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UT NEWS & Updates

Kentucky Men’s B-Ball – Dedicated Websites

Posted by Team UT on November 17th, 2010   Interactive, Sports Marketing

Working with the Duke Men’s Basketball team (www.DukeBluePlanet.com) the past four years we’re always on the look-out to see what other college programs are doing online. Recently we came across a new site for the Kentucky Men’s B-Ball team.

You can view the site by clicking here. Our short review is: the site is big on images, but short on content. To its credit it does display a lot of quality images that properly reflect the program experience, but the lack of frequently updated content is kind of surprising when you consider the history and tradition that the UK program has.

UK Men’s Basketball has one of the most impressive stories to tell in all of college sports, but they’re not alone in missing the boat on properly marketing themselves – same can be said for Indiana, UCLA, North Carolina, & Kansas in Basketball (add the UCONN women’s team to the list too), and programs like Notre Dame, Miami, and USC in Football.

Taking a closer look you find that the site was put together by the AD as part of their “Kentucky Athletics Interactive” initiative. Below is what was included in the offical release on the launch of the website:

The site, which can be accessed at http://interactive.ukathletics.com/mbasketball, was launched Tuesday, Nov. 16 to inform and educate prospective and current UK student-athletes and their families, as well as the general public, about the University of Kentucky men’s basketball program.

The primary goal of Kentucky Athletics Interactive is to provide online visitors with a broad overview of the UK Athletics program and each of its 22 varsity sports in an innovative and entertaining way. The hope of the site is to provide an accurate glimpse of what it means to study and compete as a nationally prominent student-athlete at UK.

We’ve seen this with several schools that don’t want to put extra emphasis on their Basketball or Football progams (ie the revenue generators), and keep things completely equal among their stakeholders when it comes to program-specific websites. What’s interesting about the one directed for UK Men’s B-Ball and how the AD wants it to be positioned from the press release above is that everybody knows recruits don’t come to UK for a college education – they come to UK to hopefully do a one and done. The sites actually probably do a good job representing the other 21 sports, but this is Kentucky Basketball – it deserves a better showcase.  You’d think someone in the basketball program would realize this, but hey you’d also think someone in the AD office would realize it too.

In conclusion, UK did the right thing in providing more detailed websites for the other 20 programs, but the big revenue generators – football and especially basketball need to have their own unique dedicated websites. They need to properly tell their stories, they need to be updated daily with news/photos/videos and insider information, and they need full buy-in & support from the individual programs and the AD office as a whole.

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