Nation’s Top PR Conference Turns Press Event Into A 4-Day Pep Rally For Fans
The college football season does not start in August when teams open training camps. The game is too big for that now.
It starts with publicity.
And that begins with the leader in college football publicity and hype with something known as SEC Media Days.
This annual extravaganza takes place July 10-13 in 2017 at its traditional home, the Wynfrey Hyatt Regency in Hoover, AL, a suburb of Birmingham. Technically, it’s a gathering of the SEC’s coaches and a couple of players in a series of press conferences in which nothing is revealed and little is said that the journalists and even the fans don’t know.
It’s been going on for years and was once the typical boring run of press conference after press conference.
But the SEC has now taken this to a higher level, in part because of the conferences’ rabid fan base and in particular with Alabama fans because of the event’s location.
When Nick Saban arrives, it’s like an Alabama pep rally. Hundreds of fans fill up the lobby waving shakers and chanting “Roll Tide,”and line up on either side of Saban and the players to reach out and maybe shake a hand as if were the pregame Elephant Stomp.
Other fans have taken notice and now try to one-up Bama, traveling to the event and making the lobby a raucous scene as if it were a game weekend.
The SEC helps fan the fans’ flames by credentialing nearly every blogger with a pulse to the event and making it easy for fans to get close to the players, coaches and even the media.
ESPN’s SEC Network broadcasts live shows for hours all four days both building and covering the excitement for fans. As a result, SEC Media Days is now a must-attend event for national media that covers college football. It’s more FOMO than any actual news generated from it, but if the fans are there the media is there, as well.
All other conferences have media days, too. The ACC Media Days is nipping at the heels of the SEC by holding its July 13-14. The Big 10 is July 24-25 in Chicago and the Pac-12 is the same day in Hollywood.
Note these events are just two days. The SEC’s is four.