Best of Brands Power Rankings: Last Ranking Features Rising Campbell Camels

Ethan Aguigui – ELSM Intern

As another season full of drama comes to an end, the wrestling community has been blessed to witness phenomenal wrestling as well as amazing publicity from programs all over social media. The #GrowWrestling movement has been gaining ground, evident in ESPN’s coverage of all three sessions of the NCAA National Tournament for the first time and raking in an unprecedented 8 million views. This year’s Best of Brand Awards competition has been nothing short of a frenzy rollercoaster as programs continued to reel in their followers month after month via fire posts and graphics on social media.

Bringing a creative and consistent approach, the Campbell University Camels have been impressive in their first year in the Best of Brand competition. Through the entirety of the season, Campbell has steadily made their case as they climbed to the top position in the rankings with creative match themed graphics, their religious “Takedown of the Week” videos, coach and wrestler interviews, and of course their consistent gifs of match results.

Penn raised three spots to finish the final Power Ranking at No. 2, blowing up social media with their stylish match result gifs and their light-hearted gifs to publicize the team’s activities. Mizzou jumped up to No. 3 after a No. 8 ranking in previous rankings, finding their old ways and erupting with gifs and posts to celebrate their team’s performance at NCAA’s. Illinois and Wisconsin come in at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively to round out the last Best of Brands Power Rankings.

Making a surge to the finish line are familiar faces rounding out the latter half of the Top 10. Posting appealing gifs and keeping fans updated throughout the closing end of the season and promoting their athletes and their accomplishments. Finishing at No. 6 is SDSU, leaving an impact with their consistent posts as well as their Best of Brand Throwdown Video submission. Ohio State showed their media savvy roots to end up at No. 7, displaying great promotion of their Hodge Trophy candidate. Sitting at No. 8 is NDSU, their previous Throwdown Video submission leaving a lasting impression on fans as well as keeping fans updated using creative gifs. Rounding out the Top 10 are familiar Oklahoma State (No. 9) and Michigan (No. 10) with their graphics and photo galleries catapulting them to a strong finish in rankings.

The bottom half of the Top 20 is filled with programs that have remained consistent on social media: interacting with followers, posting eye-catching graphics, updating fans on team and athlete performances, and ultimately, growing their fan base. It’s been a social media frenzy and while these are the programs that have made their way into the Power Rankings, programs outside the Top 20 have also been working to grow their fan base. This is a trend that will no doubt only grow season by season. Congratulations to this year’s teams featured on our Best of Brands Power Rankings and we look forward to what next season’s competition brings!

The Power Rankings, designed to highlight the programs that are most effectively building their brand via social media, are designed to honor programs investing in social media marketing. To register for the Best of Brand Awards and to receive consideration in the Best of Brand Power Rankings, visit the registration page.

Finalists for the Best of Brand Annual Achievement awards will be announced in May. The deadline for the individual graphic, promotion, and video categories will be following the season. For more information on the Best of Brand Awards, visit the NWCA award site.

About National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA)
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling. The three core competencies of the NWCA are: coaching development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.

About Elite Level Sports Marketing (ELSM)

Elite Level Sports Marketing specializes in the growth of NCAA Olympic sport programs that are looking to build interest in their product at all levels.

Contacts for Best of Brands:
Ethan Aguigui; aguiguie@yahoo.com
Bryan Pflanz; pflanzb@etown.edu
Trey Keeley; treykeeley5@gmail.com
Jimmy Pawelski; james_pawelski@brown.edu

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