Using Social Media for Business (aka The Joy and Pain of Using Facebook to Promote a Book)

Social media can be both a good friend and a fair-weather friend who drives you crazy. What makes me say that, you ask? Because I’m living through this experience as we speak.

A few months ago, I took on the task of creating and managing the promotion and engagement strategy for a book that was co-written by two local authors. The book, entitled Myths & Monsters of Reston, Virginia, is a family friendly historical adventure that encourages readers of all ages to get outside, explore nature, and enjoy the stories of mythical creatures that may live in anyone’s hometown.

While I’ve been using various tools to promote the book, including earned media (pitching to media/press), getting the authors to do book signings and live events, and finding creative ways to get exposure for the authors like leveraging teachers to review the book, the social media tool we’re leveraging is Facebook. Using Facebook as a starting point for a short-staffed marketing team of one, I’ll soon be adding Instagram into the mix, as it’s become a burgeoning tool considered effective for brands to start using for business.

Learning about the best practices and most effective ways to use Facebook for a product has been a learning experience. Facebook is best for building and nurturing a community, rather than using it as a selling platform. While I knew that going into the experience, and thought I had a good understanding of the type of content that performs best on the channel, Facebook continues to be a challenge with its ups, downs, excitement, and disappointments. In this blog, I’d like to share my recommendations (and musings) on what works well for using Facebook as a channel for generating buzz about a new, small press book.

Top 5 List of What Works Well for Facebook Marketing—

1-FB is only one channel to use within a larger set of marketing channels. Use FB as part of the full marketing mix, and don’t expect it to be the only channel to create buzz, generate word of mouth, or specifically sell books. To get attention for a small press book that doesn’t have an agent, publicist, or publishing house behind it, FB can be a powerful tool.

2-Use FB to engage and invite followers and fans, and cultivate a community of brand champions. FB is a two-way platform that is a powerful means to reach potential buyers and fans around the world in a way not otherwise possible without more resources being used. In growing and expanding an audience for a small press book, using Facebook’s paid advertising options such as Boost and Promote allow for broad and narrow audience segmentation, and demographic and behavioral targeting (such as selecting tags that describe book fans and storytelling fans). Also showcase your core asset beyond the book itself, such as the authors, who represent the brand as much as book itself, if not more.

3-Invite friends and associates to like your FB page but use paid advertising to get your content viewed and shared widely. Over the last year or two, Facebook has changed its algorithms so that business (brand) pages don’t get displayed in your FB page’s “friends” feed unless you pay to advertise. I conjecture it’s Facebook’s strategy to generate more revenue from businesses. Using my friends to test out this issue of not seeing Myths & Monsters book posts, I found consistently that unless I pay-to-play (advertise) they don’t see the posts in their FB feed, even though they’re technically “friends” of the Myths & Monsters FB page.

4-Use fun, entertaining, and intriguing content. Don’t directly sell, promote, lecture, or try to convince on FB. This approach quickly disengages FB users, including FB page followers. For small press, and the Myths & Monsters book in particular, high performing content includes silly or fun memes that celebrate a holiday while tying in some aspect of the book’s content; using photos or video and not just text/copy; and thanking attendees for coming to an event you hosted (like an author book signing). (See example of the Cicada Lady post, which is a creature “sighting” shared with FB fans).

5-Experiment, test-test-test, and realize social marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Having a social media strategy, even if it’s just for one channel such as Facebook, is key—but the strategy shouldn’t be set in stone. Adjusting along the way, from creating (then modifying) a social media editorial calendar in the content you post and the cadence for posting it should be expected. The beauty and challenge of social media is its dynamic quality. Content can be posted quickly but the nature of what should be posted will change depending on what else is happening in the social universe, the 24-news cycle and current events; and unexpected brand challenges such as dealing with a communication crisis in FB’s public forum. While managing the Myths & Monsters FB page, I’ve made adjustments to the editorial calendar many times, such as when finding out that there are many “national holidays” that I want to create social content to, because they align to the Myths & Monsters brand. For example, Earth Day 2017 (and its hashtag) made for a great hook to celebrate the haunted forests that Myths & Monsters takes place in.

If others reading this post have experiences to share about using Facebook for marketing a niche product that doesn’t have an established brand presence (books in particular), I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. Maybe we can learn from each other, and grow my Top 5 list to a bigger number!

