TBT 2018 fan recruiting strategy


By: TBT Staff | @thetournament

Chantel Winkler and Justin Rubin know a thing or two about becoming a top fan.

As you know by now, the top fan of the winning team will take home a cool $40,000 in #TBT2018. But how do you actually accumulate enough points to put yourself in contention? While you can start by doing things such as registering as a fan of a team, following TBT on Twitter and posting a message with the hashtag #MYTBTTEAM, the way to really separate yourself from the pack is by recruitng fans to support a team for themselves. For each fan that registers an account on thetournament.com or logs in to an account created in a previous year using your personalized link, you will receive ten points. Recruit 10 fans, earn 100 points. Recruit 500 fans, earn 5,000 points. Sounds pretty simple, right?

OK, maybe it is not that easy to recruit supporters. But do not worry, we have enlisted the help of two TBT superfans. Chantel Winkler was last year's top fan of Overseas Elite and took home $20,000 that she is using to build a "backyard oasis" complete with an inground pool for those hot summer days. Justin Rubin is the founder of Pro Connect, a human resources company that connects post collegiate basketball players to agents, teams and scouts internationally. He has already accumulated over 8,000 points in his support of Team Arkansas.

Both Chantel and Justin took some time to dish on how you can effectively recruit fans to support your team and thus lead you on the path to becoming a top fan. 


Constantly spread the word

While we are so accustomed to communicating through technology now-a-days, do not forget to spread the word to those you encounter in every day life. Not only is TBT a great conversation starter, but it can also result in some serious support for your squad. 

CW: “I’m in sales so I talk to people all day every day. I’m a pretty outgoing, personable person and make conversation wherever I go. (I’m actually on a flight right now and got conversing with the person next to me and got another [supporter]!) I’m always bringing up that I’m from Syracuse which typically brings up basketball. No matter what time of year it is, I’m always excited for [TBT] to roll around. I could talk all day about it. This year with the backyard oasis being almost done, I love to bring it up and mention that I used my winnings as my down payment!”


Make it personal

Even if your family and friends are not diehard basketball fans, if they know that you have something to gain, chances are they will help you out. Selling yourself as a top fan is just as important as selling the team to potential supporters.

CW: “I’ve got a little spiel about what the tournament is, how it works and by registering and [supporting] through my link, you’re not only voting for the team but me as a fan. Everyone that knows me knows how passionate I am about basketball and especially Syracuse, and I feel like when I talk to new people they can tell too.”


Do not become complacent during the 'offseason'

Just because TBT registration opens up in April and the tournament ends in August, do not take September-March for granted. The offseason provides a great opportunity to build a network of supporters that you can circle back to once your favorite team starts its next TBT journey.

CW: “I eat sleep and breathe TBT year round. I gather names, numbers, emails and birthdays for people I meet in the ‘offseason’ and when April rolls back around I’m like ‘Hey, It’s me again and [registration] has begun!’ 


Use social media to your advantage

While most people are already using social media to recruit fans, a small percentage of them are actually using it effectively. Not only should you just try and recruit amongst your existing social network, it is imperative to reach out to others who are part of the same community as the team you are supporting. Whether it be the alumni chapter of a college, others involved with a charity initiative that your team is playing for or even members of a fan board, always look to expand your reach.

JR: "Social media opens up a ton of doors for networking and voting sucess. Constantly following people who share similar interests and can relate to the team being promoted. Biggest thing when getting votes is not accepting failure! It takes up a ton of time when sending out your link and finding people who would be willing to support.