The Marketing of UNC Basketball Players Returning


While the National Championship game broke my Tar Heel heart earlier in April, hope is not lost. Over April, Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, Leaky Black, and RJ Davis have announced that they will be returning for next season. The opportunity to play an extra year due to Covid-19 has allowed four out of five starting players to return. I do not know the decision-making process of each player to return, but how they announced their comeback made for great marketing. 

Each player released a video of them sitting and speaking to the camera about them coming back for the following season. Leaky Black even wrote a letter to his freshman-self. Cut together with b-roll of each player playing the videos build anticipation and excitement for what is to come. 

Not only did each starting player release one of these short videos, but they also did so in a staggered manner. A manner that caused stress on campus. First, Leaky Black announced his return, creating a buzz. Hope was in the air that a return to the National Championship might occur.

But the anticipation for all the other players to announce that they’re back, as Michael Jordan famously said while at Carolina. Armando’s announcement to return increased the hope students have for next season. Finally, three players had released touching videos, but no one had heard a peep from Caleb Love. Students began checking social media constantly with the precedent that if he was to return a video of a similar manner to the others would be posted on his social media accounts before the news broke elsewhere. Some students convinced themselves that the announcement hadn’t come because he was not going to return while others had faith that after tasting a potential National Championship win he was sure to try again. But the announcement did come, there was a video and at the end, Caleb Love says, “I’m back.” 

Relieved that 80% of the starting team will return, the optimism for next year is palpable. Many seniors are already discussing coming back for March Madness similarly to our older peers that flew into Chapel Hill this year even for less than 12 hours just to be here for a potential natty win. I am one of those seniors and I can’t wait for next season. Hopefully, this year is a repeat of 2016 for the Tar Heels and next year will be just like 2017.



The Marketing of UNC Basketball Players Returning