To better promote University of West Georgia athletes and their teams, the UWG and the Gulf South Conference have partnered with a social media influencer software called “INFLCR”.
Jared Boggus, assistant director of sports information, met with three sports teams in the fall to soft launch the program and it will be used for all UWG sports teams starting in fall 2022 and the beginning of the 2023 season.
This new program not only allows UWG Athletics to share content, but also allows athletes to share through their personal accounts. The number of followers each athlete has combined is greater than that of the UWG Athletics page, meaning the content all athletes post reaches a wider audience.
“The goal of the INFLCR is to help student-athletes market themselves as a student and an athlete,” Boggus said. This helps student-athletes build a social media presence and following that could help them both during college and in their professional life after college.
“It also creates a symbolic relationship between our department and the student-athletes,” continues Boggus. “Through the INFLCR, we provide student-athletes with their photos and other resources they need to market themselves, which reaches more people than we can reach through the department’s social media channels.”
When new team event photos are taken, they are placed into the software and it runs facial recognition to tag the specific athlete. This photo can be viewed by the athlete via “my media” under “explore more content”. From there, they can link it to their Twitter or Instagram.
“The new INFLCR software will be a vital asset as it will allow us to deliver content directly to our student-athletes, so they can better market themselves, which helps us better market their respective teams,” Boggus said. “Improved marketing ultimately puts this team in front of more eyes and more people, which in turn increases attendance, revenue and support for these teams.”
Boggus explained the new software to teams currently using it as a trial for next season. New photos are added after each home event, unless a team has specifically hired a photographer to travel with them.
This new program opens up a whole new world for athletes. Currently, they rely on a staff member who runs their sports social media page to post content.
Each team runs their social media pages differently, but the INFLCR gives every athlete the same opportunity to market themselves and their team. Currently, some teams have hired members to be part of their staff to promote their athletes and those who do not rely on department staff to post to the main account. This gave the idea that some teams are promoted more than others on purpose but this is not the case as some have hired staff to handle their own promotion.
The INFLCR is going to allow for better athlete exposure and each team will start to be promoted as well. The goal of the app is for athletes to be able to “tell their story” and the UWG is now empowering their athletes by implementing this app into every athletics program.