Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies


Social media are providing a way for college athletic departments to specifically construct and have control over their communication messages via direct communication with their audiences. New ways of dealing with responsibilities such as recruiting new student-athletes, creating brand image, and developing internal athletic departments with creative resources, have emerged with the evolution of social media and collegiate sport communication. This project investigates the ways in which collegiate athletic communication departments are developing and executing their social media strategy. To collect information about social media strategies across colleges, I interviewed communication strategy staff at multiple NCAA Division I institutions of varying sizes and conference affiliations across the nation. I investigated the process through which they develop visual identity, cultivate the brands of student-athletes, and how they invest resources within their internal departments to support their social media strategy. I recommend “best practices” for developing a strong social media strategy within college athletics. Social media platforms are constantly evolving and therefore strategic communication strategy must be updated regularly as audiences engage in each social platform differently. It is the responsibility of collegiate athletic departments to ensure that they are evolving with these best practices if they want to remain competitive in the digital landscape.


Senior Honors Thesis Project Fall 2023 (USD Honors Program)

Included in

Communication Commons