Division III’s Identity Initiative was introduced in 2010 to sharpen the division’s identity and to enable schools and conferences to more effectively explain why they prefer to compete in Division III. The initiative has been guided by a strategic-positioning platform, describing Division III as a place where student-athletes can “follow your passions and develop your potential,” within an approach that combines rigorous academics, competitive sports and an opportunity to pursue other interests.
Division III campuses and conferences cultivate environments that allow student-athletes to pursue a full spectrum of opportunities in college. Athletics communication directors are the chief storytellers of this Division III experience, providing competition coverage, human interest stories, and social media conversation. The work athletics communication directors do is vital to the Identity Initiative, as they provide numerous platforms on which to showcase the outstanding experiences Division III student-athletes have during their time on campus. Division III supports athletics communication directors by providing a best practices guide for campus communicators, professional development opportunities, and a recognition award for exemplary work.
The coaches’ mobile website is a resource that puts Division III information and talking points in the hands of coaches. The topics covered on the site include Division III demographic and positioning information, as well as helpful links to championships and compliance material.
Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. This year’s Division III Week will take place April 4-10, 2016.
The toolkit is a resource guide that provides talking points for each member of a Division III athletic department from directors of athletics to student-athletes to use when describing the Division III experience to other groups of people, such as alumni and fans. For example, the toolkit provides coaches with topics to cover with prospective student-athletes, and suggestions for the types of examples that emphasize the unique attributes of Division III institutions.
The Division III purchasing website offers co-branded signage and promotional items for Division III members to order. A $500 credit is available for each institution and conference through August 2016 for purchases from the site. The conference commissioner or the institution’s director of athletics holds the login information for the site. For assistance, please contact Christa Hall at Source One Digital.
The Division III FTP site makes videos, logos, and other brand information available for download. These resources include Division III logos, Division III Identity videos, national SAAC’s You Can Play and It’s On Us videos, and 30-second public service announcement (PSA) videos and scripts for use on broadcasts and video boards.