Category Archives: Basketball

Tweet Madness: East, Round 2

Matchup 1: 1 Virginia vs. 16 Coastal Carolina

  Virginia

(@UVAMensHoops)

Coastal Carolina

(@CCUHoops)

# 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

  Memphis

(@UofMTigersHoops)

GWU

(@GW_MBB)

# 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

  Cincinnati

(@GoBEARCATS)

Harvard

(@hoopsatharvard)

# 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

(@MSU_Basketball)

Delaware

(@UDelBasketball)

# 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

(@UNC_Basketball)

Providence

(@PCAthletics)

# 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

(@CycloneMBB)

N.C. Central

(@NCCUBasketball)

# 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

  UConn

(@UConnMBB)

Saint Joseph’s

(@SJUHawks_MBB)

# 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

  Villanova

(@NovaMBB)

Milwaukee

(@MKEPanthers)

# 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

  Colorado

(@CUBuffsMBB)

Pittsburgh

(@HailtoPittHoops)

# 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

  VCU

(@VCURamNation)

SFA (@SFA_MBB)
# 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

Using Math to Build the Perfect March Madness Bracket

The Museum of Mathematics in New York City is hosting a bracketology workshop where you can get a little more scientific about your March Madness bracket. The museum claims the computer software its expert, Dr. Chartier, and his students have developed has produced brackets that have beaten, “as many as 99.9 percent of competitors in ESPN’s bracket challenge.”

Are you willing to wager $50 on the registration for the potential to win $1 billion from Warren Buffett?

If so, here’s how you can register for the workshop:

 

WHO: Dr. Tim Chartier, Davidson College Professor and Bracketology Expert

Glen Whitney, MoMath Founder and Executive Director

WHEN: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

WHERE: National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

11 E. 26th Street (between 5th and Madison)

New York, NY

RSVP: Click here

Victoria's Basketball Suite Graphic 2

Should Kansas Jump on the Luxury Suite Bandwagon?

By: Victoria Baldwin

In 2012, Louisville’s basketball program brought in more than $42.4 million in revenue.

Kristi Dosh, founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires, attributes the high revenue to luxury suites at Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center.

Victoria's Basketball Suite Graphic 1

Louisville is just one school taking advantage of revenue from luxury suites. Syracuse’s Carrier Dome brings in millions to the program, and Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina are making arrangements to add suites to their historic arenas.

The KFC Yum! Center is home to 72 luxury suites at $85,000 to $92,000 a piece. They generate more than $6 million in revenue. That’s just for rent. Tickets, donations, fees, food and drinks come with an additional cost.

Louisville attaches donations ranging from $250 to $2,500 to the rights of season tickets and that’s not including the price of the actual ticket.

“Adding those suites gives them the ability to tack on the annual fee that is the right to purchase fee on the suite and that is where you make the money,” Dosh said.

The basketball program isn’t the only benefactor. The revenue from luxury suites goes into the general athletic fund that benefits other Louisville sports.

“In the last 14 to 15 years under (athletics director) Tom Zurich, every single sport, with the exception of football, got a brand new facility,” Dosh said. “They’re using that money to prop up the other sports that aren’t making any.”

While Louisville is leading the pack, basketball-rich Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina are in different stages of adding suites to their historic arenas.

Kentucky released renovation plans during the summer to add suites to Rupp Arena, while Duke is raising money to add bunker suites in place of old basketball offices. Cameron Indoor doesn’t have the space newer facilities have, and they’re planning the bunker suites so they don’t lose thousands of seats in the bowl area that bring in high donations.

In February, North Carolina’s athletic director Bubba Cunningham said he would be interested in adding luxury suites but recently there have been talks of building a completely new arena.

Suites are not suitable

The University of Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse has been home to five national championship teams and dozens of conference titles.

Although Kansas basketball has a 200-game sellout streak dating back to the 2001-02 season, the Jayhawks’ revenues are ranked No. 13 in the country at $16.4 million. Allen Fieldhouse holds 16,300 fans with little room for luxury suites.

Victoria's Basketball Suite Graphic 2

“For a school that has a history of sellouts like that, I think they are leaving money on the table,” Dosh said. “Based on what I’ve seen at schools who do have suites and who do have that sort of demand, there are definitely millions of dollars.”

Greg Gurley, director of development for KU’s Williams Fund, a fundraising arm of the athletics department, said Kansas has the high demand to fill the suites but the renovations could ruin the history of Allen Fieldhouse.

“If we had basketball suites, there would be a line out the door to get them,” Gurley said. “The question is how do we do it? More importantly, do you want to change the integrity of the building by adding suites? That’s the question to ask.”

Kansas is in a struggle between reaping the rewards of the luxury suite boom and losing valuable, reasonably-priced tickets for the average fan. Gurley said at this time there haven’t been any serious discussions to add luxury suites to Allen Fieldhouse.

Martin Haynes, an architect at 360 Architecture in Kansas City, was the designer who proposed the bunker suite plan for Duke based on a study he did years ago.

Haynes said Kansas could only add suites to the upper bowl area on the North side of Allen Fieldhouse between the parking garage and the arena.

“At the very top of the bowl, you could blow out the wall and create suites at that level,” Haynes said. “It’s something you could do. Anywhere else it really would just destroy the integrity of Allen Fieldhouse.”

Allen Fieldhouse is home to one of the best home court advantages in the country because of how close students are to the court. Gurley, who also played at Kansas from 1992-95, said adding suites would ruin this atmosphere.

“That’s why all of the media people that come to Lawrence, it would be hard pressed to find anybody, even if they were a fan of another school, to not feel like Allen Fieldhouse is the coolest or one of the coolest places in the country to watch a basketball game,” Gurley said.

While the rest of the basketball “Blue Bloods” renovate their stadiums to bring in millions of dollars, Kansas fans will have historic Allen Fieldhouse to enjoy for quite a bit longer.

“I hope Allen Fieldhouse is there for 100 more years, but that’s just me,” Gurley said.

 

Victoria is a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in journalism with a focus on broadcasting. To see more of her recent work, visit her website: www.victoriabaldwin.wordpress.com.

Highest Grossing Football and Basketball Programs

ESPN The Magazine has a great infographic about Louisville being the most profitable basketball program in the country.

What’s most impressive, however, is how much revenue Louisville basketball generates compared to most major college football programs. For fiscal year 2012, the Cardinals basketball program ranked 22nd amongst FBS-level football and basketball programs:

School Sport Revenue
1 Texas Football $103,813,684
2 Michigan Football $85,209,247
3 Alabama Football $82,302,856
4 Auburn Football $77,170,241
5 Georgia Football $74,989,418
6 Florida Football $74,317,435
7 Louisiana State Football $69,427,009
8 Notre Dame Football $68,986,659
9 Arkansas Football $64,193,826
10 Ohio State Football $63,866,161
11 Oklahoma Football $59,825,653
12 Tennessee Football $56,884,706
13 Nebraska Football $55,063,437
14 Florida State Football $54,294,429
15 Washington Football $53,092,369
16 Oregon Football $51,952,732
17 Iowa Football $51,110,343
18 Michigan State Football $50,159,347
19 South Carolina Football $49,598,334
20 Wisconsin Football $48,416,449
21 Texas A&M Football $44,420,762
22 Louisville Basketball $42,434,684
23 Clemson Football $39,207,781
24 Virginia Tech Football $38,382,042
25 Oklahoma State Football $37,744,529

To sum it up, Louisville basketball rakes in more dough than all but five Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 football programs. And that’s with the Big East’s television contract. As I wrote last year, Louisville’s move to the ACC has the potential to make it one of the top-10 most profitable athletic departments in the country.

