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.”