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#pounditFriday, May 7, 2021

Gus Malzahn explains why UCF players had Twitter handles on spring game uniforms

Gus Malzahn

UCF players displayed an eye-catching bit of style during Saturday’s spring game, wearing uniforms with their social media handles on the nameplates.

Instead of their last names, UCF players had their social media names, particularly their Twitter handles, displayed on their backs. That applied to everyone that participated, too.

So what was the thinking behind this? Coach Gus Malzahn explained that UCF was embracing the “new age of personal branding,” adding that it was a good way to reach UCF’s younger group of alumni.

“You look at, what, 322,000 living alumni and the average age is 36. 72,000 [students] and they’re all on Twitter,” Malzahn said. “Some of these big schools, the average age of their alumni is 65 and they’re on Facebook. So we’ve got a big advantage there.”

With the NCAA increasingly backing down on players taking advantages of their names and likenesses, we’re probably going to see more things like this. UCF is getting out ahead of it, which is exactly what a school of its caliber should be doing. They may well reap the benefits of such an approach, or at least serve as a template for other schools that may ultimately follow in their footsteps.

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