Maryland Athletics Turn to Maroon PR
The University of Maryland Athletics Department hired Maroon PR to work on behalf of their sports teams and serve as an asset to their communications department. Our agency was given the task of creating and pitching unique story lines to help create a more positive public opinion of the Department.
Maroon PR’s first priority was working with the University’s football program and Head Coach Randy Edsall. In 2011, during Edsall’s first season, the team endured a difficult 2-10 season. Many student-athletes were leaving the program – upset with Edsall’s coaching style and focus on accountability and academic performance.
Our team met with Edsall and his staff to develop a strategic communications plan. It became clear to us that the program would benefit greatly from having a trained team of public relations professionals to handle media requests and collaborate with reporters. Once a strong media relations presence was established, Maroon PR would be able to get a better understanding of the media’s needs, foster relationships with relevant reporters, and proactively pitch stories.
In year two of Edsall’s regime, a number of positive story lines deserved media attention; Edsall had successfully brought in an extremely talented group of local recruits, he hired new offensive and defensive coordinators, a new turf field was being installed at Byrd Stadium, and, off the field, Edsall’s focus on academics resulted in improved grades for the entire team. Most importantly, Maroon PR wanted to relay the message that this year’s group believes in the program and they are “all in” – and fans should be too.
To relay these story lines, Maroon PR organized a media day with Coach Edsall, assistant coaches, and the 2012 teams. Our team organized the run-of-show for the event, wrote speaking points, and designed and distributed invitations and collateral materials. The event was extremely well received and resulted in several media placements, including a national placement with the Associated Press that was picked up by ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, and many more.
Maroon PR continues to work closely with Edsall and the football program and is starting to look into the promotion of the other sports.
ESPN College Football Live with Coach Randy Edsall, July 5, 2012