Brand Food has consistently pulled inspiration from Netflix – as they are no longer considered just a content platform, but now a marketing juggernaut on par with the Apples, Nikes and Coca-Colas of the world. I was struck by a recent article from The Ringer’s Alyssa Bereznak, who tracked the social media following of Netflix’s new roster of actors and actresses prior to their debut on the platform and after the company promoted them and their shows/films. WHAT IF schools, teams and programs mirrored this promotion strategy with their freshman student-athletes? Bereznak dubbed this new type of celebrity “the instant streaming idol” but that doesn’t mean a school must create highly produced content starting their freshman. A tactic as simple as confirming social media verification for your freshman prior to their debuts would go a long way to establishing their brand and building their social clout. WHAT IF you showcased the unique stories, journeys and backgrounds of your freshman ahead of them arriving to campus? Not only would this educate your fan base but it’d set the stage for further brand building of the future of your program. Beyond the current freshman class, recruits would certainly be attracted to a school that promotes their future stars from Day 1.