Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Does no campaign help Bridgewater?
By Matt Fortuna
Teddy Bridgewater has not had a conventional college career. The Louisville quarterback has been a hit through two years, winning Big East Freshman of the Year honors and conference Offensive Player of the Year honors the past two seasons. Now with his Cardinals a projected top-10 team entering this fall, he has been showered in praise as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate and top NFL draft pick.
Bridgewater made headlines two weeks ago by asking his school not to start a Heisman campaign for him.
And that might be just the point.
Respected college football blogger Adam Kramer brings up an interesting theory in a recent piece, wondering if campaigns even matter anymore in this age of social media.
He points to Bridgewater's request, saying that the headlines accompanying such an unselfish act may prove to be even more effective than an actual promotion.
For Heisman hopefuls looking to capitalize on key performances, marketing no longer needs to be manufactured. A billboard off a major highway will by no means negatively impact a player’s chances, but it has its limits. It can't move; it can't dazzle.
Social media, however, can take the success of the player, perhaps in one unbelievable moment, and give it a voice. Although you may never cast a Heisman vote in your lifetime, your passionate commentary has purpose, place and impact. Combined with others, it can be more powerful than the marketing companies spend millions on each month.
To win the Heisman, you don't have to perfect. However, you do have to impress a fraternity of former players and voters enough to prove your worth. No billboard, website or dumbbell can accomplish this.
Not anymore. Not in 2013.
It's about seizing the moment, or perhaps a season. And nothing captures a moment quite like social media, which can amplify greatness into a deafening chorus.
Kramer's points are certainly interesting. It's probably too early in the offseason for most schools to send out promotional items and set up billboards in Times Square, but Bridgewater's request during a relatively quiet period has proven very effective in generating discussion three months before he takes the gridiron.
Of course, there is no replacing whatever magic he can create on the field for Louisville this fall, which is what ultimately matters.