For those that enjoy the sport, fall is the best time of year. The temperatures, hopefully, wil begin cooling in the next 30 days and trees will begin changing colors.
One of the big games during the opening weekend has to be the University of Alabama vs the University of Michigan. ABC thought it was a big enough game to feature the two teams tonight, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time, 5 p.m, on the West Coast. With all of the football writers providing previews of what is taking place on the field, I thought I would review what the two teams are doing on the web, ahead of today’s contest.
First off, I went to the Alabama’s athletic website and this is the landing page that popped up.
In the past, we have looked at how many of the professional teams have used technology and the online platforms so today it was time to compare some of the college programs.
First, let’s look at the University of Alabama.
Alabama has many touch points above the fold on this landing page, including links to a football sponsor, a link continuing to the main athletics website, an embedded ABC commercial previewing the game as well as links to ESPN in Dallas and the school’s blog. What the school missed is in the upper half of the page, you do not see the Facebook nor the Twitter links for the school. If you scroll down the page just a bit more, they social media platforms become apparent.
Michigan’s site takes a very different approach. The splash page was much smaller and the goal is clearly on customer acquisition and online interaction. Two photos allow you to either link to the Wolverines football page or the on lie Facebook application. Three links at the bottom encourage visitors to tag photos with #GoBlue on Instagram, heeling to generate school related content, follow the sport on Twitter or join its Facebook Fan page.
I understand both approaches. One is geared towards the overall brand while the other is on acquiring new users.
The Alabama Athletics Facebook page has more than 700,00 people engaged on it and the University did a great job by adding a phone number for tickets, a link to its Twitter account and also links for photos and rewards.
This page is specific to Michigan football and it has a larger audience than the Alabama page (both links to Facebook were reached via the school’s websites). However, Michigan does not provide the same resources as the Alabama site does.