The SEC Wins The Off-season....Again
Back in the 1970s Alabama Coach Paul Bryant understood the power of the national media. He made it a point to engage the New York media to be sure they understood Alabama football was worth the trip to cover.
Now several decades later the SEC understands the powerful effect that media attention has for exposure and the effects of that exposure flowing into the minds of recruits, television executives, poll voters and fans who buy tickets and decide which games to watch in a sea of college football over-exposure.
This week was the annual gathering known as the SEC Football Media Days. For those unfamiliar with the conference media days concept, it is a few days when all the coaches, athletic directors as well as key players from all the conference teams gather in one place. This allows the National Media as well as the media from all then schools in the conference to have direct access to everyone at once.
It’s designed to be a one-stop shopping convenience event for all the media while promoting the conference by creating several days of content on a regional and national level.
The SEC wins a lot on the field and when it comes to the Media Day wars they win again.
While the other conferences cluster their media days later in July, the SEC chooses this week every year. That is why they win the media day wars every year.
Why is that?
Because in sports media this week, the week of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Break is the deadest week in American sports. On Monday you have the Home Run Derby, and how much can you cover a glorified batting practice? On Tuesday you have one All-Star game. On Wednesday and Thursday there is no baseball. So From Monday through Thursday the entire American Sports media covering team sports has one Home Run Derby and one All-Star game to cover.
The SEC recognized that void and jumped into it with both feet to give much-needed oxygen to an overly large sports media industry looking for anything to inhale this week.
Everything said at the SEC Media days takes on an outsized importance because it gets covered. Anything the SEC wants to push out that is positive for them gets scooped up and shared on Sportscenter, in newspaper sports sections and websites starved of the daily content covering team sports with results and stats every day. But there is also the risk that a coach or player says something stupid as well and that rockets around the country too.
But the upside of their timing has been a huge net positive ofr the SEC.
It just shows that the SEC realizes that while they may geographically be a long way from the media centers of New York and LA, they know how to get the media to come to them, how to find the place where their time gets the best return on investment and the most exposure.
While the actual games may still be many weeks away, the SEC has already put points on the board and before the first ball is kicked off.