnership with the open doors. They were one of the first companies to come in and create a platform that not only helps student athletes improve their brand and understand how to promote themselves in terms of naming megal likeness, but they also have a market place. So they're bringing companies in and ANYI student athletes can reach out to those companies just like a d one student athlete could. And so we have about that last count, a couple thousand kids in that on that platform and we're just really starting to market it through our eligibility center and through other forms. So I think that'll grow exponentially in the next few years. And is that something that your organization helps your membership colleges implement and do better? Do you give advice on how their athletes can go after some of those funds? We...

...do, and it's primarily through that partnership with open doors. There the there the experts in it and they're working with a lot of NCA division one schools, but with us, we created a partnership with them across all of our schools. No, it's not mandatory for a school to use them. If they wanted to partner with someone else, they certainly could. But I think most of our schools are seeing the value of this collective market place and all the schools coming together to kind of work together and understand the different strategies for their students and it also gives them out. We don't have a huge compliance burden around this, but there are students need to disclose when they're doing these kinds of things and if they're in the open doors platform, it makes that on the seamless. When you sign one of these deals, is just automatic that it goes into the system. So we do see. So we're assisting through the through the efforts of open doors. Essentially that's great and and I guess that kind of leads me to our next you know, part of the conversation that we had talked about was the idea of you've kind of discussed a little bit about, you know, the difference of the student athletes and in AIA versus. Maybe some other associations tell me a little bit about the demographics. I mean obviously there's small private schools and and there's, you know, because they're average size is eighteen hundred. I've got some ideas, but maybe just help me under understand a little bit more about the demographics of the member schools and and how that affects, you know, the student athletes that they that they recruit. Yeah, so in general or two hundred and fifteen members and like when a lot of people that realizes we have close to eightyzero student athletes. So if you just do the math, that's a little bit over three hundred student athletes per school. And obviously some have more, some have less, but if you're if you're a campus of a thousand, one fifteen hundred students and you got three or four hundred student athletes, it's a big presence of athletics on your campus, and so schools are starting to understand just the importance, importance of that. The other demographics that come to mind is all we certainly have schools and big cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. A lot of our membership tends to be in rural areas, which I think all for some advantages and some challenges. To get to get students there. So again, athletics can be a nice driver of that. And we also have a lot of pockets, specially in the Midwest, where we have schools that are close to each other and geography which creates natural rivalries and schools and make competing against each other for almost a hundred years and right fun things that can come about through that and really knowing from an enrollment and finance perspective, but just a nice experience for student athlete and students on campus when a couple thousand people come out to basketball game because they want to see that competition against arrival. That's great and I'm guessing that mean I work with a lot of small schools like the ones you've described and I know a lot of our schools that we work with, our our NAI schools, and I and I often see sometimes that you know a lot of their you know these smaller schools, not only in athletics but just the overall population. It's a lot of first gen students, there's a lot of a lot of pell, pell eligible students, and so I'm sure that's kind of reflected in the athletics as well. Is that? Is that what you find and do you provide any kind of, you know, member benefits or or help that you can help schools to help? You know, how can you recruit these students that are might not quite understand, you know, the whole they don't know how to navigate the college experience? Yeah, I would say part the answers. Yes, in terms of First Jens students in their big part of athletics, and we're we're just starting to because the tip of the iceberg is analogy that comes to mind. We're just starting to have some good data around that. In the first areas were tension. We did a comparison a first gen student athletes compared to all other student athletes and the area of retention in the first Gen students actually attained at a higher rate than the non Firston. So we were pleased to know that. And now part of their equation is why is that what our schools...

