“Recruits are the product, colleges are the buyers”

In a recent web-exclusive report by Cailtlin McNally of the PBS show Frontline titled, “Marketing Kiehl Frazier“, Arkansas “sports promoterWalt Williams is profiled.

Frazier, a heavily-recruited Arkansas high school football prospect who recently signed with Auburn, is presented in the Frontline piece as having enlisted the “marketing” services of Williams during the quarterback’s recruiting process.

Excerpt from the show:

FRONTLINE VOICEOVER: For an ambitious player like Kiehl, it’s not just about putting up numbers on the field. It’s also about marketing an image.

On a Saturday in the summer, Kiehl and the team shoot a music video that will play on the stadium screen before every home game.

The director of the video is Walt Williams, a local sports promoter.

WALT WILLIAMS, Sports Promoter: You don’t have to oversell every time. Do some that are simple and some that are a little over the edge.

FRONTLINE VOICEOVER: He promotes the careers of promising college prospects like Kiehl.

WALT WILLIAMS, Sports Promoter: I mean, essentially what we do is we market players to colleges. Uh, they’re the product, you know, the colleges are the buyer, essentially.

VOICEOVER: Walt’s company sells promotion packages for recruits, including a personal website and a highlight reel. For these services, families pay up to $3000.

WALT WILLIAMS, Sports Promoter: Really what we try to do is just shed the best light possible on them. So, it’s much like marketing a product is all it really is. I mean, as a recruit, you become a product. Read more…