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Social Media Creates an Equitable Playing Field

Ultimate Frisbee is an up and coming sport in the realm of athletics. For those of you who don’t know, ultimate is played on a field similar to that of a soccer field. Seven players from each team will participate at once, trying to score in the opposite team’s end zone. The disc cannot touch the ground, nor can players run with the disc while they are holding it. First team to 15 points or highest score in the 90 minute time limit of the game wins.

The sport’s presence is most strongly seen at the college and high school level, though these programs are not considered part of the NCAA. There are club level teams of ultimate for both genders, but professionally, there is only a men’s program called the AUDL. These programs pay the athletes nothing at all or cover the costs of travel. The fact that these programs barely have the funds to cover travel fees alludes to the problems the sport has had with recognition on a national level.

Due to the fact that Ultimate Frisbee is a grassroots sport, it is a prime example of how utilizing social media can boost a sport to the national stage. The first ultimate Frisbee teams were formed in 1969, making the sport 48 years old this year. In the past 48 years, the sport has grown under an established organization, Ultiworld. Through this organization, articles and photos are developed for followers and fans of the sport to read and share. Their main mode of communication other than the website that houses all the information, is social media. It provides a simple, yet effective way to communicate with the entire community and showcase important and relevant topics.

Just this past Memorial Day weekend, Ultiworld and the Division I collegiate programs came together for Division I College Championships in Columbus, Ohio. This event is the culmination of an 8 month long season that every collegiate team partakes in. Throughout the year, rankings have been published and projected through all the social media outlets of the organization, but the action of the weekend never occurs like it’s supposed to. To make sure all fans across the country can keep up with the action and play by plays, Ultiworld has developed an Ultiworld Live account through Twitter. With this, fans can keep up with every game of the weekend through the account. Employees tweet around the clock to ensure each score is being posted for the 100+ games that occur. Fans can refresh and see how their teams are doing, even who scored the point. Plays of the game, quotes from players and coaches, and photos of the action are sent out through their other accounts for followers who want information other than scores. The organization has really tuned into what their followers want.

Ultiworld is not just a passive organization. They take feedback from followers and listen to what individuals have to say over social media. Like never before, the College Nationals tournament provided equitable live coverage of the women’s and men’s division games. This was based upon the voices of the ultimate community who wrote letters, signed petitions, and argued their stance over social media. These posts provided a base for fans to stand upon and fight for what they believe is right. The ultimate community has become the sport on the forefront of gender equity (equal in relation to the other party), not just gender equality (equal offerings). In other words, the differences between equity and equality can be explained as having two people of different heights standing next to a fence. Instead of offering both people a step to stand on, you would offer the smaller person a step to make them the same height as the other person. Personally, I believe that the sport would not be in the place where it is at if it wasn’t for the community voicing its opinion through social media for the parent organization to listen to. This is what makes ultimate such a unique sport.

I might be a nerd about ultimate and I might be really invested in the growth of the sport, but ultimate is really a sport that has grown with the baby boomer and millennial generations. This sport has listened to the voice of its players, and developed from their investment. Social media has been an integral piece to that puzzle and as an avid member in the ultimate community I am excited to see where it takes the sport!

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Covfefe in Chief: Separation of Personal and Professional Twitter Use

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Sound familiar? These are some of the most iconic quotes from past presidents of the United States of America. These quotes have been immortalized through history books, some of them even captured on old “vintage” video recordings. What do all of these memorable messages have in common? None of them originated on Twitter. It may be hard to imagine, but in a time not-so-long-ago, there was no such thing as Twitter (or the internet, for that matter). There was no 140-character limit on a president’s message to the country. Today, the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, communicates with the country he runs almost exclusively through the social media platform, with little filter or hesitation.

There are many ways to look at the use of Twitter for elected political officials. Sure, it is a quick and efficient way of sending a message. It makes the president seem more accessible, more like “one of us” (even if he is tweeting from a golden throne in a multi-million dollar vacation home). And while much of Donald Trump’s campaign was run on being an “outsider” to the government who “calls his own shots”, there is definitely a sense of danger in his decision to tweet seemingly without supervision. There have been dozens of tweets by the president (often those sent out in a late-night frenzy) that were later deleted, likely at the discretion of his political advisers. However, the internet never forgets and the tweets live on through screenshots and databases, which is just one of a dozen reasons for Trump to be a bit more careful about what he decides to tweet.

But should a president really speak so casually on important political matters, especially on a personal account? Should he be tweeting passive aggressive comments about other world leaders and officials (like his recent comments about the mayor of London, for example)? This is a gray area in American politics, as it is essentially unprecedented. While former president Barack Obama did use Twitter, he did so most often on the official account for the president of the United States (@POTUS) as opposed to a personal account (which he does have: @BarackObama). Donald Trump often posts multiple times a day to his personal account (@realDonaldTrump) about political issues and government business. Here’s where the issue gets a bit sticky.

In my opinion, the president of the United States’ personal social media use should be restricted. While I do understand that many elected officials have personal accounts on which they promote their campaigns or discuss issues, it just feels different at such a high level of power. The President of the United States is the leader of the free world. Everything that a person in this position says or does is scrutinized and watched closely. Donald Trump has access to a legitimate, government-run, highly monitored twitter account through the official @POTUS handle. He often chooses to forgo that option in order to tweet his seemingly unhinged thoughts directly on his personal account. The tweets coming from the @POTUS account are clearly composed by someone other than the president himself, as they are much more professional and aim to be more informative, objective messages. The clear distinction between the two accounts in both tone and content gives the impression that Trump prefers to speak (or post, rather) unfiltered, and does not want anyone telling him “no sir, you probably shouldn’t post that”. In reality, there really should be someone telling him (or any president, for that matter) when something is inappropriate to post to social media. Being “filtered” is part of the job, and for good reason.

Here are my biggest issues with Trump’s tweeting obsession: he doesn’t know when to stop, and he doesn’t seem to realize the true impact that his words have. Like many famous figures, Trump has a “following”. There are people who hang on his every word, and whether it’s because they love him or because they hate him; people are listening and watching closely. When Trump tweets that CNN and other news sources are “fake news”, that has an impact on the perceived credibility of those organizations. When Trump sends out a petty tweet about a celebrity he doesn’t like that day, the celebrity is sure to face harassment and hate from his followers within minutes (if not seconds), whether it is truly deserved or not. These kinds of subjective tweets regarding “fake news” and “alternative facts” should be reserved for citizens who are forming their own opinions on the political climate of our country. The president himself should be responsible for sharing REAL facts on the official platform he’s been given, instead of playing into conspiracy theories and gossip. Trump’s personal tweets have largely contributed to sensationalist stories with little basis in reality, spreading fear and paranoia to his loyal voter base without even bothering to fact-check first.

Try to imagine it this way: You work for a very large, well-known company. You run their professional social media accounts, on which you share the work you do daily and the progress that your company is making in the industry. However, on your public, personal account, you tweet constantly about how horrible your competitors are, how corrupt the industry is, how unfair the market is. Constant negativity and frequent nasty remarks about your own line of work. Do you think the company you worked for would be very happy with how you were representing them on your own account? There needs to be a clear line between personal and professional Twitter use in the presidency, just as there is in the real world for all of us. We, as working professionals, monitor our social media use because we know that what we post is seen as a reflection of our employer. For us, the American people, our unfiltered, impulsive posts have real consequences. Donald Trump needs to start viewing his own Twitter use the same way, because his posts are a reflection of not only our government, but the United States as a whole.

What do you think? Should there be a distinction between personal and professional Twitter use in the presidency? Do you think Trump’s personal Twitter use is potentially dangerous to our society? And what does #covfefe really mean?

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Cape Cod Living

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACape Cod Rotary

 

I’ve been visiting Cape Cod for my entire life.  Cape Cod is technically an island in Massachusetts, albeit a man made one. The Cape Cod Canal was built in 1914 and is approximately 7 miles long.  It connects Cape Cod with Buzzards Bay.  The Cape has a rich history of fishing, tourism, and historical figures.  Cape Cod incorporates all of Barnstable County, which comprises: Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Harwich, Dennis, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown. “The Cape”, as it is most commonly referred to by the folks that frequent it, is a beautiful landscape filled up some of  the most beautiful beaches in the world.  People from all over the world, come here during the summer months to get a feel for the gorgeous oceans, fresh and delicious seafood, oh, and of course amazing cocktails.

Beginning when I was around 5 years of age, my parents had a mobile home in a town called Dennis on Cape Cod.  I spent my summers here, and every single subsequent summer till I was about 15 years old.  Looking back on it as an adult, it was a pretty cool way to spend a summer.  We would ride bikes, go to the beach daily, and then use the pool to round out the afternoon.  As I got older and made friends back home, and began playing sports, it was harder and harder for me to enjoy what the Cape offered.  I’ve recently bought my own home in the same town on The Cape and have been having a ball exploring what all the Cape has to offer.  Some of  the topics I want to cover in this blog are my favorite restaurants, beaches, and places for live music, all of which can be found on Cape Cod.

The beaches in the town of Dennis are some of the best you will find.  Dennis is the only town on the Cape where there is a beach on either side of town.  So if you drive to the northern part, you will be able to access the bay side beaches, and if you drive across town to the southern tip, you will access the beaches located right on Nantucket Sound. 2 places I will say are an absolute must.  The first is Crowe’s Pasture (https://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=XMR016-018) which is located on conservation land.  You can drive your 4×4 vehicle right onto the beach!  Once the tide rolls out, I can guarantee you one wouldn’t be able to tell whether they are on Cape Cod or a Caribbean island.  It is THAT spectacular.  Keep your eyes open enoughh and there is a good chance you could see a seal or 2 swim by.  The second beach is Mayflower beach which resides on the northern tip.  The white sand, calm water, and amazing views make this one of the best beaches in all of New England.  Once here, you will find a sunset that is unlike anything you have seen.  Beach goers often stay until well past 8pm in an effort to soak up as much of the outdoor beauty as they can!

I’m located in West Dennis which resides on the sound.  If you find yourself in West Dennis, stopping by the Sand Bar (https://www.facebook.com/The-Sand-Bar-at-West-Dennis-Beach-261271973981662/), which is located about a quarter mile from West Dennis Beach, is an absolute must!  The decor will bring you back to a simpler place in time.  Upon entering, you’ll notice the old school wood paneling which is reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s.  The Sand Bar sits right on Swan River so the views are spectacular while you enjoy an ice cold beverage, and of course take full advantage of the raw bar located right on the outside patio.  Some of  the best Oysters I have had in my life, I have ordered right from this bar.  If you are here anytime Thursday-Sunday, you can enjoy the live music being put on by a man and his guitar.  You’ll hear the classic summer music everyone likes to sing along to from Zac Brown to Jon Bon Jovi.  If you see Joey playing the guitar with his patented white beach shirt, tell him you know Danny and want to sing “Livin’ on a Prayer” with him.  You won’t regret it!!

After departing The Sand Bar, one final stop you must make is at one of the best kept secrets in Dennis.  It’s called Bandera’s Market (https://www.facebook.com/Banderasmarketanddeli/)  Upon walking in, ask for Dolly and make sure to order a SMALL meatball sub.  Why a small?  because the small bread comes on Dolly’s homemade french brad that is simply delectable.  Dolly makes her meatballs on a daily basis and they are out of this world.  She makes them with part beef, veal, pork, and cheese. A great take for heading to the beach or looking for a quick bite.

Check back again next week as I continue to write about some other hidden gems on Cape Cod and celebrate all things summer!!

 

cpBeach goers enjoying summer at Crowe’s Pasture in Dennis,MA

 

 

 

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Social Media: The Technological Drug

My fiance has a thirteen-year-old daughter and we see the top of her head more often than her beautiful smile. This is because she is always staring down at her phone, hyper focused on the latest images on her Instagram feed or the incoming “snaps” from her Snapchat account. Homework and grades have slipped and she appears exhausted every morning. It is not being overworked at school or over-programmed with extracurricular activities. She is up on the phone late at night, texting, sending photos, in long group chats on Instagram. To combat this we have established dinner time technology rules where phones have to be put on silent and left in another room so that we can have a face to face, verbal conversation. We’ve implemented homework rules that inevitably are broken. When the phone is taken away a 2016-04-14-1460671676-8872489-Teengirlswithcellphonescomplete meltdown fueled by panic ensues.

This weekend I learned we are not alone. The struggle is real people! Not shocking, but very upsetting, is the fact that technology and social media addiction is prevalent. Elizabeth Vargas, 2020 investigative journalist, reported on the real battle with technology addition and how similar it is to her own struggles with alcoholism. After following three people with technology dependencies, Elizabeth recounts that “…all three people we profile in this hour revealed they struggled with anxiety and used gaming or social media to ‘escape’ or numb it. That is exactly how I used … alcohol.” I often hear bits and pieces of my soon-to-be-stepdaughter’s conversations as she stomps through our house on the phone with friends. She complains about feeling anxious and pressure to fit in at school, or to say the right things, or to have a boy like her in time, or to be out every free minute of her life doing something “cool.” I think she is anxious at this ever so awkward phase in her life and her addiction to social media is not only playing into her anxieties of being a normal, uncomfortable teenager in a zoo with other teens coming of age, but it is also producing that new age mental illness coined Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

It seems like left and right we hear about stories of teens committing suicide because of bullying, especially cyber-bullying, and I keep thinking about how I was raised without all this technology and digital connectivity literally in the palm of my hand. Today children and teens are exposed to a seemingly endless world of knowledge, with a good portion of it being negative. The internet is a free for all and children, if not monitored, are being exposed to things beyond their ability to comprehend and are able to act out through harsh keystrokes and hide behind a screen.

A teen named Brooke from California was featured in ABC’s 20/20 for excessive cell phone and social media usage. The fifteen-year-old girl was given an iPhone for her 12th birthday and it was a downhill slide ever since. Brook has been deemed obsessed with social media, staying up all hours of the night to check her social media feed, even claiming it had “become a part of her…a part of her heart.” The saddest part of the story is that out of the obsessive-compulsive behavior with technology grew an alcohol and drug problem. Brooke had to go to treatment for all of these issues, which I fear have stemmed from the behaviors around social media and her exposure to all things on those platforms.

It leads me to question what age is appropriate for a smartphone, of a social media account? Instagram, Snapchat, and I am sure the rest of the social media platforms out there have age restrictions, but it is as easy as entering a fake birthday to get around that. Giving keys to a car and a license to drive and be exposed independently to the world is something kids have to wait for until they are mature and of a certain age. So why would be give them the keys to navigate the confusing, perverse and scary world of social media and the internet so young?

https://www.thefix.com/elizabeth-vargas-and-2020-investigate-internet-addiction

http://www.complex.com/life/2017/05/teen-social-media-fixation

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Natural or Artificial?

I recently tweeted about Zevia, my favorite new soda whose claim to fame is that it uses natural, not artificial, zero-calorie sweeteners. When I checked my account later that day, I was, perhaps naively, surprised to see that the Zevia company had retweeted me. (In my own defense, I’ve mentioned other products in past tweets without any such corporate response). I had to suppose my message and photo were so special that Zevia had to stop the presses and let the whole world know. Decide for yourself:

 “Zevia cola—now I can finally give up DC!”

To test the theory that I was a particularly talented wordsmith and photographer, I ran an experiment, asking five peers to mention Zevia in a tweet and to post an Instagram photo of the brand. All five tweets were quickly retweeted by the company, and all five Instagrams received a fast corporate response of “Cool!”

I have to admit, I felt a little cheated on. Spurred by my broken heart, I decided to investigate Zevia’s social media practices. I discovered that Zevia not only approaches bloggers with product samples, but works with popular bloggers on sponsored posts. Consequently, Zevia products have been featured on many blogs, including the popular sheknows.com and buzzsugar.com.

Natalie Gershon, Zevia’s marketing director, describes the company’s social media efforts as organic. But is it really an organic word-of-mouth process if a company solicits and even pays for grassroots exposure? I wonder.

Not that I blame Zevia for wanting to get its products into influencers’ hands (and bellies). I actually admire most of the company’s social media efforts. For instance, the Zevia 12 Million campaign is a social media program around Zevia’s “mission to eradicate America’s childhood obesity epidemic and addiction to sugar.” The firm produced the video “The 12 Million” (for how many U.S. kids are obese) to heighten brand awareness by spreading the word about the dangers of sugar. The video has garnered more than a million views on YouTube.

Zevia also offers Pinterest and Instagram contests; a YouTube channel with 36 videos; and an online newsletter complete with recipes on how to make floats, cocktails, mocktails, dishes and desserts. Great ideas! No wonder Zevia was named one of Instagram’s top 17 business accounts in 2016 and has 200,000 fans on FB and YouTube.

