Anacortes, WA – The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), in coordination with Elite Level Sport Marketing (ELSM), has named 12 college programs as finalists for the 2016-17 Best of Brand Gold Standard Award.

The selected finalists chosen by a committee are as follows: Campbell, Illinois, JWU, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Penn, South Dakota State, and Wisconsin.

“The programs in this category represent the best of the best in social media marketing in college wrestling,” said ELSM CEO Coyte Cooper. “They are so proactive with their approach and have done some unique things to grow our sport this year.”

Each year, the Gold Standard Award is given to the program that best exhibits excellence through social media and marketing.  All 12 of these schools have shown innovation and creativity in their ability to promote themselves and help grow the sport of wrestling as a whole.  Their content as well as their fan engagement has allowed these programs to stand out from the rest of the field.

“The level of competition in this category is truly remarkable,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “It get stronger each year and we commend all the programs involved in the Best of Brand Awards this year.”

The Gold Standard category falls under the Annual Achievement umbrella of the Best of Brand Awards, which recognizes wrestling programs that use social media successfully to market themselves over the course of the season.  Also included under the umbrella of awards are the Top Newcomer and Masterful Mission categories.

The Best of Brand Awards program is an initiative designed to honor wrestling programs for their investment in marketing.  By honoring college programs, the awards are designed to grow the sport at all levels.

For more information on the Best of Brand Awards and past winners, visit the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) website at

About National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA): The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments.   The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.  The three core competencies of the NWCA are: coaching development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.

About Elite Level Sport Marketing (ELSM): Elite Level Sports Marketing (ELSM) is a firm that specializes in the development of marketing materials to grow NCAA sport programs.  In addition to the creation of branding development resources for coaches, ELSM also focuses on the delivery of innovative branding seminars for athletic departments, coaches associations, and organizations.  The firm also specializes in social media marketing consulting to help grow organizations.

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