The Northwestern University football program launched a social media homepage on Tuesday, one that brings together content and status updates from a number of networks for easy fan consumption.
Not just a collection of Twitter handles and other links, school reps say the Northwestern Football Social Media Network is the first of its kind in college football.
The hub features standard team-related news, but also embedded videos from Northwestern YouTube channels and short Tout clips that give fans candid, behind-the-scenes access. Live updating Facebook and Twitter feeds provide updates and link out for easy following. Another section features scrollable images from Tumblr and Instagram, while fans can also follow links to Foursquare and Pinterest.
Cody Cejda, Northwestern’s director of football operations, told Mashable the social hub provides value for the program and its supporters alike.
“Recruits and fans will be able to get a quick snapshot of what it’s like to be part of the Northwestern football team after spending a few minutes on the hub,” he wrote. “The site will give our program a better opportunity to engage our fans, and also increase exposure for everything we do that makes us unique as a program.”
Northwestern worked with the Chicago-based interactive studio Uncommon Thinking to build the hub. Cejda says its different elements came from a combination of staff brainstorming and seeing what other professional and college sports teams are doing in the digital space.
“We have been pushing content on social media for a few years now and are happy to have found a solution to bring all of our platforms together on an appealing and easy-to-browse page,” he wrote.
While Northwestern’s slick site does appear to be a first for college football, expect to see similar sites popping up rapidly among sports teams. The NHL’s Boston Bruins launched a digital portal — the first of its kind in pro sports — in March. As a wide array of social offerings becomes the norm in sports marketing, bringing everything together under one digital roof makes more and more sense.