The Big South Conference has renewed their agreement with Game Plan extending their investment by providing Big South student-athletes and member athletic departments the Game Plan student-athlete development platform.
Member institutions are some of the top achieving academic institutions competing at the Division I level in the South. Over the last three years, more than 50% of the Big South student-athletes have been named to the conference’s Presidential Honor Roll, maintaining a 3.0 gpa, including a high of almost 60% in 2016-17. The APR has risen every year over the last four years, posting its highest graduation success rate of 86% in 2016-17.
“The Big South’s commitment to developing student-athletes is innovative,” said CEO Vin McCaffrey.
The conference’s strategic plan includes initiatives around student-athlete wellness, academic centrality, and the student-athlete experience. Investment into its member institutions has created the nation’s only conference-wide career network of student-athletes. This network provides the conference and their media rights sponsor, Van Wagner, the ability to create innovative employer sponsorships.
Sponsors can utilize the Career Marketplace feature, allowing them to post internships and full-time job opportunities. Their talent acquisition teams have the chance to connect with the student-athlete candidates throughout their collegiate career. Sponsors are able to expand their employer branding through company pages and collaborating with Game Plan on eLearning courses.
“Student-Athlete candidates offer many intangibles that other candidates don’t. The are uniquely coachable, team players, excel in diverse environments, and have a measurable track record,” added McCaffrey. “In our Career Marketplace, 80% of the student athletes have submitted applications for internships or jobs and have been able to secure an interview. These partners see the value of this candidate pool and the unique access to them throughout their collegiate career.”
The conference has also taken advantage of newer Game Plan features. The Mentor Marketplace allows current student athletes to connect with alumni through a virtual mentorship.
Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander added, “We are so excited to continue our partnership, which gives our student-athletes access to outstanding resources in professional development, financial responsibility, and personal growth, and gives corporations access to the exceptional leaders that are developed on our campuses.”
This fall, members of the Game Plan staff attended a conference SAAC workshop on Life After Sport. Representatives from each member school took two inventory assessments – the Interest Inventory Assessment and the Next Play Pro – then broke out into smaller groups to discuss results with their peers and the Game Plan staff.
“This workshop enables our team to visit with the student-athletes in person while using the platform for long term, sustainable development.” McCaffrey said about the recent workshop.