SBD/August 18, 2017/Colleges

Michigan Football Program Benefiting From Jim Harbaugh's Social Media Prowess

Harbaugh's social media activity has helped Michigan football in recruiting
Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is "everywhere," and so is coverage of the football coach, with the visibility largely being attributed to Harbaugh "embracing social media with his patented 'enthusiasm unknown to mankind,'" according to Ty Duffy of THE ATHLETIC. Harbaugh can be found "dispensing trick-or-treating advice" or "hobnobbing" with the lieks of Tom Selleck or rapper Migos. The coach is "consuming milk at unorthodox times, re-enacting the Lion King, trolling SEC head coaches, and violating accepted glove-wearing protocol for adult baseball fans." Whether the content is "silly or sober, Harbaugh provides an endless fountain of viral moments." Duffy: "Many view Harbaugh’s social media filibuster as frivolous, tangential, and annoying. They would prefer to talk the nuts and bolts of football. But, the truth is Harbaugh’s social media strategy has been a vital part of his rebuilding" at UM. His social media presence "rebranded his image." He is now "warm, goofy, and enthusiastic," seen as the "family-oriented coach who will play with younger siblings." He has become the "cool coach riding go karts and shooting videos with rappers." The "wall-to-wall Harbaugh coverage his social media presence generates is great for recruiting." It is "hard to argue Harbaugh’s promotional efforts at Michigan have not been a raging success his first two seasons." UM has gone from "losing recruits to Michigan State to battling Alabama for the top recruits in the country" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/16).
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