College signing days have changed significantly in the last few years. What used to be an event recognized by a local newspaper is now covered by a national media audience online and across social media. Within hours of the start of National Letter of Intent Day, fans can quickly and easily track their favorite recruits. Within 24 hours hundreds of fans are reviewing and ranking the recruiting classes of their favorite and rival schools.
Winners and losers of signing day are crowned and decisions by 18-year old athletes are being scrutinized by fans of all ages. For better or for worse, the student-athletes instantly expose themselves to the opinions and comments of family, friends, and fans.
For schools lucky enough to have student-athletes signing with colleges, this can be a great opportunity to be a part of the hype, show support for the student-athletes, and use the event to promote their program. As you prepare for your next signing day, make sure you are prepared to make the most of your celebration. Below are the top items to have in place for the big day:
The Paperwork: The national letter of intent is typically faxed or emailed directly to you the day of the signing. Sign the official document and send is back before the event. Make copies of the paperwork to use ceremoniously but be sure to handle the important part first!
Attendees: Think through who you want sitting at the table with the student athlete as well as who is in the crowd. Reach out to the student athlete and their family to get an idea of what they are picturing for the event. Reach out to the school photographer or yearbook team, invite local media, and be sure to invite the coaches.
Media Backdrop/Table Throw: There is going to be a lot of exposure for the school and the community. Be sure to have a backdrop and table throw that reflects your branding to create the most professional experience. This is your opportunity to show off your school to an audience that previously may have not interacted with your school.
New College or University Apparel: Be sure to have your athlete put on cap or shirt of the school they will be attending. This symbolic gesture creates a transition from high school to college and is a long-standing tradition of signees.
While none of us can predict what the future of signing day will be, the key elements listed above will more than likely always be a key part of the celebration and tradition of college signing days. This is a day for celebrating a student taking the next step of their athletic career. Need help with a media backdrop or table throw? Reach out to a Team Fitz sales rep today and get yourself ready for the big day.