...doing? Well to retain them at a higher rate and we want to improve retension for all subsets or your people overall. But I was very encouraged to learn that right off the bat and again want to help schools to understand what's working and why that's happening in terms of how to attract more first in students. We certainly something that's on our list of areas we want to tackle, but we just haven't really gotten to that yet. Yeah, that's great and I know a couple weeks ago we had to the limited foundation for education on the PODCAST and they I've done some work with them over the years and I know that they have done some initiatives around first gen students and one of the important things that they they identified and discovered it some of their research that they support are, you know, these different cohorts that that you know, first Gen students can get involved in and how being in a being in a specific cohort sometimes can add you know, stickiness and retention to those students because you know, come end of semester they're not they're not if they're already in a group or where they're not one to just kind of bail because they're just not making the fit. And it seems to me like student athletics really kind of often serves that natural cohort. Is that kind of what you think too? Yeah, I agree that it's a great point and something we can certainly explorer. Hope our data will support that, but it does. Intuitively that seems like a conclusion that I would agree with and the sense that everyone wants to belong somewhere. In the first Jin students, it's not something that's been talked about your family as you were growing up, and US it's all brand new to you as you get to the campus. To have a have a built in family or built in cowork certainly certainly helps, and we know that for the most part our coaches that's part of the reason they're in their jobs. They want to win and they want to compete, but they're help young people grow and going to be successful in life, and so I know the number of our coaches made a special attention to those who don't families, don't have any college experience like that. That's fits well with the that you're talking about and it probably fits well with the smaller schools to that's just part of the ethos sometimes of those smaller schools as well. But we've talked a little bit about student athletes and sometimes I think we have in our mind a particular type of image, whether it be a female athlete or a male athlete. But sometimes I've noticed a lot of associations are identifying some new student athletes that many of us might not recognize a student athlete's and I'm specifically talking about esports. And so tell us a little bit about esports and and how an AIA is starting to kind of look at that, because I know that's another very, very popular way. That's that schools are starting to look at other opportunities for recruitment. Yeah, I love to talk about our esports efforts and audience compare with me. I'll go through a little bit of the history of it. Been Back in two thousand and sixteen, six years ago. It's hardly has been that long. But we knew of six institutions that were jumping in to start esports as a varsity sport, to use the traditional word, and sports a meaning they were starting to recruit students onto campus as opposed to just students are already there, allowing them to play various es sports. So we brought in these six institutions and said, well, why don't we start a an association to support esports and starting a national association with six members. This is a leap of faith that you opened, that others will join, but that the there was pretty good evidence that it was going to grow pretty quickly, and so five of those happened to be any schools. One was an NC division to school. But they all agree to join and so we just started going down the path, not sure exactly where I was going to lead us. But Pass forwards to a day we have about two hundred member institutions. More than half of those are in the NCA for their traditional sports, some division one like the University Missouri, a lot of details and d threes, and then the about eighty or so any school. So it's a nice x...

...and nice blend and right now size of institution doesn't doesn't really predict success. It depends on what resources they can smaller schools want to want to put into it. But it's been it's been great for the vast majority of those institutions and the way I like to think of it is that for those naysayers out there, because I was a little skeptical we first started doing it too, about all the stereotypes of esports players being in the basement you eating Gurrito's and drinking mountain do but what we found is that it's just the opposite. When you bring it in as part of the campus ethos and we're talking with them a few minutes ago about first Gen students and wanted to have a sense of belonging and have a cohort that they can can use to keep them on campus. I think it's a similar concept with esports. Now these students are literally going from playing esports in the basement or and apartment somewhere to doing so in many cases right in the middle of the campus and they're they're being seen differently by their fellow students and they feel differently because they now feel like this is something that's legitimized and you know, a lot of schools to or putting in physical fitness is a part of this and getting them giving them some assistance that traditional athletes typlicate round academics and other things. So it's by and large been just terrific. And you still have the concerns about is it really healthy to play these Games for twelve hours a day or whatever some of the students are are doing, but my view is most of them are going to be doing that on their own anyway, so it's better to have a support system to help around it. So we would an answer to say it's just it's fun to watch. The actually started a separate association so we could attract schools that were not playing their traditional sports, and then Ai, and so it's called NACE, the National Association of Cleach D Sports, and it's just going great guns and still a very business that's still maturing and has has a lot of growth and a lot of work to do but by and large great, great success. Now are some of the schools that are members of NACE? Are they offering scholarships or is it is it's kind of similar to an AI, where some are somewhere not. It's part of the financial aid package, depending. Yeah, I would say it's. It's very similar to smaller institutions. On the athletic side, they're most most schools are trying to package some esports scholarship is part of their financial aid offerings out to out the students and there are a handful who are giving up what's close to a full scholarship, but that's that's pretty rare. So it's right stacking on top of academic aid and other aid with the maybe a twenty five hundred dollar esports scholarship for given more than that, but it's it's definitely a partial scholarship model. I think that's a very interesting and I applaud you for stepping into that and I think that it can be a little bit of controversial or, you know, not sure about it, but again it's a it's a reality of our culture, it's a reality of life, it's a reality of Gen Z and Alpha coming down the pike and and really being able to lean into that and and make that a part of our our campus culture. I think is is is something that we should applaud and I'm glad to see you guys taken some leadership in that at the at the association level. Yeah, well, thanks. It's exciting and I sit on that board and I'm by far I know the least about the esports anyone else and boors of them graduate. The rest of them are there, but I hopefully I can addle something from running association and just it's just a lot of fun to watch and to be a part of. That's great. Jim, at the top of the podcast you mentioned admissions working well with athletics and some of the success that you have noticed, and I also know Bart has examples that he's mentioned in previous podcast. Wanted to bring that conversation back and to encourage both of you to offer either examples or advice that you would get smaller schools on how they could strengthen that relationship to increase enrollment and also help in marketing. Yeah, you know one one institution that comes...

...to mind. I can't tell you a ton about the exact structural campus, but Morningside College is great example to me. They came over to the nil over twenty years ago from ins a division two, and in their division to model they had about eight hundred students total and about half of those athletes and many of those were getting full scholarship. So with the way the president, John Renders, who's about to retire, explain it to me, as you know, the four hundred none athletes were were having a support the school and kind of carry the four hundred athletes were getting in a lot of cases full of scholarships. And so they came over to then I and built a model where now they have about twenty five hundred students and still have a lot of student athletes, but as a percentage as much lowers and like they have five or six hundred student athletes. But he talked a lot about the importance of partnership between admissions and enrollment and and the Athletic Department and that, you know, the coaches understand on the front side that they're going to try to help them win and they have. They just want our football championship and they've won at a lot of levels a lot of sports. But for for Dcor rhynders and for the leadership on campus, the Board of thing was, you know, how do we keep how do we move forward with athletics in a way that supports the institution? And so the coaches also understand that it's just not an open check book, that they have to do it in a responsible way and that they are going to give a good bit of a to one student, they need to attract some students that don't need as much aid to come to come to campus. So let's one specific example of how worked. And then I know there are other institutions, as I mentioned before, that actually put the coaches into the into the abistions office, and I think it's a it's an interesting model. I'm sure it has some challenges and I don't have as much interaction with admissions folks or enrollment people, but I know there were probably some who might think that's a bad idea. So you have to have to figure out how to do it on campus with politics and other things. But I think, I think, as Bart said earlier, coaches there's would be hard to argue that coaches here not the best for hooters on campus and know how to bring kids in, and so it seems it would seem to be a shame if you didn't try to utilize that ability, in that talent, that expertise and in some way to a track students in general and even use some of those tactics and strategies to attract men athletes. Yeah, and I think to general add to that that I believe that sometimes this campus is that I see that are the most successful in integrating athletics and enrollment together are those that align all the way from from the top down on mission fit, because I mean I think that it's it's so critical, especially at some of these smaller privates, that that are very mission oriented. I mean every school's mission oriented. Sometimes it's, you know, academic is the mission, sometimes it's, you know, faith, it's the mission. There's different ways that you can define mission, but I think that having alignment throughout all of the faculty staff, including coaches and recruiters, on what are the best students that are actually going to, you know, flourish at our institution. And sometimes that's that's you know they're how there are some tough decisions to make in that but I think at the same time, at the end of the day, a coach that can retain a student from freshman is senior on a squad or on a roster is really going to see more success on the on the quarter, on the field, in whatever they're doing, and that's why I think it's so critical that, you know, mission fit students are the ones that get recruited and I think that just adds, ADDS value for everybody. I mean, you know, the last thing a student wants to do is end up at a school that wasn't a good fit for them and nobody wants that, and so I think a lot of times that success. We're well that way too. Right, I agree hundred percent. And fit is important. As you mentioned, there every school as a mission but they're very different depending on the institution and where you are. And one thing you said trigger for me. One of the things we're trying to do with return athletics is is help people understand that driving enrollment through athletics and do it in a financially responsible...

