Marketing, Promotion and Social Media at the High School Level

Marketing, Promotion and Social Media at the High School Level


Last year as I was using my personal twitter account (@coachwalrich) I came across a sports graphic I thought was cutting edge and really showed the emotion of athletics. The graphic was from the Auburn University’s Digital Media group. As I dug deeper, I discovered other graphics developed by the group. I was hooked. I wanted to bring that type of passion and those techniques down to the high school level. So I began at the top. I connected with Jason Matheson, Assistant Athletic Director for Digital Media. Our conversation centered on how they market their athletic program. He shared his knowledge and tips with me to get me started.


I then wanted to learn more about the strategy behind digital media marketing so I reached out to Brian Bowsher, Assistant Athletic Director for Digital Media at the University of Miami. He invited me to shadow his group for two days in order to get a “behind the scenes” look at what they do on a daily basis. While at Miami, I was able to meet two graphic designers in the group, Leo Ramos and Chris Gray. I picked up a number of tips, tricks and ways to communicate a specific message in a digital format on many different platforms. Furthermore, that trip taught me strategies in marketing, promotion and social media that I could use at the high school level.


Currently, I follow many designers and schools to see what they are producing and to find out how I might be able to incorporate those techniques into our designs. Content with visual receives 94% more total views and is now 40% more likely to be shared on social networks. This is good for us as we continue to build our brand.


We launched a social media campaign at the beginning of the school year to increase our followers across our many social media platforms. We saw tremendous results in new activity and comments, as well as gaining new followers, which we attribute to the implementation of graphics and video.


Our graphics have taken us to a new level. Our students love to see themselves on a graphic. There are many days they come up to me and ask, “Am I going to get on a graphic today?” My response is always, “Are you going to do something special today in the game?” We may chuckle about that exchange, but it shows they’re following and will continue to follow and engage with our social media sites. We also create interesting infographics on our student-athletes and teams stats. This is another way to create visual interest and showcase our individual and team success.

We try to promote as many student-athletes, teams and coaches as we can during that particular season.

You can check out our designs here:

Gilmour Academy Twitter: @GALancerAD


Examples of my work

springathletesboysprepjacks infographic5games whetstone hockeyiggy&us prephockeypreview


gamedayBsvsm bondraquote regionalfinals leskoregsabrams lacrossementor infograpicnew baseballcardclark baseballcardpawlak

Jeff Walrich

Director of Athletics at Gilmour Academy

Jeff Walrich is in his fourth year as the director of athletics for Gilmour Academy and his 15th year overall in K-12 independent schools. Since his arrival at Gilmour, he has been instrumental in developing the athletic program’s presence in social media, establishing its relationship with Nike, creating professional development opportunities for the coaching staff and kicking off a plan to make Gilmour athletics more recognizable on campus and throughout the community.