Duff Tittle | Posted: 9 Nov 2020 | Updated: 3 Jun 2021

BYU Athletics restructures athletic communications, incorporates social media in a new, collaborative model

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In a strategic move to better position itself in a changing communications and media landscape, today BYU Athletics is restructuring its Athletic Communications Department to better combine and promote collaboration within areas of communications, marketing, social media and media relations.

“This was a strategic decision we felt needed to be made,” said BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe. “While the impact of COVID-19, including a multimillion-dollar revenue loss, can’t be ignored and requires us to make fiscal decisions, we feel like we’re moving forward with a new model that is going to allow us to be more efficient in our future plans.”

The move involves a reduction of force among media relations personnel. New, hybrid communications positions have been created with an emphasis on social media, while retaining traditional media relations responsibilities.

BYU Athletics has hired Jon McBride as associate athletic director for communications and media strategy, to oversee this new, innovative, collaborative direction.

“We have made a number of important strides in our athletic department over the past few years in utilizing video, graphic design and social media,” Holmoe said. “We’re constantly moving forward, to be on the cutting-edge, ready to promote the BYU brand, our teams, our student-athletes and connect with Cougar Nation in new and innovative ways. As the ever-changing media landscape continues to shift, we are excited to have Jon’s unique skillset and experience in new media to utilize undiscovered avenues and technologies.”

One of McBride’s strengths has been working with and mobilizing BYU students in executing social media strategy. In his previous work, among other things, he employed a comprehensive takeover series on BYU’s Instagram account and oversaw a social media street team, comprised of students throughout campus, that had far-reaching impact.

“Our new model will emphasize mentored student learning, which has been instrumental in allowing BYU Athletics to do more with social media communications over the past few years,” McBride said. “BYU students bring unique skills and generational social perspectives that are critical to connecting with Cougar Nation.”

BYU Athletics will continue to evolve as part of an ongoing effort to provide greater stabilization and allow for future growth.