Notre Dame is completely embracing the digital age, and is already getting ahead of the pending landscape changes that are coming in terms of name, image and likeness branding. This week the Notre Dame program, led by recruiting coordinator Mike Elston, has launched a massive recruiting campaign that incorporates a digital push, a massive contact push and actual billboards strategically placed across the country.
A big step in the new recruiting push includes placing billboards in many of the big states across the country where Notre Dame wants to make a big recruiting splash. Notre Dame has placed billboards of its players in cities like Tampa, Dallas, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Phoenix among many others.
Here is an example of one of the billboards in St. Louis, featuring standout running back Kyren Williams.
There’s also a board in the St. Louis area that has freshman DT Gabriel Rubio. Here’s another from the New Jersey area.
I’ve seen photos from Charlotte with junior linebacker Osita Ekwonu.
The Notre Dame coaches plan to follow up this billboard push with a digital campaign that looks to accomplish the same objective, which is to build up the brand of the Notre Dame players in their home areas. It looks to be an attempt to expand its reach to recruits in top regions, but also to show that Notre Dame is fully embracing the need to build up the brand of the Notre Dame players ahead of the pending name, image and likeness changes.
If Notre Dame is willing to fully embrace the NIL changes and throw the program and institutional weight behind its players, and this branding push is an example of that, it could have absolutely huge ramifications on the recruiting trail.
It’s yet another major step made by the program since Elston took over that is looking to expand Notre Dame’s recruiting base, to be ahead of the curve in regards to engaging with top recruits (and regions), and it shows the program is planning to fully embrace the need to build up their player’s brands.
Coming up with a campaign that can impact so many different areas is quite ingenious, and it’s the kind of outside the box thinking Notre Dame needs to continue closing the gap with programs like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.
It's a part of a bigger shift at Notre Dame, and it's a big factor in why the program is in such a great place right now on the recruiting trail.
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