Build the Brand: How to Get Hype for Your Club and Players

A Massachusetts AAU team is churning out college players and gaining serious recognition around the area.

Build the Brand: How to Get Hype for Your Club and Players

A Massachusetts AAU team is churning out college players and gaining serious recognition around the area.

There have been 12 seniors that have played for the Central Mass Lightning, an AAU club in Westminster, Mass., the past two seasons.

All of them are either on college rosters or will be this upcoming fall.

Coach Andy Sears has created a culture within the Lightning where the expectations are to play at the next level. College coaches have come to respect the team as a producer of top talent, and the players know they will get an opportunity to earn an athletic scholarship.

“There are only a handful of Division I kids that are getting highly recruited, and they don’t need as much exposure anywhere because they’re already known by everybody,” Sears said. “But Division III players and Division II players who would love to play in college but don’t know if they can, when they see all these kids getting roster spot offers from our team, I think it’s been great.”

Before each season, Sears sits down with his seniors to get a feel of where they’d like to go to college. Then he enters the players’ stats and academic information to create a recruiting package that he sends, along with a highlight video, to the relevant schools.

Making highlights has become an essential part of the club culture. College coaches want to see recruits face off against other top players, not bludgeon overmatched teams on their high school schedule.

Sears recalls a conversation he had with a college coach discussing one of his players. Sears invited the coach to come out and watch the girl’s game.

“No thank you,” the coach replied. “Unless they’re playing Division I level high school basketball, we’d prefer seeing your club film on them.”

“Coaches don’t have time to watch you go out and destroy a terrible team,” Sears said. “They want to see you play one of the top-ranked teams in New England. They’re getting a lot more out of the AAU film than the high school film.”

But the players aren’t the only ones benefiting from the extra exposure Hudl provides. Sears has built a strong brand around the Lightning by creating team highlights and sharing their story on social media.

“That’s very helpful, having some team highlights out there that I’m able to share on Twitter or Facebook and use as a commercial for why they should come out to play for me in central Massachusetts,” he said. “It’s why they should come to our try-out versus going somewhere else. It’s extremely easy exposure. I’m not having to advertise in the newspapers or anything like that.”

Experience the difference Hudl can make for your club by clicking here.

“A team highlight film can be a free commercial for why you want to come out and play here.”

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