Seriously, we are going to tell you right here how to win the Greatest College Football Helmet Contest Ever!
You love your Falcons, or Bears, or Blazers, or Turtles, or Bobcats, or Camels, or whatever, but love won't win this contest.
You must be intentional. You must strategize. You must rally.
We are going to list for you 10 things to do. If you do them, you have a great shot at winning the Helmet Bowl III National Championship. Better than a great chance. You've got a fantastic chance. A wonderful chance. It's practically guarenteed.
But you have to pay attention.
And let us tell you this. It's not too late. There are 64 teams in the contest to start.
Voting begins Monday at noon. Each round lasts one week. Gather the most votes, move on. Six rounds, Six weeks. One champion.
Get your campaign going this week, win. Turn it up a notch when you make it into the round of 32, win. Then it gets tough. The top 16 teams will employee many of these strategies, but you, YOU will employee all of them, and win.
Then it's 8 teams left and, well, you have to pull out all stops for three weeks. Then, on January 13, the same day the NCAA crowns its National Champion, we will crown you with the National Championship.
So, here it goes. We will start with how the HB1 and HB2 National Champions won (both DIII schools, by the way), then 8 more ways to win. Maybe nine.
Still here? You must want to win. Okay, here's how.
The Gallaudet Bison won Helmet Bowl I with the support of its friends. Now, Gallaudet, you may know, serves the deaf and hearing impaired community. The friends of the Bison count nearly every deaf person in America. That's a big network. You have a big network, too. There is something special about your school and program. You already know what it is. Find it and tap into it. Reach out to celebrities who know you, well known graduates or supporters in the community – whoever may have the attention of your fans.
Helmet Bowl II National Champion Dickinson Red Devils won on the shoulders of Moms. The same Moms who bake brownies for the football team, did the laundry when their boys were in Pop Warner, and drive (oh, do the drive!) to every game, it was them who piled up the votes, reached out to their networks, and handed the trophy to the Red Devils. Really. So, Moms, yes. Also, Grandparents and others. Uncle Dave? Yes, him, too.
3. Alumni, Alum, Alumnus
Yeah, we have to look up the difference, too. Those who wear the letters proudly from their time on the team in the 80s, those who wear the sweatshirts and polos and baseball caps, those who send the money when they get the asks in the mail – they care. And they will vote! Get to your Alumni office or Association and ask them to send out your Helmet Bowl voting information.
4. Pack for a journey
You don't get an oval “I VOTED” sticker to wear when you click on your helmet in Helmet Bowl. That's because Helmet Bowl runs seven days a week for six weeks. You can vote every day and on as many different devices you can find. We don't limit the number of votes from each voter. Vote! It's a marathon you don't have to train for.
5. Befriend your Sports Information Director
It's not too late. Your SIDs are highly trained professionals. They understand marketing and communications. It's their job to spread the word about your program and they know how to grab the attention. Oftentimes, they just need a vehicle on which to hitch their wonderfulness. You can hand them your helmet and the information about Helmet Bowl III and they will thank you for it. They have great contacts with the news media—local, regional, and national. They like to win, too.
6. The Helmet
Your helmet is the touchstone of your program and you are responsible for it, Equipment Managers. Get it off the shelf and off the field and get it online. This year's slate of 64 helmets are the best yet. Still, many helmet images could be improved. You can submit an updated image at any time – you can even submit a different helmet if you'd like (as long as it was worn on the field this year). What works best? A side shot of your helmet on a field or a bench. A recent poll tells us most people got out and vote for their favorite team, then they vote on the best looking helmet. Be that helmet.
7. Lacrosse, Basketball, and Diving
You are the Equipment Manager and for many schools, you are responsible for many sports. At the least, your equipment teammates are taking care of other sports. So, leverage those teams who don't take the gridiron. They love supporting your teams and they will vote. Get your arena staff to get a graphic up on the half-time scoreboard. Post a flyer in the wrestling meet entrance and where the swimming and diving fans grab a candy bar.
8. The Jocks
These guys and gals love love love competition. Get them to vote and get them to reach out to their family and fans to vote for your helmet. Ask your quaterback, your Center, your striker on the volleyball team to Tweet and post. Get your star sprinter for the track team to encourage their social media followers to run to the polls. It will pay off for you, and for them, too.
9. Be a David. Goliaths fall.
Look, we all know the Power Five will dominate the networks and the polls. But in Helmet Bowl, everyone is equal. Schools with 5,000 students have absolutely destroyed universities with 66,444 (we're looking at you Ohio State). We created Helmet Bowl on a level playing field. Big, medium, or small, you have a shot at this National Championship. With more than 750 teams from more than 75 conferences, this contest is for everyone. Go get this championship.
10. On-Campus Outlets
Do you konw where the campus newspaper offices are? Stop by. Talk to the guy who wants to be a sportswriter. There's an in-house television or video feed that carries announcements to all students. Tap in. Get on your social media outlets, your websites, your newsletters (yes, they still send out newsletters).
Bonus: Your Conference Foes
You won your conference in Helmet Bowl, that's how you (most of you) qualified for the Helmet Bowl National Championship. Believe it or not, your conference foes want you to represent your conference well. Contact the Conference office and ask them to join your cause. Your Conference office will want those bragging rights!