As Rutgers makes its move to the Big Ten, it’s also changing the way it recruits.
The school in conjunction with Merchlar -- a New York and Montreal-based company – has created an app that promotes Rutgers football camps to potential recruits of all ages.
And it complies with NCAA rules.
Anyone can download the free app and then go to the Rutgers football website where they can scan the camp brochure (the brochure also can be printed and scanned). The scan will send a promotional video to the user’s device and the user will get an update when the video changes every two weeks.
The target audience is elementary, middle, and high school students. It’s all perfectly within NCAA rules, too, because what the school is making available falls under the category of its camp brochure.
"I can’t send a pre-(high school) junior a video. I can’t mail them a video. Really, before their junior year we can’t even email them links," said Drew Robinson, Rutgers’ director of branding and social media. "So this is a way to get information out about the football program in a video content format."
Merchlar told the Star-Ledger that Rutgers was the first program to use their technology for camps, which can increase awareness of the football program in prospective recruits as early as elementary school. Maryland, Merchlar’s other client, uses similar technology aimed specifically at recruits who are at least juniors in high school.
The Rutgers app also uses a “photobooth” feature where users can virtually dress in Rutgers football gear, take photos and share them on social media.
"With kids, everything is visual now, especially when it comes to mobile devices," Robinson told the Star-Ledger. "So we can send this camp brochure out to any kid in any age group, and since this video overlay technology isn’t regulated we’re able to then bring our videos into the palm of their hands."
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