  Zevia on Instagram

But still, my trust of product-related social media postings is now shaken. How can I ever discern whether a positive product tweet, photo, review, or wall post is natural or artificial? I cringe to know that there are sites out there serving as matchmakers between businesses and people who will accept compensation for positive reviews on their blogs or other social media platforms. These sites include sponsoredreviews.com, famebit.com, sponsoredtweets.com and tomoson.com, to name a few. Imagine my dismay upon learning that Business Insider got more than 10 million results on a recent search for sponsored Instagram posts (it looked for the #sp or #partner hashtag) (businessinsider.com, 2017).

I am not without hope, though. Amazon allows visitors to filter reviews by “verified purchase,” so you can look only at reviews written by people who actually purchased the product on Amazon at a regular price. Last year, Amazon barred merchants from offering free or discounted items in exchange for reviews, unless merchants use Amazon’s Vine program.

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission mailed letters to 90 influencers, including celebrities and star athletes, admonishing them to indicate when an Instagram post is sponsored (businessinsider.com, 2017). YouTube is striving to make it less profitable for vloggers to accept payment from companies in return for running video overlays of corporate logos and product images (Blattberg, 2015). And woe be to the business that pays someone to write a glowing Yelp review. If Yelp discovers the ploy, it will replace that review with an alert reading: “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews for this business. We weren’t fooled…” (yelpblog.com, 2015).

I applaud these efforts by the government and internet services to cut down on the scam. We as customers need to demand more of this. I hope consumers everywhere will join me in raising my voice against covertly sponsored social media posts—and even against posts where the writer claims to be writing an “honest review” even though he or she received cash, free products, or deep discounts from the marketer. It’s time to take back the internet!

Sources
Blattberg, E. (2015, February 18). YouTube makes a move against brand-sponsored videos. Retrieved May 23, 2017, from https://digiday.com/media/youtube-moves-outside-overlay-ads/

Rath, J. (2017, April 20). The FTC wants social media stars to stop sneaking in ads on Instagram. Retrieved May 23, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-ftc-wants-social-media-stars-to-stop-sneaking-in-ads-on-instagram-2017-4

Yelp Consumer Alerts: Shady Business Tactics? Not on Our Watch. (2015, January 27). Retrieved May 23, 2017, from https://www.yelpblog.com/2015/01/yelp-consumer-alerts-shady-business-tactics-not-on-our-watch

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The Marketing – and lack of payment – of College Athletes

Marketing is a vital pillar to a successful collegiate athletics program. The program must market itself to fans, the student body, ticket-buyers, and prospective student-athletes. Marketing for these athletic programs can take place in many different ways, including social media, commercials, or direct mail. As straight-forward as these marketing tactics seem, it can become complicated when programs specifically use amateur student-athletes as marketing tools.

Student-athletes are classified as amateurs and therefore cannot receive compensation for any services that are in connection with their athletic skills. When a college football program wants to use the likeness of their star player for a commercial, it is allowed. However, it is not allowed for that specific player to receive compensation from the school for the commercial. Likewise, many universities and local stores sell college football jerseys. The number on these jerseys is almost always the number of the school’s star player, without a name on the back of it. By selling the jerseys, the school and local stores are profiting off of an amateur-athlete’s skills while the athlete receives nothing.

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A study in 2015 showed the average football player at the University of Texas is worth $622,000 to their university. That is a monumental amount of money – and what does the athlete get in return? A free education. The math simply does not add up. College football programs all over the nation, as well as many other sports, use their players to sell tickets and memorabilia while the athlete is left out to dry.

What is the solution? Student-athletes deserve to be compensated for the use of their image, story, name, and number. Not compensating them is essentially stealing. One would never think that an author or a scholar would not be compensated for the use of their name or work. Why is it different for college athletes? The system, put in place and enforced by the The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is unfair to the athletes, who are the very people the system claims to protect.

While marketing for collegiate athletic programs is important, and can also be beneficial for student-athletes, there has to be a compromise between the two parties. Compensating student-athletes when they are used in marketing campaigns is not only logical and standard practice in every other industry, but it is also fair and the right thing to do. A change with this rule will greatly benefit the student-athletes. After all, the student-athletes are the key ingredient for the mega-business that is college athletics.

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