#NCAAInclusion: Using Social Media to Engage NCAA Student-Athletes in Strategic Efforts to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Abstract

In an increasingly diverse sports industry, inclusive excellence becomes an important axiom to engage a variety of stakeholders. This case study outlines the development of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign launched by the NCAA’s Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee in partnership with the national Student-Athlete Advisory Committees. The goals of this campaign were to provide the more than 500,000 student-athletes in the NCAA with a platform to create a dialogue on diversity and inclusion on their campuses as well as to communicate the benefit of inclusive environments to the student-athlete experience. By outlining the steps from the campaign idea to its implementation, this case study provides students with the ability to (a) understand a major sport organization’s planning process for a national social media campaign focused on diversity and inclusion, (b) analyze current diversity trends in the sports industry using the NCAA as an example, (c) trace the NCAA membership’s engagement with the campaign, and (d) determine to which extent a campaign such as this one can serve as a starting point for anchoring inclusive excellence in the fabric of intercollegiate athletics departments.

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