For all that they get wrong when it comes to organizing, conservatives in the United States do a good job cultivating one set of important voices—their social connectors. Young writers and thinkers get fellowships. Promising elected officials get media training. And seemingly any firebrand with a Twitter account can get an invite to the Trump White House for a social media summit. 

Progressives have a different approach, and there are some obvious things we do better. We focus on the bottom up. We host more training events at the ground level—giving young organizers a set of best practices to launch their careers, for instance. 

But our side probably doesn’t do enough to support our champions. 

And in our efforts to solve that problem, we might want to take a look at the way some big-time sports programs are engaging their athletes, recruits, and boosters to lift their brands and grow their fan bases. 

Six years ago, two former college football players launched a platform called opendorse.  

Clubs and teams use it to share social graphics, video, and other content with their players who then share it on their own channels. Same thing with college teams and the athletes that they’re recruiting. 

It’s interesting for three reasons: 

It’s weightless—there’s no new app for the players to download. The teams push their content out through text messaging.

It’s flexible—teams can share content in real time or schedule content distribution with a calendar. 

And it sure seems like it’s effective—the NJ Devils, for instance, led all NHL teams in total player engagements and engagement rate the year they adopted opendorse. The golfers on the PGA Tour boosted their social engagements by 82 percent and social video views by 157 percent once the Tour started using the platform.

The beauty of this solution is that it’s so straightforward. There are causes that could use it to promote charity walks and races. There are advocacy groups that could use it amplify rallies or activist visits with legislators.

If you’re using a tool or approach that solves this same challenge for organizers, will you let us know? 


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