Powerhouse Football Programs Find Edge On Internet

Bob McKamey, the concept director of UnCommon Thinking, believes DukeBluePlanet.com is the best football- or basketball-specific site on the Internet. But he also admits that Duke Basketball's Web home has greater competition from gridiron programs.

"There are a couple of companies that are driving [the trend] and tie in recruiting stuff, more so on the football side," said McKamey, whose firm designed Blue Planet. "But for me, I don't understand why Notre Dame Football doesn't have its own unique site. Why doesn't Kentucky Basketball, or Indiana or UCLA--schools with a huge tradition?... At the end of the day, it's about getting the right message out there, hitting all the touchpoints. You're going to see more and more of these come up in the future."

One program without much tradition, though, is Duke Football. McKamey said Kent McLeod, Duke's director of football relations, contacted him to talk about a football-specific site, which already exists in the form of BlueDevilsFootball.com. The Web site was designed by Bluechip Athletic Solutions, which also built Georgia Tech's site.

Keeping up with the times is almost a prerequisite for success for Duke, though. McKamey passed along a list of football-specific sites he's found, and most of the powerhouses are on it. Texas, Southern California, Penn State--you name it. Blue Devils Football is just as flashy as those sites, and the bare bones information for recruits is all there. It even manages to keep a relatively dynamic built-in blog with press clips and exclusive videos, even if it's not the most aesthetically pleasing.

The biggest difference? Most coaches have specific Web sites, like Mike Krzyzewski has, to promote themselves. But Duke Basketball didn't want to go down that route and instead opted for Blue Planet. Given the list of football coaches with recruiting sites--Mike Gundy, Mack Brown, Mark Richt, Nick Saban, Ron Zook and the owner of perhaps the best site, Pete Carroll--it might be time for David Cutcliffe to abandon Krzyzewski's model and put himself out there more.

After all, emulating those coaches' success wouldn't be a bad thing for Cutcliffe ad the Blue Devils, either.


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