Let's face it, no one waltzes into the Helmet Bowl National Championship. Three yards and a bucket of blood? Probably not. But it takes a certain amount of intention and strategy to win. No National title is a walk in the park. The best things in life are never easy.
We’ve crowned more than 150 Conference Champions and are well into our second National Championship contest. We see what it takes to win.
Here are the Top Ten things you can do to have the best chance to go deep in the Helmet Bowl National Championship.
1. Friends, Friends of Friends, and lots of them
You need the help of those who have big social networks—lots of followers. You know those crazy extroverts. They share everything, all the time. Reach out to celebrities, large group accounts, crazy fans, and whoever may have the attention of your fans.
2. Alumni, Parents, and Grandparents
Those who came before you care. They care a lot. They write checks, buy the swag, wear the gear. And, they will vote! Get in touch with your Alumni office or Association and ask them to send out your Helmet Bowl information. Moms and Dads who sport those “My kid and my money go to State” bumper stickers love to vote. Is there a parents’ group or association? And their folks will vote, too. You would be surprised how much time grandma spends online.
3. Vote like a Marathoner, not a Sprinter
Unlike most elections, voting in Helmet Bowl runs seven days a week for six weeks. That means 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! And, you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to train.
4. Befriend your Sports Information Director
SIDs are highly trained professionals who understand marketing and communications. They know how to grab the attention, spread the word. They know influential people, and have great contacts with the news media—local, regional, and national. Never underestimate their capabilities. They like to win, too.
5. Have a Great Looking Helmet
Your helmets may shine in the equipment room and look great on the field, but the voters see them online. Many teams fail to submit a sharp, high-res helmet image. What works best? A side shot of your helmet on a field or a bench. A recent poll tells us most people vote for their favorite team, then vote on the best looking helmet
6. The Other Sports
Your basketball fans may not know a chin strap from a jock strap, but 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.
7. The Athletes
These guys are the competitors. You’ve done a nice job getting them to vote in the locker room, but how about having them invite their fans? Get that QB or CB to tweet about your Helmet Bowl effort. Get that power forward to tell their followers about Helmet Bowl. Get your star sprinter for the track team to encourage their social media followers to run to the polls. They'll like the exposure and attention.
8. Size Does Not Matter
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 than78 conferences, this contest is for everyone. Last year a small D3 school beat a D1 on the last day of the contest. We find the big schools are sometimes too busy being big.
9. On-Campus Outlets
Who runs your campus newspaper? Is there an in-house television circuit or video feed that carries announcements? Can you get your student managers to create a marketing class assignment out of your Helmet Bowl effort? Make a couple of phone calls, yeah.
10. Your Conference Foes
Look, you may hate (too strong?) them on the field a couple times a year, but you won the Helmet Bowl II Conference Championship. They will want you to represent and make a strong showing. Enlist your Equipment Management brethren in your conference to give you a boost. While you’re at it, contact your Conference office and ask them to join your cause. Your Conference office will want those bragging rights!