As the Horned Frogs prepare for the College Football Playoff National Championship against the George Bulldogs on Jan. 9, one Texas Christian University football staff member is preparing the most important weapon for the team — social media.
Jason Andrews is TCU’s director of football creative media. He has played a big part in transforming the team’s social media to the gutsy content that has gone viral this season.
He came into his first season with a creative department that had few resources and wasn’t able to have cameras on the practice field. Now, with all the right gear, they wake up at 6:45 a.m. to capture every moment of the team’s day.
“It does help when you go 13-1, you know,” Andrews said.
Despite the current success, social media has always been a focal point for both Andrew and head coach Sonny Dykes. He was on Dykes’ staff at Southern Methodist University. They are big believers in giving fans a look behind the curtain, Andrews said.
Andrews was able to grow the creative department with new hires and student interns. They started off in the spring by placing microphones on some coaches and players during practice all season to produce and edit a show called “TCU Football: Carter Boys” for ESPN+.
“It’s been fun to build up the creative office,” Andrews said. “It’s been awesome to see my team put such hard work in and make some amazing content.”
The creative department crafts its posts for a younger audience to help with recruiting potential players. Everyone from the athletic director to the players has welcomed the change, he said. Andrews doesn’t quite understand the appeal but knows that Gen Z finds it funny.
“Now, I’m not taking any credit for any of the recruits that we’re getting. What we do is geared towards that age group,” he said. “We’re trying to show them that, hey, we’re going to highlight you on our social media and we’re going to help you with the NIL (name, image and likeness) deals to the limit that we can.”
Fans and students appreciate this new approach. TCU sophomore Madeline Baumann wasn’t much of a sports fan before coming to the university, but now she is waking up at 4 a.m. to catch a plane to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to support the Frogs. She credits the football team’s social media for her newfound interest.
“The TCU Football videos after each game are so funny,” Baumann said. “I love the casual environment that they have created around the games.”
She said the atmosphere on campus has been amazing. TCU’s underdog status has given the Frogs a chance to surprise people and earn their way to the top, Baumann said.
Andrews, the architect behind the Horned Frogs’ social media, has to remind himself every now and then to stop and take in the football team’s historic feat.
“I keep seeing our banners up and I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, we’re playing in the national championship,’” Andrews said. “I’m lucky enough to be able to help tell some of the story, and hopefully the fans are enjoying it.”
Where to follow the Horned Frogs:
Tik Tok: TCUFB
Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter.