âBowl game Twitterâ is a metaphorical office space often populated with monotonous messages, polished leather shoes, and expensive Italian costumes.
But in this primitive and appropriate subset of college football, the Duke’s Mayo Bowl and its Twitter brain Miller Yoho represent a social media account that intends to run reunions with a Hawaiian shirt, swim shorts, and flip flops with a level of comedy and craziness lost in most other postseason contests.
âAt the end of the day, (soccer is) a sport where we celebrate tall men in tight clothes fighting clinch with a few rules,â Yoho said. “It’s very funny at its core (level).”
Yoho’s official title is director of communications and marketing for the Charlotte Sports Foundation – the operational arm that helps organize the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in conjunction with the title sponsor himself.
In practice, however, the Gastonia, NC native is a purveyor of all things mayonnaise and one of college football’s most recognizable voices, albeit faceless.
âMiller really cultivated that brand voice for the bowl,â Rebecca Lupesco, Duke’s Mayo brand manager, told The State. “If you follow him, it’s fun and a little bit wild and just pushing the bear.” He just has a very close relationship with the world of football.
Creating a Twitter account
Every day, Twitter brings a new battle for public consciousness among its users. Rather than a sword or shield, Yoho arms himself in this modern day crusade with a cell phone, laptop, and WiFi access.
Duke’s Mayo leaves the writing of the tweet to Yoho, with general thoughts here and there. A third-party graphic designer also helps create all the necessary graphics. The process is painstaking, but wild – on one level, Yoho throws ideas at the wall to see what sticks.
Last week, those ideas included teasing milky white room temperature mayonnaise. Thursday’s winning coach will be sprayed after his victory.
Monday’s tweets included footage of South Carolina and UNC’s respective trips to Charlotte Motor Speedway with nods to the Will Ferrell NASCAR movie. âNights of Talladega. “
âAlmost everything is off the hip,â Yoho explained. âIt’s more reactionary. I think it works best for (the account’s) personality.
That Yoho brought a level of inventiveness to his role as the man behind the curtain is on his track record.
The Furman graduate landed in the sport first as an intern in the sports department and then as the director of sports in marketing and promotion for Queens University in Charlotte. His responsibilities ranged from managing social media accounts and stacking chairs to publicly announcing lacrosse games and leading the school swim team on a road trip through the lake. ‘Ohio.
âCertainly we wouldn’t want to do anything that doesn’t seem so respectful and elegant,â said the executive director of the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Danny Morrison said to the state. âBut we like to have fun and he’s creative. It surprises me, to be honest with you.
Yoho admits he’s never sure which tweets will gain popularity. Some have reached as many as 70,000 likes on Twitter. The initial video announcing that Duke’s Mayo would become the new sponsor of the Charlotte-based bowling alley with former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has been widely shared on social media.
Then, of course, there are the wackier moments with the condiment-themed ball game that caught the nation’s attention.
There’s the fan who sprayed himself with mayonnaise ESPN’s College GameDay earlier this year. Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz also smashed the Duke’s Mayo Bowl Trophy in a post-game dressing room celebration last season, sparking a viral video.
Each event fueled the ever-changing online personality that Yoho provides.
âPeople can probably relate my personality to it,â he said. âBut I think it’s a certain part of me – it’s not who I am. I am not very outgoing in real life. I am an introvert. So it’s very interesting that I think the account is an extrovert.
Increase Duke’s Mayo Bowl football footprint
Despite all the silliness the Duke’s Mayo Bowl and his wacky Twitter account has brought in recent years, Yoho also feels a level of sentimentality towards his work and the game.
Every year, it tries to glide off its usual perch and makes its way to the higher corners of Bank of America Stadium. There he is seated. Far above the tens of thousands of fans who have descended on Charlotte in any given game weekend, Yoho reflects.
He remembers when he attended that same bowling game – then under different title sponsors – with his father in the early 2000s. He remembers Georgia running back Nick Chubb running around the field here. below. He takes note of the 2007 match between Duke and Cincinnati in which angst rock band Daughtry performed before the contest.
Memes and GIFs take up a lot of Yoho’s time. The memories, however, linger.
âI’m becoming a cheerleader,â Yoho said. âWe don’t have players who win or who lose. We are trying to support the city. I think trying to keep that as sort of a north star of what we do is really positive for Charlotte.
Morrison mostly stays off Twitter, but encourages the fun, outgoing character who came with Yoho’s handling of the social media account.
Every now and then Yoho’s iPhone lights up with a message from Morrison. “Good tweet,” notes the former TCU athletic director with a thumbs-up emoji.
âMiller Yoho, in my opinion, is the best social media person in the country,â Morrison said.
Since what has become the Duke’s Mayo Bowl Account was uploaded in 2009, Yoho has hosted many of the aforementioned âgood tweetsâ. He cultivated a large portion of his over 38,000 followers, exceeding three of the six annual New Year’s Bowls. He also created a large portion of the more than 28,000 individual tweets credited to the Twitter account.
In a world filled with button-down bowl rulers, Yoho has his own recipe for success: a steady dose of comedy and a big serving of mayo.
This story was originally published December 28, 2021 2:01 pm.