All posts by Lauren Nevidomsky

Neutral Site College Football Game Payouts

Neutral Site Game PayoutsWhile technically the FBS football season kicked off last night with Abilene Christian at Georgia State, tonight we get some ranked teams and the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game!

For the past few years, the college football season has always started with neutral-site games. The two major ones have been the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic (since 2008) and the Cowboys Classic (since 2009). This year there will be two Chick-Fil-A Kickoff games: Ole Miss vs. Boise State (tonight – August 28) and Alabama vs. West Virginia (August 30). There will also be one Cowboys Classic game which pits Florida State against Oklahoma State (August 30).

Neutral site games have proven to be extremely lucrative for the teams participating in them. When teams venture to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic or AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX for the Cowboys Classic teams are typically giving up a lot; not only are they missing out on a potential home game, but they also lose all the revenues associated with hosting a home game such as ticket sales and concession sales. In addition, the surrounding area loses out on the revenues it usually makes when thousands of fans and alumni come into town for game day weekend. As such, payouts from these neutral site games have seemingly been enough to persuade teams to miss out on these potential earnings.

In last year’s Chick-Fil-A Kickoff, there was a total team payout to Alabama and Virginia Tech of $5 million. Typically, Alabama makes millions per game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which seats over 101,000 people. Yet, the allure of being on center stage in a big city, coupled with the generous payouts has made playing in these games worthwhile. Alabama itself has played in 3 Chick-Fil-A Classics and 1 Cowboys Classic to date and is scheduled to play in one of this year’s Chick-Fil-A Classic games and next year’s Cowboys Classic. Furthermore, these games also have the potential to lure in key recruits as future players may be excited by the chance of playing for a big time school in a big time city.

Chick-Fil-A Kickoff



Total Payout (Millions)

2008 Alabama vs. Clemson  $4.2
2009 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech $4.5
2010 LSU vs. North Carolina $3.6
2011 Boise State vs. Georgia $3.7
2012 Tennessee vs. NC State $4.2
2012 Auburn vs. Clemson $4.8
2013 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech $5.0
2014 Ole Miss vs. Boise State  $3.1
2014 Alabama vs. West Virginia $6.4 (expected)
2015 Louisville vs. Auburn  TBD

The payout for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic has increased over the past few years. In 2012, one game has total team payout of $4.2 million, whereas the other game had a total team payout of $4.8 million. This year, the total team payout for the Alabama and West Virginia game is expected to be $6.4 million. However, in 2008 and 2009, the total team payouts were $4.0 million and $4.5 million respectively, and then decreased in 2010 and 2011, to $3.6 million and $3.7 million respectively. Thus, there has not always been an upward trend in determining payouts. To determine the payout, Chick-Fil-A keeps its $5.5 budget and then returns the revenues above the budget to the participating teams.

Numbers for the Cowboys Classic have been more difficult to confirm, but here’s what we do know….

Cowboys Classic

Year Teams Per Team Breakdown (Millions)

Total Payout (Millions)

2009 BYU vs. Oklahoma
2010 TCU vs. Oregon State $1.0
2011 LSU vs. Oregon $3.5/$2.0 $5.5
2012 Alabama vs. Michigan $4.7/$4.7 $9.4
2013 LSU vs. TCU ?/$3.0
2014 FSU vs. Oklahoma State
2015 Alabama vs. Wisconsin
2016 USC vs. Alabama
2017 Michigan vs. Florida $6.0/$6.0 $12

The Cowboys Classic has also seen its payouts increase over the years. In 2011, LSU earned $3.5 million and Oregon earned $2.0 million, for a total team payout of $5.5 million. In 2012, Alabama and Michigan both made $4.7 million, for a total team payout of $9.4 million. In 2017, Michigan and Florida are each expected to make $6.0 million, for an expected total team payout of $12 million.

After observing these trends, it is obvious that payouts are varying not only from team-to-team but from year-to-year. One explanation is that the more lucrative and successful teams are being paid more to participate in these games because they help generate more revenue. Another explanation is that the more a team stands to lose in revenue from giving up a home game (i.e. Michigan and Alabama due to their huge stadium capacities), the more these neutral site games are willing to payout. One thing is for certain, though: the neutral-site kickoff game, with its lucrative payouts, will be around for many more years to come.

March Madness Fans Seriously Love Tweeting

While the Dayton Flyers have been flying past the competition to make it to the Elite 8, their fans have been flying to Twitter to tweet about all the Madness. According to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, 143,000 unique users tweeted about the Dayton upset of Stanford on March 27. These 231,000 total tweets were seen by an unique audience of 5.3 million people, generating 32.3 million Twitter TV impressions.

In fact, on March 27, the top four tweeted about sporting events were all four NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball games. The only non-NCAA sporting event that made it into the daily top five was the Washington Nationals and New York Mets pre-season baseball game.  Despite making it into the top five, the Nationals-Mets game was tweeted about far less than any of the either games with roughly 110,000 less tweets and 64,000 less unique authors than the San Diego State vs. Arizona game, which was the fourth most tweeted about sporting event that day.

For the week ending March 23, which saw 52 NCAA Men’s Basketball games played, 9 out of the Top 10 tweeted about sporting events were all March Madness matchups. The only non-March Madness game cracking the Top 10 that week was the Real Madrid CF vs. FC Barcelona soccer match on March 23, which came in at number seven. The most tweeted about game that week was the takedown of the Duke Blue Devils by the Mercer Bears. Upwards of 473,000 unique users tweeted 895,000 times about the upset. This produced an unique audience of about 7.8 million viewers and 80.2 million Twitter TV impressions. The next closest game was the Kentucky vs. Wichita State matchup which saw 304,000 unique users tweet 665,000 times about the game. The top four tweeted about events that week (including the two aforementioned, Dayton vs. Ohio State, and Dayton vs. Syracuse) all had more tweets that were tweeted by a larger amount of unique users than the Dayton vs. Stanford game on March 27.

Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings were first introduced in October 2013. They measures the total activity and reach of TV-related chatter on Twitter and are built on the SocialGuide platform. Unique authors are accounts that have sent out at least one tweet relating to a specific TV program or sporting event. Additionally, impressions are the number of times any of those tweets were seen while the unique audience is calculated as the total number of distinct Twitter accounts that garnered at least one impression of one or more different Tweets credited to a specific episode or sporting event. All the statistics for these games are credited to Nielsen SocialGuide.

Tweet Madness: Who Will Be Crowned the Champ?

The first few rounds took a while because I wanted everyone to see the followers, number of tweets, and various scores that each team received from the different metrics used in this competition. To review what each team received, refer back to the first four posts!


Round 3:

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 8 Colorado

Matchup 2: 5 VCU vs. 4 UCLA

Matchup 3: 6 Ohio State vs. 3 Syracuse

Matchup 4: 10 Stanford vs. 13 Eastern Kentucky

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 5 VCU

Matchup 2: 3 Syracuse vs. 10 Stanford

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 3 Syracuse


Round 3:

Matchup 1: 1 Virginia vs. 8 Memphis

Matchup 2: 12 Harvard vs. 4 Michigan State

Matchup 3: 6 North Carolina vs. 3 Iowa State

Matchup 4: 7 UConn vs. 2 Villanova

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 8 Memphis vs. 4 Michigan State

Matchup 2: 6 North Carolina vs. 7 UConn

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 4 Michigan State vs. 6 North Carolina


Round 3:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 9 Oklahoma St.

Matchup 2: 5 Oklahoma vs. 4 San Diego St.

Matchup 3: 6 Baylor vs. 3 Creighton

Matchup 4: 7 Oregon vs. 2 Wisconsin

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 5 Oklahoma

Matchup 2: 6 Baylor vs. 2 Wisconsin

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 2 Wisconsin


Round 3:

Matchup 1: 16 Cal Poly vs. 8 Kentucky

Matchup 2: 12 N.C. State vs. 4 Louisville

Matchup 3: 11 Tennessee vs. 3 Duke

Matchup 4: 7 Texas vs. 2 Michigan

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 8 Kentucky vs. 12 N.C. State

Matchup 2: 3 Duke vs. 2 Michigan

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 8 Kentucky vs. 2 Michigan


Final Four

Matchup 1: 3 Syracuse vs. 6 North Carolina

Matchup 2: 2 Wisconsin vs. 2 Michigan


6 North Carolina vs. 2 Michigan


Congrats to UNC – our Twitter Madness Winner! Although UNC will unfortunately not see a championship win on the courts this year, its Twitter showed prowess throughout the competition. With over 150,000+ followers and 10,000+ tweets, its reach is ginormous and college basketball fans are signing on to see what the account has to say.

Throughout the bracket, if two teams seemed evenly matched, I gave the tie-break to the team with the most Twitter followers. In fact, many times that a team had more followers, the other team actually had more tweets. I felt that the number of Twitter followers was a more crucial statistic because more followers means that more people/accounts want to see what the account is tweeting, regardless of its frequency. Additionally, teams that did not have unique basketball accounts did not make it far, even if they got lucky in Round 2 by being matched with a team that also did not have a unique basketball account.

It is not surprising that the teams that at least reached the Elite 8 in this bracket were the teams that are not only known for their basketball programs, but also their dominant athletic programs as a whole. Florida, Syracuse, Michigan State, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Duke are all teams that more or less consistently excel in basketball from year-to-year, and as a result, college basketball fans, who are the within the prime Twitter demographic of ages 18-29, have rewarded these high power teams by wanting to follow them via Twitter and social media.

Until next year, folks!

Tweet Madness: Midwest, Round 2

Matchup 1: 1 Wichita State vs. 16 Cal. Poly

Wichita State(@GoShockers) Cal Poly (@CalPolyMBB)
# of Followers 16.4K 1069
# of Tweets 15.5K 409
Klout Score 68 50
PeerReach Score (Sports) #21,418 #35,000
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 74 17

As much as I am in love with the Wichita State Athletic’s Twitter handle (lots of retweets, organic tweets, pictures, and great hashtags) and its overall Social Media presence, including its own YouTube Channel, it would be unfair if I gave it the win since I have been very biased against schools without accounts just for the Basketball team. Kudos to Cal Poly, though, since after its win, it has gained almost 200 followers and increased its Klout score by 1.

Winner: Cal Poly

Matchup 2: 8 Kentucky vs. 9 Kansas State

Kentucky(@KentuckyMBB) Kansas State(@KStateSports)
# of Followers 63.9K 42K
# of Tweets 3,595 14.6K
Klout Score 70 67
PeerReach Score (Sports) #20,441 #5,882
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 66 73

Once again, with Kansas State, we have a team that is doing great things with social media overall, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube; yet, they do not have a dedicated Twitter handle for the Men’s Basketball team. Despite this, Kentucky’s account still has more followers and a higher Klout score, even though its account is only dedicated to the Men’s Basketball team.

Winner: Kentucky

Matchup 3: 5 St. Louis vs. 12 N.C. State

St. Louis(@SaintLouisMBB) NC State (@PackMensBball)
# of Followers 6,999 28.7K
# of Tweets 2,242 8,440
Klout Score 64 70
PeerReach Score (Sports) #20,300 #13,512
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A #2,901
Social Authority Score 55 66

Saint Louis’s Twitter presence cannot compete with N.C. State’s. Additionally, since its win, N.C. State has increased its Twitter followers by roughly 400, increased its Klout score by 1, and gone up 10 spots in popularity in the Sports PeerReach group.

Winner: N.C. State

Matchup 4: 4 Louisville vs. 13 Manhattan

Louisville(@GoCards) Manhattan(@GoJaspers)
# of Followers 42.8K 3,711
# of Tweets 5,328 8,910
Klout Score 67 63
PeerReach Score (Sports) #3,850 #36,927
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 70 46

These two teams catch a break because neither one of them has an account dedicated to the Basketball team. As a result, when comparing the Twitter accounts of the Athletic programs as a whole, Louisville easily wins this matchup. An interesting thing to note: Both teams have the a similar Twitter Name – “@Go(Team Mascot)”

Winner: Louisville

Matchup 5: 6 UMass vs. 11 Tennessee

UMass(@UMassAthletics) Tennessee(@Vol_Hoops)
# of Followers 11.5K 37K
# of Tweets 27K 11.9K
Klout Score 63 70
PeerReach Score (Sports) #25,793 #5,466
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A #2,310
Social Authority Score 70 75

Unfortunately, once again, without a dedicated Basketball account, UMass is another one of those teams that just cannot compete in this bracket. Since its First Four win, Tennessee has increased its followers and Klout score by 1, which has also been the case with other First Four game winners.

Winner: Tennessee

Matchup 6: 3 Duke vs. 14 Mercer

Duke(@Duke_MBB) Mercer(@MercerMBB)
# of Followers 48.2K 1,239
# of Tweets 8,306 1,057
Klout Score 72 60
PeerReach Score (Sports) #4,660 N/A
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #1,568 N/A
Social Authority Score 73 24

Duke is clearly not just dominant on the court – it has also found a way to create a great Twitter presence for itself with tens of thousands of followers, and high Klout and Social Authority Scores. One thing I do like about Mercer’s Twitter account, though, is its use of #MercerMadness and #OurYear.

Winner: Duke

Matchup 7: 7 Texas vs. 10 Arizona State

Texas(@TexasMBB) Arizona State(@SunDevilHoops)
# of Followers 14.5K 5,117
# of Tweets 4,996 7,648
Klout Score 68 65
PeerReach Score (Sports) #8,774 #43,516
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #2,361 N/A
Social Authority Score 64 43

Even though Arizona State has over 2500 more tweets than Texas does, Texas wins in every other category, with landslide victories in number of followers, PeerReach group popularities, and Social Authority score. If Arizona State can get the upset on the court, I will be intrigued to see how their Twitter presence is affected.

Winner: Texas

Matchup 8: 2 Michigan vs. 15 Wofford

Michigan(@UMichBball) Wofford(@WoffordTerriers)
# of Followers 101K 4,127
# of Tweets 11.3K 6,610
Klout Score 79 61
PeerReach Score (Sports) #3,048 #11,100
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #1,703 N/A
Social Authority Score 81 52

Michigan has some of the best statistics we’ve seen in this bracket to date. I can definitely see it going deep into the tournament, if not winning it all!

Round 3 Matchups

Matchup 1: 16 Cal Poly vs. 8 Kentucky

Matchup 2: 12 N.C. State vs. 4 Louisville

Matchup 3: 11 Tennessee vs. 3 Duke

Matchup 4: 7 Texas vs. 2 Michigan

Tweet Madness: West, Round 2

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 16 Weber St.

Arizona(@APlayersProgram) Weber St.(@WeberStateMBB)
# of Followers 19K 884
# of Tweets 3,148 597
Klout Score 71 48
PeerReach Score (Sports) #2,700                         #21,300
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 61 22

As has been the case before, the number 1 seed easily beats the 16 seed in terms of Twitter presence. Even though Weber State (959 days) has spent almost 4 times the amount of days on Twitter than Arizona (266 days) has, it has not been able to garner anywhere close to the same amount of followers as Arizona. It also does not tweet very often, as this is yet another school that relies more on its main athletic handle (@weberstate), than its basketball one.

Winner: Arizona

Matchup 2: 8 Gonzaga vs. 9 Oklahoma St.

Gonzaga(@ZagMBB) Oklahoma St.(@OSUMBB)
# of Followers 9,815 15K
# of Tweets 1,046 4,358
Klout Score 60 66
PeerReach Score (Sports) #46,539 #25,008
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A #9,270
Social Authority Score 55 69

Although the Oklahoma State Cowboys win in every category, there is an interesting thing to note about Gonzaga’s Twitter. According to Followerwonk, 67% of Gonzaga’s timeline is retweets of other accounts. This shows that it is interacting with other users very often. A quick scan of its timeline shows that Gonzaga is not only retweeting its own athletic department, but former players who are now in the NBA, commentators, ESPN professionals, college basketball writers, and more. This makes for an interesting timeline for followers. Despite this, Oklahoma St. still takes this matchup.

Winner: Oklahoma St.

Matchup 3: 5 Oklahoma vs. 12 North Dakota State

Oklahoma(@OU_MBball) North Dakota State(@NDSUmbb)
# of Followers 16.4K 1,871
# of Tweets 5,145 1,251
Klout Score 69 59
PeerReach Score (Sports) #15,586 #36,600
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #4,605 N/A
Social Authority Score 65 35

This is our third landslide victory in the West!

Winner: Oklahoma

Marchup 4: 4 San Diego St. vs. 13 New Mexico St.

San Diego St.(@GoAztecs) New Mexico St.(@NMStateAggies)
# of Followers 14.3K 4,598
# of Tweets 22K 14.3K
Klout Score 68 60
PeerReach Score (Sports) #8,381 #13,900
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 61 55

This is a unique matchup as both schools do not have a Twitter handle solely dedicated to the basketball team. In this matchup, San Diego State rolls over New Mexico State. However, do not expect SDSU to stay in the competition for much longer, as it will likely lose out to a school that has a Basketball account in the next round.

Winner: San Diego State

Matchup 5: 6 Baylor vs. 11 Nebraska

Baylor(@BaylorMBB) Nebraska(@HuskerHoops)
# of Followers 18.9K 21.9K
# of Tweets 11.7K 11.2K
Klout Score 70 69
PeerReach Score (Sports) #7,599 #20,779
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #2,308 #5,667
Social Authority Score 77 62

This is one of the closer matchups we’ve seen, especially if you concentrate on the first three categories. However, with Baylor’s better recognition in both of the PeerReach groups, Baylor comes out victorious.

Winner: Baylor

Matchup 6: 3 Creighton vs. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette

Creighton(@BlueJayMBB) LA-Lafayette(@ULRaginCajuns)
# of Followers 14.9K 11.1K
# of Tweets 2,080 13.5K
Klout Score 65 62
PeerReach Score (Sports) #33,593 #34,644
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #7,997 N/A
Social Authority Score 59 59

Even though Louisiana-Lafayette’s account is for all of its athletic teams, Creighton’s Men’s Basketball account still beats the Ragin’ Cajuns in almost every category. One thing Lousiana-Lafayette does well, though, is that 65% of the tweets on its timeline include URL links. A lot of these links provide news and commentary about each team’s last game or event. These type of tweets should be replicated for an individual Men’s Basketball Account. For now, fans of the team can follow Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bob Marlin (@bobbymarlin).

Winner: Creighton

Matchup 7: 7 Oregon vs. 10 BYU

Oregon(@OregonMBB) BYU(@BYUbasketball)
# of Followers 16.3K 13.4K
# of Tweets 7,088 5,148
Klout Score 69 63
PeerReach Score (Sports) #11,311 #20,915
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #3,674 #6,837
Social Authority Score 72 49

The only categories in which BYU even comes close are number of tweets and Klout score. One way for BYU to increase their Twitter presence perhaps is to get the upset on the court. For now, however, Oregon easily wins this matchup.

Winner: Oregon

Matchup 8: 2 Wisconsin vs. 15 American

Wisconsin(@BadgerMBB) American(@AU_MBasketball)
# of Followers 32.2K 1,776
# of Tweets 15.1K 2,895
Klout Score 72 62
PeerReach Score (Sports) #4,838 #58,109
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #2,518 N/A
Social Authority Score 76 41

We finish up the West 2nd Round with another decisive victory. Wisconsin is a school much more known than for its sports than American is, so it is no wonder that it dominates in each of these categories, as its fans clearly want to follow them on social media. While looking at American’s timeline, one can tell that it is doing a good job retweeting other accounts and tweeting pictures, but it will be a long time until it catches up to the number of tweets Wisconsin has.

Winner: Wisconsin

Round 3 Matchups:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 9 Oklahoma St.

Matchup 2: 5 Oklahoma vs. 4 San Diego St.

Matchup 3: 6 Baylor vs. 3 Creighton

Matchup 4: 7 Oregon vs. 2 Wisconsin

Tweet Madness: East, Round 2

Matchup 1: 1 Virginia vs. 16 Coastal Carolina



Coastal Carolina


# of Followers 10.3K 625
# of Tweets 3,210 381
Klout Score 68 47
Peerreach Score (Sports) #50,722 #48,200
Peerreach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 67 14

As was the case with the South, the number 1 seed easily beats the 16 seed in this Twitter matchup. One way for Coastal Carolina to improve its Twitter influence is to start tweeting more organic tweets, as opposed to just retweeting other Twitter users, which it seems to do very often. Perhaps Coastal Carolina relies heavily on its main athletic Twitter (@GoCCUsports); however, if the Men’s Basketball team is going to gain exposure on its own, the team’s handle does need to tweet more original content and tweet much more often than it has.

Matchup 2: 8 Memphis vs. 9 George Washington





# of Followers 35.8K 3,106
# of Tweets 1,300 4,619
Klout Score 63 64
Peerreach Score (Sports) #4,430 N/A
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #1,611 N/A
Social Authority Score 59 50

Even though Memphis has spent on 1,700 days on Twitter, meaning that it Tweets less than once per day, its 30,000+ more followers are extremely significant. GWU has spent 593 days on Twitter, averaging 7.8 tweets/day. This can surely help it increase its Twitter presence in the near future. Additionally, Memphis increased its position in the Basketball Peergroup by 210 places in the last month. In comparison, the only Peergroup @GW_MBB is even recognized in is “Politics” – guess that’s what happens when you play in the Nation’s capital.

Winner: Memphis

Matchup 3: 5 Cincinnati vs. 12 Harvard





# of Followers 33.8K 3,190
# of Tweets 24.7K 1,031
Klout Score 86 56
Peerreach Score (Sports) #6,724 #35,097
Peerreach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 76 42

These two teams are hard to compare because Cincinnati does not have its own handle dedicated to the Men’s Basketball team: players, coaches, and athletic department staff members dealing with basketball all have their own, and the Women’s Basketball team has its own, but the Men’s Basketball team does not. Thus, at first glance, it seems as if Cincinnati beats Harvard in every category, but we are not exactly comparing apples-to-apples here. As a result, just like in the First Four Matchup of Cal Poly vs. Texas Southern, I am going to have to give the win to the team that actually has a handle dedicated solely to the Men’s Basketball team.

Winner: Harvard

Matchup 4: 4 Michigan State vs. 13 Delaware

  Michigan State




# of Followers 64.4K 333
# of Tweets 6,684 503
Klout Score 72 50
Peerreach Score (Sports) #2,542 #54,100
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #1,353 N/A
Social Authority Score 73 22

Delaware is again one of those schools that relies more heavily on its main athletic handle (@UDBlueHens) than on its own basketball Twitter handle. Regardless of this, the handle dedicated to solely Basketball is lacking in all regards, and Michigan State overwhelmingly wins.

Winner: Michigan State

Matchup 5: 6 North Carolina vs. 11 Providence

  North Carolina




# of Followers 156K 9,551
# of Tweets 10.7K 9,184
Klout Score 73 64
Peerreach Score (Sports) #1,054 #15,836
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #869 N/A
Social Authority Score 75 60

The Providence Men’s Basketball team does not have its own Twitter handle, although it has its own Facebook page with 7,402 likes. Additionally, the Head Coach of the Friars has his own handle (@CoachCooleyPC) with 4,009 followers and 129 tweets. Despite this, it is obvious that UNC wins this matchup.

Winner: North Carolina

Matchup 6: 3 Iowa State vs. 14 N.C. Central

  Iowa State


N.C. Central


# of Followers 29.4K 977
# of Tweets 10.2K 2,155
Klout Score 69 57
Peerreach Score (Sports) #15,256 #39,700
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #2,557 N/A
Social Authority Score 63 22

North Carolina Central poses very little threat to Iowa State’s Twitter presence – Iowa State easily wins in every category.

Winner: Iowa State

Matchup 7: 7 Connecticut vs. 10 Saint Joseph’s



Saint Joseph’s


# of Followers 11.3K 2,827
# of Tweets 3,039 1,201
Klout Score 65 61
Peerreach Score (Sports) #4,500 N/A
Peerreach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 70 36

For two teams from the Northeast, these teams are diametrically opposed in Twitter presence. This is the fourth landslide victory in a row in the East. However, one must give credit where credit is due, and I really enjoy the amount of pictures that Saint Joseph’s tweets!

Winner: UConn

Matchup 3: 2 Villanova vs. 15 Milwaukee





# of Followers 4,192 4,061
# of Tweets 1,763 3,447
Klout Score 63 63
Peerreach Score (Sports) #16,500 #13,500
Peerreach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 50 49

Just like Cincinnati, Milwaukee Men’s Basketball coaches have Twitter presences, as well as the Women’s Basketball team, but the Men’s Basketball team itself does not. Yet, even when you compare Villanova’s Men’s Basketball handle to Milwaukee’s handle for all of its sports, Villanova still has more followers, a higher Social Authority score, and the same Klout score.

Winner: Villanova

Round 3 Matchups

Matchup 1: 1 Virginia vs. 8 Memphis

Matchup 2: 12 Harvard vs. 4 Michigan State

Matchup 3: 6 North Carolina vs. 3 Iowa State

Matchup 4: 7 UConn vs. 2 Villanova

Tweet Madness: South, Round 2

Welcome back to Tweet Madness! In this installment, and thereafter, a new category will be added: Followerwonk’s Social Authority Score. The Social Authority score measures a user’s influential content on Twitter based on how many of its followers are retweeting the user’s tweets and how recent those retweeted tweets occurred.


Round 1

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 16 Albany

  Florida (@GatorZoneMBK) Albany (@UAlbany_MBB)
# of Followers 23.6K 824
# of Tweets 10.5K 682
Klout Score 73 54
Peerreach Score (Sports) #6,526 N/A
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #3,367 N/A
Social Authority Score 65 19

Florida’s national athletic reputation across all sports, and in particular basketball, is what drives its Twitter dominance. Albany poses zero threat in this matchup.

Winner: Florida

Matchup 2: 8 Colorado vs. 9 Pittsburgh





# of Followers 9,600 6,110
# of Tweets 5,581 2,688
Klout Score 66 62
Peerreach Score (Sports) #27,611 #40,153
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #8,824 #9,722
Social Authority Score 63 50

Yet another matchup where one wins by a landslide. Although Pittsburgh’s Klout Score is creeping up on Colorado’s score, Colorado still wins in every single category.

Winner: Colorado

Matchup 3: 5 VCU vs. 12 Stephen F. Austin



# of Followers 16.3K 1,958
# of Tweets 16.3K 1,717
Klout Score 66 59
Peerreach Score (Sports) #26,195 #41,700
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #4,398 N/A
Social Authority Score 69 37

The VCU Men’s Basketball team has been rising in popularity ever since its magical journey to the Final Four three years ago. Perhaps if SFA is able to go deep into the tournament, it too will see an increase in its national recognition, and subsequently, its Twitter followers and reach.

Winner: VCU

Matchup 4: 4 UCLA vs. 13 Tulsa

  UCLA (@UCLAMBB) Tulsa (@TUMBasketball)
# of Followers 14K 1,569
# of Tweets 3,359 1,201
Klout Score 68 57
Peerreach Score (Sports) #20,317 #18,400
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #3,367 N/A
Social Authority Score 63 35

Although Tulsa beats UCLA in its Sports Peerreach Score, UCLA dominates in every other category. Perhaps most significant is the amount of followers UCLA has in comparison to the amount that Tulsa has.

Winner: UCLA

Matchup 5: 6 Ohio State vs. 11 Dayton

  Ohio State (@OhioStateHoops) Dayton (@DaytonMBB)
# of Followers 36.7K 8,056
# of Tweets 600 2,368
Klout Score 67 62
Peerreach Score (Sports) #7,651 #28,888
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #2,959 N/A
Social Authority Score 56 55

Although Ohio State only has a measly 600 Tweets, it wins in every other category, including an overwhelming win in number of followers. I can foresee the number of tweets for Ohio State being its downfall in subsequent rounds, but for now it comes out on top.

Winner: Ohio State

Matchup 6: 3 Syracuse vs. 14 Western Michigan

  Syracuse (@SyrBasketball) Western Michigan (@WMUMBB)
# of Followers 42.1K 609
# of Tweets 28.6K 531
Klout Score 68 57
Peerreach Score (Sports) #3,729 N/A
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #1,418 N/A
Social Authority Score 71 18

As a Basketball Powerhouse, it is no wonder that Syracuse wins every category by the biggest margins we’ve seen so far. What is interesting to note though, with only 138 days spent on Twitter thus far, WMU is already averaging 3.8 tweets/day. If WMU keeps tweeting at a regular pace, it can surely win some devout followers, but it will be a long time before it even poses even a minor threat to Syracuse’s Twitter prowess.

