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The Spikeball Club at North Carolina State University is a new club that was created this year on campus with four founding members. It was inspired from a sport called Roundnet, created in 1989, which comes from volleyball rules. It quickly lost popularity in 1995, until Spikeball’s CEO Chris Ruder reinvented the sport drastically becoming very successful. The sport was first seen on beaches as a great family game full of opportunities for people to dive in the sand and have some fun. Spikeball is a new sport that has recently gained popularity at college campuses around the United States. This past year was the first time Spikeball aired a college tournament on the national ESPN channel. The Spikeball Club’s goals are to find people who are good enough to compete in the national tournament this year to be featured on ESPN. To achieve this, they created tournament brackets split up into intermediate and advanced. Players will play each other to find out who is the best Spikeball player on NC State’s campus. The winner of these local tournaments will be sent to national tournaments across the country paid for by the Spikeball club from club dues.

Spikeball club is for anybody looking for a good college sport that can be played in any open area. Many students like to play on the Talley Stafford Commons lawn, outside of Witherspoon Student Center, or Lee field. There is a Spikeball App that allows people to create meet up times to play on campus or in the surrounding areas. This is extremely helpful when people are trying to find other people who are at their same skill level to play. The app is fairly new, and it has revolutionized the growth of Spikeball as a whole.

In terms of outreach for Spikeball, the club believes in healthy exercise and generating a community of people who enjoy the sport and like talking about the sport. The Spikeball club is not the only people on campus playing as well. The Christian campus ministry, Cru, plays very competitive Spikeball the build community and have some fun. In fact, many people who are leaders in Cru play for the club and are on the board. This is one of the first sports and clubs that collides religion with sports, even if it is not completely directly advertised. Overall, while the Spikeball club is newer on campus, it is on the rise and only getting more popular. Being 2019, Spikeball club board members estimate that it will triple its growth in the next five years.

Photo of a professional Spikeball player in the national championship.

Social Media Practicum

Spikeball club has utilized social media very effectively for the past couple months. The main platform of communication is through Instagram, as it is one of the most popular platforms for college students. Their first post was on July 15, 2019, the summer before their first semester as a club. This was smart to create a social media account before school started to gain hype and g.a following so that they have momentum before school starts. I remember the excitement I felt when I was sitting in my living room this summer when the club followed me on Instagram. The club quickly gained a couple hundred followers and have posted seven posts in total so far. Some things that Spikeball club did well was post many updates on how to become a member at the beginning of the year. This made their registration very public and easy. They also did a giveaway of a Spikeball Pro Set Net which brought a lot of attention to the club, because who doesn’t like free stuff!

Finally they posted a picture of an adorable dog holding a Spikeball ball in its mouth which quickly became their most popular post. They also have appealing graphics that capture a consumer’s eye when scrolling on a feed. This is important because people looking at posts are more likely to look at appealing posts than unappealing. There are definitely some things that Spikeball club can do to improve their social media presence. The only other social media platform they are on is Twitter. They should start a Facebook page to gain the attention of other Spikeball clubs at other schools and the mega Spikeball company. Another thing they can do better is to establish a brand. Spikeball, as a company, has a specific branding guide to allow people to know that when they see their logo, it’s Spikeball. NC State Spikeball club could use this so people can recognize it outside of direct advertisements.

Spikeball Club Radio Spot
Listen to the Spikeball Club's radio spot below.

Blog Posts

NC State Spikeball Club

BLOG POST #1 - https://youtu.be/mo4qTH-VYGM

This piece of digital media comes from one of Spikeball’s most popular Youtube videos, the “USA Spikeball Top 10 Plays of 2016.” It is set up as a narration from a guy who works for Spikeball describing what is happening during each play, adding a fun and fresh feel to the overall video. The Spikeball plays get better and better as the video progresses, starting with 10 and ending with 1. This is targeting players of Spikeball and viewers who don’t necessarily know how to play the sport, but are interested in it. Since it also showcases the best of the best players, it also could be targeting people who are simply interested in viewing athleticism and talent. This kind of media is very successful in accomplishing its overall purpose. The video currently has over 1 million views, with over two hundred comments. The reason this video got so popular is because this video was the first of its kind for Spikeball. People freaked out about the sport and its social media blew up. It works really well on Youtube, a platform that can make videos get popular very quickly. What doesn’t work about it is that the video is not directly embedded on their social media accounts, so it may be harder for them to reach their maximum potential views. I’ve seen this kind of work before from ESPN, and it is probably where Spikeball got the idea. I talked with the NCSU Spikeball Club officers and they said they were really interested in bringing this idea to campus. Overall, this digital media piece was very successful and a fun way to show off the sport.

BLOG POST #2 - https://www.instagram.com/p/B5b9JdjgigH

This piece of digital media comes directly from Spikeball’s Instagram page. It is a Black Friday sale for their professional Spikeball set, instead this time, the set is covered in black and gold to go along with the theme. They are advertising this set as a one-time opportunity to get this set design. There are over 24,000 likes and 450 comments. The intended audience for this post are fans and players of the sport who love enough to invest money into it. The set will sell for $125, which isn’t cheap. Personally, I thought about buying it but I didn’t have the money. It really appealed to me and I’m sure the sets sold quickly. This kind of media is very successful. It works well to serve as an incentive for viewers to keep following the Instagram account. Instagram is the only way the company let viewers know that this deal was live. It is very smart to not drop this deal on email lists if they are trying to gain a following on social media. This might not work because it doesn’t reach the people who aren’t on social media. We’ve seen similar deals to these from other companies, like Apple who launched a red iPhone temporarily to help donate money to curing Aids. Overall, this post was a great way for Spikeball to increase their social media presence and earn extra money.

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