...way doesn't mean that you can't be competitive, that any of you can do both, and we're finding a lot of institutions that are having the most success in competition or also finding success and driving enrollment and on the financial side, and we're we're trying to help them understand the what's the what's the cause and effect there, and what's the what's the connection, because we also have schools that are spending a lot of money on athletics and not having success, and I would an obvious thing to point out is everybody can't win. Somebody's going to win and somebody's going to lose in each competition. But but I think you know, most of our institutions can be competitive and do it in a way that helps helps the financial impact on campus. Great Gem. That's we bring the this episode to a close. You'd like to ask you if you have either an impactful final thought or a quick tip that you can offer as it relates to strengthening enrollment and missions to athletics that you would like to leave before we close our podcast. Yeah, try. I don't know if it's anything new from what we've already talked about, but I it just seems to me for institutions that look like any schools, and by that I mean schools that are around two thousand students and primarily private institutions, this this topic that we've since we've been talking about for the full podcast around how does athletics how a positive impact on the campus broadly? If schools aren't paying attention to that and they're in that category, it just seem I can't understand why, and I think they're putting themselves and maybe not in a danger of extinction, but but certainly are not exploring all the ways that they can be viable and sustainable over over time. And so I know there are some presidents is still aren't on that, on that train yet, so to speak, but as I go to see I see presents and student other places, it's certainly obvious that more and more thinking about it. And so if there any presidents out there, people in leadership positions on campus and they want to understand how we're looking at that data and the things that we're we're trying to do to help our institutions would love to talk with them whether they're are in a position to potential to join any are not. Think we have some sense of responsibility to just make sure people understand that better and we have a guess, a greater responsibility to our own members in terms of sharing the date and things like that. But it's a it's an area that I'm passionate about out and I think it's Prooke the important and so the last thing I would say on that is, whatever your model is, that the Cross section, integration, the communication between athletics and any roll but just continues to be more and more important. Thank you, Jim. And for those presidents or anyone else that would like to get more information about in AIA or contact you with further questions that they have after hearing the podcast, what's the best way for them to contact you? Yeah, through our website, any I dot Org, as the best in my contact information is on there, but it's just jake car J AC a rr at any I dot org and love to hear from anybody out there as more questions and certainly could set up a call or a zoom meeting of that's interest. Well, thank you for being a guest on the podcast and helping us get this message out. I hope that it does spur more questions and inquiries that you can follow up on Bart. Do you have any final thoughts before we close the show? Yeah, just a couple things that I'm thinking is that I really like this idea of the business of student athletics. I think that, you know, so many times, I think that we forget and leadership that, especially as we talk about marketing, that there's an opportunity to look at different segments of types of students and how we market to them and how we recruit them. And there's a you know, athletics in High School and club and everything else is such a big part of our culture and and a lot of those students will end up, you know, hope to,...

...you know, eventually play their continue their sport into Indo College, and so I think that the opportunity that schools have for that level of marketing to those students and using that for recruitment is a great thing. And I think a lot of the things that we talked about in here is the importance of making sure that there's, you know, alignment between the the Athletic Department and the recruitment department and I would also say alignment within the marketing as well, because the coaches are going to need support from marketers in the best ways to communicate. I mean, there's a set of rules around, you know, the recruitment of college students and athletes, and so understanding that and working with the athletic department, but being able to provide them, you know, is it is a separate type of acceptance package. I mean, you know, if you've got half of your students that you're on your campus are going to be student athletes, you know, maybe there's a special you know way that you also tie in the acceptance package. You know, if you're sending a big folder or big, you know presentation, maybe you kind of do a nod and personalize it so it's toward, you know, they're their sports that they're a part of or their esports they're a part of. And I really like the idea of the esports to and I applaud that because I think that's one of those things that is taking a leap of faith. It's going out a little bit further and doing something creative. And I would also challenge, you know, the schools that are looking at esports. How can you use that marketing in that as well? I mean, you know, you think about their platforms within the esports where you know you can buy ads even within the games them selves, and so what a great place, if you have an esport program at your school, to actually be placing digital ads within these games so that the student says they're, you know, zipping around the racetrack at six hundred miles an hour they see the ad up for your school go by. So there's a lot of ways that we need to be creative when we start thinking about the recruitment of certain segments, and this is a good conversation about how to do that for athletes. Thank you, Bart, and again thank you to Jim car for helping us get this information out, and we encourage our listeners to contact him and the Organization for further conversation. The High Red Marketer podcast is sponsored by Kaba Solutions and education marketing and branding agency and by Think, patented, a marketing execution company combining print technology and personalization for deeper engagement with your target audience. On behalf of Bart Taylor, I'm troy singer. Thank you for your listen you've been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple PODCASTS, we'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. Simply tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next time,.

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