Winner: Syracuse

Matchup 7: 7 New Mexico vs. 10 Stanford

  New Mexico (@UNMHoops) Stanford (@StanfordBball)
# of Followers 4,152 5,033
# of Tweets 3,320 5,218
Klout Score 62 64
Peerreach Score (Sports) #31,100 #16,390
Peerreach Score (Basketball) N/A #4,193
Social Authority Score 39 56

We finally have our first upset! However, with only 336 days on Twitter, in comparison to Stanford’s 1,767 days, New Mexico has actually been tweeting on a more regular basis, and thus poses a big threat to Stanford’s Twitter presence in this matchup. However, at the end, Stanford ekes out the slight victory.

Winner: Stanford

Matchup 8: 2 Kansas vs. 15 Eastern Kentucky

  Kansas (@KU_Hoops) Eastern Kentucky (@EKUHoops)
# of Followers 2,186 2,104
# of Tweets 806 3,231
Klout Score 55 61
Peerreach Score (Sports) #4,371 #42,300
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #1,848 N/A
Social Authority Score 42 30

I would have never guessed how much of a close call this matchup is. Considering Kansas’s program dominance year in and year out, I surely would have predicted that their Twitter presence would reflect the success they’ve had on the court. Although Kanas technically wins in 2/3 of the categories, Eastern Kentucky earns the victory here. Its Klout score is much higher, and for a school with less national recognition, it does not have that many fewer Twitter followers. Additionally, with 286 days less on Twitter (Kansas has 849 days and EKU has 563 days), EKU has over 2400 more tweets. These few things alone give EKU the narrow edge.

Winner: Eastern Kentucky


Round 3 Matchups:

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 8 Colorado

Matchup 2: 5 VCU vs. 4 UCLA

Matchup 3: 6 Ohio State vs. 3 Syracuse

Matchup 4: 10 Stanford vs. 13 Eastern Kentucky

Tweet Madness: Crowning the NCAA Basketball Champs by Twitter Handle

March Madness is finally upon us. That sweet time of year where our favorite college basketball teams go dancing and the rest of us fans meticulously fill out our brackets and begin to watch game after game until an ultimate NCAA Champion is crowned.

However, what if the champs were actually determined by their Twitter presence, as opposed to their ability on the court? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the various teams’ Twitter handles and determining who would move on in the Brackets as a result of their Twitter presence. The current Bracket will be used to determine the initial matchups.

Each team will be judged in the following ways:

  • Number of followers
  • Number of tweets
  • Klout Score
  • Peerreach score in Sports PeerGroup and Basketball PeerGroup – measures whether Twitter handles have the “right” followers and interact with people that make a difference (for some teams this data is not readily available)

Round 1

Matchup 1: 16 Albany vs. 16 Mount St. Mary’s

  Albany (@UAlbany_MBB) Mount St. Marys (@MountHoops)
# of Followers 824 1,073
# of Tweets 682 194
Klout Score 54 55
Peerreach Score (Sports) N/A #59,500
Peerreach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A


Although, Mount St. Mary’s has over 200 more followers than Albany does, the team has under 200 tweets and only started Tweeting 9 months ago (June 2013). Additionally, even though, Albany has had its current handle since September 2011, most of its tweets have occurred in the past 7 months (since August 2013). This means that, estimating roughly, Mount St. Mary’s tweets about 20 tweets/month, and Albany tweets about 90 times/month. Thus, despite Mount St. Mary’s having a higher Klout score, and having enough data to determine a Peerreach score in the Sports PeerGroup, Albany has clearly been tweeting more religiously. To me, that gives Albany the slight edge.

Winner: Albany

Matchup 2:  12 NC State vs. 12 Xavier

  NC State (@PackMensBball) Xavier (@XUAthletics)*
# of Followers 28,300 6,559
# of Tweets 8,366 7,705
Klout Score 69 62
Peerreach Score (Sports) #13,522 #14,026
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #2,901 N/A


In this matchup, NC State dominates in every single category.

This battle is the equivalent of a blowout.

Winner: NC State

Matchup 3: 16 Cal Poly vs. 16 Texas Southern

  Cal Poly (@CalPolyMBB) Texas Southern (@TXSOTigers)*
# of Followers 899 1,564
# of Tweets 372 2,863
Klout Score 49 50
Peerreach Score (Sports) #35,000 #27,900
Peerreach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A


Although it may seem that Texas Southern wins every category, this is a hard matchup because we are comparing one school’s Men’s Basketball Twitter handle against the other school’s overall Athletics Twitter handle. Despite this, I am going to give the win to Cal Poly for a few reasons. First, Texas Southern’s handle only acknowledges that the team won the SWAC Tournament Championship Title, but has not yet congratulated the team for being selected for the NCAA Tournament, albeit it being almost a day since the Selection Committee created the brackets. Second, Cal Poly’s Klout Score is only one less than Texas Southern’s, even though its handle focuses only on one sports, as opposed to every sport at the school.

