DURHAM, N.C.—With first year head coach Glen Lanham and his staff of assistant coaches Ben Wissel and Will Rowe, the Duke University wrestling squad left a lasting impression on the sport this past season according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The Blue Devils have been named one of six finalists for the annual Masterful Mission Best of Brand Award sponsored by the NWCA.
The Masterful Mission award recognizes the program that best branded itself during the 2012-2013 season via social network sites. The selection committee looks for programs with well-rounded values that embrace their universities’ missions.
With new leadership at the helm, Lanham and his staff immediately went to work to deliver the message of what the Blue Devils were about. The hashtag and motto of “Building the Total Student-Athlete” became synonymous with Duke wrestling and they demonstrated their works towards that through social media efforts.
Duke branded itself this year with a broad-based social media approach that included Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, unlike other teams Duke wrestling features an RSS feed on its Facebook profile allowing fans easy access to the most current news about the program.
On Facebook the program has over 2,200 page likes and has an application that awards the fan of the week and one that allows fans to turn their social media activity into rewards. On Twitter the program has more than 1,500 followers and has tweeted more than 2,000 times from the handle @Duke_WRES. The have used these platforms to build their “Total Student Athlete” mantra.
The Blue Devils sent two wrestlers to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2009 and placed a league-best six wrestlers on the All-ACC Academic Team. Duke finished among the top nationally in team GPA and had two wrestlers earn NWCA All-Academic recognition.
The winners of the Best of Brand awards will be announced Saturday, August 3rd at the breakfast session at the NWCA Convention.
The Masterful Mission award falls under the umbrella of Annual Achievement awards, a set of awards designed to recognize the program’s that used social media in the best possible manner to market themselves during the season. The subset contains three awards, Top Newcomer, The Gold Standard and The Masterful Mission, all seeking out the program with the best consistently built brand.
The Best of Brand Awards were founded by Elite Level Sport Marketing CEO Coyte Cooper with the National Wrestling Coaches Association following the 2011-2012 season, and after a widely successful inaugural year returned for a second year.
For more information on the Best of Brand Awards and past winners visit the National Wrestling Coaches Association website at www.nwcaonline.com.