I mean, that’s not technically true since the NCAA has a site explaining the campaign.
Quickly, the consensus became to find a way to come together, to show unity and support within college athletics during a trying time for everyone in the country. That evolved into the #UnitedAsOne campaign, which officially launched at 4:16 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, exactly a week after the announcement of the NCAA canceling the remaining 2019-20 winter and spring championships.
Okay, but what is it?
“Moments like this, I feel like we should be bringing our teams together,” said Brian Wagner, Michigan’s digital strategy and creative lead, who was part of the initial group that came up with the campaign. “All of our programs, all of our student-athletes, our coaching staffs, we’re all in the same boat here. This is certainly something to show that we’re all in this together.”
Okay, but what is this campaign trying to do exactly?
“We just stuck with #UnitedAsOne to sort of showcase that each school has a different fan base, each school has a different background and different traditions, but, ultimately, we’re all going to miss sports, and we all need to kind of band together to get through this,” Jordan said, “and know that there are brighter days ahead.
And so functionally this campaign is going to…
In a social media role often driven by quantitative numbers, like engagements and impressions, Wagner said he hopes this #UnitedAsOne campaign’s impact is more qualitative.
“I really just hope it provides positive engagement and lifts some spirits and lets people know and be in comfort that we’re working together, all of us schools, conferences, to get through this in a safe, responsible manner,” he said, “and we’ll be back stronger than ever.”
And that means…
“I’m just happy that everyone is united around this cause and around this opportunity to show that we are arm in arm, ready to see what happens next,” Jordan said. “Everyone’s united and supporting each other and putting rivalries aside, putting their feelings for lost seasons aside and really thinking about the big picture and how we can all support each other.”
I mean, sure I guess explicitly showing that you support one another despite rivalries is good, but I would hope that that was already true. And the NCAA is an organization that pulled in $933 million from media rights fees from the NCAA basketball tournaments alone last year. This is it? This is all they have?
What about the winter seniors who were robbed of their seasons ends, many of them playoff and championship games?
What about the students that are being told to leave their universities that have nowhere else to go?
What about immuno-compromised athletes, disabled athletes, athletes with asthma, and other high-risk athletes?
Sure getting a hashtag trending when you’re just some person sitting at home is great, but if you’re a multi-million dollar entity and that’s all you can do, it just looks like you don’t really care.