Winner: Cal Poly

Matchup 4: 11 Iowa vs. 11 Tennessee

  Iowa (@IowaHoops) Tennessee (@Vol_Hoops)
# of Followers 35,700 35,100
# of Tweets 7,196 11,600
Klout Score 68 69
Peerreach Score (Sports) #3,697 #2,310
Peerreach Score (Basketball) #15,954 #5,466


Except for a handful of Twitter followers, Tennessee beats Iowa in 4/5 categories. Perhaps most significant, is Tennessee’s Peereach score in the Basketball PeerGroup: it is in the top 5,500 of all Twitter handles focusing on Basketball, whereas Iowa is only in the top 16,000 of all Basketball Twitter handles. Another interesting point about Tennessee’s handle is that the website in the bio brings one to a Vizify (a personalized website that is based off one’s social media profiles) page about Tennessee Men’s Basketball, whereas the website in Iowa’s bio brings one to the Iowa Athletics page for Men’s Basketball. I think what Tennessee is doing on Vizify is unique.

Winner: Tennessee

Stay tuned for the next installment featuring the Second Round competitors. Leave a comment below on your opinion of the various team’s Twitter presences!

*Some schools do not have a separate Twitter for Men’s Basketball

How are Fans Getting Their College Sports Fix?

Fans love their live college sports. It comes as no surprise then that over the years more and more NCAA games have been available on Cable and Satellite, with teams getting more national exposure than ever before. When teams and conferences create their own networks, the deals that cable providers make to carry these networks can be extremely lucrative. The most recent of these deals comes in the form of DISH network coming to terms with The Walt Disney Company to carry both the Longhorn Network and SEC Network.

In response to this new deal, it is interesting to note how college sports fans are really watching their favorite teams compete. Prior to SEC Network signing on with DISH, the only providers that had arranged to carry the network were not national ones. Thus, if someone from outside the coverage networks of either AT&T U-Verse or National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative would have wanted to watch a program on SEC Network starting this summer, he or she would have had to look elsewhere.

With the proliferation of online streaming services, such as Netflix, when viewers can’t get their college sports fix on TV, it makes sense that they would turn to the Internet. In fact, ESPN is giving 15 college conferences their own dedicated, national TV channels streamed over the Internet through WatchESPN. These channels will initially be available on Apple TV and Roku set-top devices, but there are plans to expand to computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. Typically, one can access WatchESPN, a website that allows one to stream a multitude of ESPN channels, if he or she is a current subscriber of a traditional cable provider such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-verse TV, Cablevision, or Verizon FiOS. WatchESPN has also been available through Apple TV and Roku, whose subscribers have spent a higher than average time viewing WatchESPN, in comparison to those that have access to it through their cable subscriptions. The 15 new college conference channels are from those conferences that do not have a major TV presence currently, such as the ACC, America East, Big West, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Southern, and Sun Belt.

The Costs of Watching College Sports

One of the advantages of WatchESPN providing these channels on Roku and Apple TV is that the conferences do not need to negotiate with cable or satellite providers about carriage fees and terms. What some viewers do not realize is this helps them from paying those TV subscriptions fees that seem to increase every year. When ESPN inks a deal with a certain conference (professional or collegiate), it usually pays a hefty price to broadcast the games. Those costs are then passed onto the TV providers (cable or satellite) that broadcast ESPN. Finally, those costs are then passed onto the viewers, who continue pay for the cable and satellite subscriptions due to the fact that these TV providers are still the main players in bringing live sports action into the home.

Besides the costs borne by viewers, TV providers also stand to bear dire costs by not providing their subscribers with the college teams that they want to watch. Presently, DirecTV, unlike its main competitor DISH Network, has not come to terms to carry the SEC Network. This has angered many fans, with some of them taking to Twitter to threaten that they would switch providers if DirecTV will not carry it. How many subscribers would actually switch still remains to be seen, but since many hardcore sports fans choose DirecTV because of its NFL Sunday Ticket package, the number could potentially be substantial.

A more in-depth breakdown of the costs associated with carrying collegiate sports on television can be found here.

BCS Conference Games See an Increase in Attendance

SportsBusiness Daily is reporting that each BCS Conference that holds a conference championship game saw an increase in attendance this year as compared to last year.

The following chart shows how much attendance increased (or decreased) this year as compared to the last two years:

Conference % Change from 2011-2012 % Change from 2012-2013 Absolute Change from ’12-’13
SEC 1.49% 0.01% 8
ACC -12.08% 4.50% 2916
Big Ten -35.68% 59.97% 24,742
Pac-12 -46.74% 119.89% 37,913