If you’re interested, Louisville football comes in at #54 on the combined football/basketball revenue ranking.

Here’s a look at the top-10 highest-grossing basketball programs (with their rank among football programs in the second column):

Basketball Program Rank Basketball’s Rank Among Football and Basketball Programs School Revenue
1 22 Louisville $42,434,684
2 43 Syracuse $25,888,761
3 45 Duke $25,665,732
4 51 North Carolina $24,881,106
5 60 Kentucky $21,598,681
6 63 Arizona $20,749,807
7 66 Michigan State $19,807,794
8 68 Texas $18,478,467
9 70 Indiana $18,289,795
10 71 Ohio State $18,121,349

And no, before you ask, it’s not because Louisville sells alcohol at its basketball  games. Louisville reported just over $1 million from concessions, programs and parking revenue.

KFC Yum! Center has allowed Louisville to keep up with the top football programs by allowing it to profit off 71 luxury suites and numerous other premium seating areas. The suites lease for a whopping $85,000 – $92,000 annually, depending on size, location and the length of the lease. Just 12 percent of that lease fee goes to KFC Yum! Center, with the athletic department banking the rest.

With the exception of seven student sections and four sections with no donation requirement, the other seats in the arena command a donation anywhere from $250 – $2,500 to the Cardinal Athletic Fund.

Compare that to Syracuse. The Carrier Dome has 40 suites, which carry a donation requirement of $50,000 – $83,900. In other words, they top out at an amount lower than Louisville’s cheapest suite. Donations tied to other seats top out at $725, compared to Louisville’s $2,500. Although Syracuse averaged almost 1,000 more fans per game than Louisville last season (and is already tracking 10% higher for season tickets sales this season compared to last), that amounted to just 64.08 percent of capacity at the Carrier Dome. Meanwhile, the Cardinals averaged 97.65 percent capacity. So, while Syracuse is able to capitalize on suite revenue, unlike many college basketball programs who lack suites, the sheer size of the Carrier Dome (approximately 13,000 seats more than KFC Yum! Center) impacts demand and, along with it, donation levels.

Other top programs Duke, UNC and Kentucky lack suites, and the revenue they bring, altogether. They all seem to be in some stage of adding suites, however. Plans for the renovation of Rupp Arena released this summer call for the addition of suites. In October 2012, Duke posted information about its latest fundraising campaign, which includes plans for “bunker suites.” Those suites would reportedly be built under and behind the seating bowl. A spokesman for Duke tells me no final decisions have been made. Nearby in Chapel Hill, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham has also mentioned the possibility of adding suites to the Dean Smith Center, but again the athletic department says that currently there are no final plans.

Simply put, all of these schools are losing out on millions, if not tens of millions, in revenue by not having suites. While it takes success on the court to capitalize on those suites, you simply can’t maximize the value of your program without them. Which, by the way, means no one is catching up with Louisville anytime soon.

 

Note: Financial data in the charts above is derived from disclosures filed with the NCAA for public universities and from reports filed with the Department of Education for private universities.

Kristi A. Dosh is an attorney and founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com. Her latest book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires, is available now. Visit SaturdayMillionaires.com for retailers and a sneak peak at the first chapter! Follow her on Twitter: @SportsBizMiss.

University-of-Alabama

Why Women’s College Basketball Operates At A Deficit

University-of-AlabamaAlabama Women’s Basketball has announced a new booster club: the Crimson Tide Center Court. A quick look at Alabama women’s basketball’s financials seemingly underscores the need for such a booster club. For fiscal year 2012, the program reported no donations. Ticket sales, conference distributions, licensing, sports camps and other revenues totaled $493,743 for the program, but that wasn’t even enough to cover the $529,072 the athletic department had to send to the university to cover the tuition, room and board of the women’s basketball student athletes, forget paying coaching salaries, travel, equipment, game day and other expenses. At the end of the day, Alabama women’s basketball operated at a deficit of $2.4 million.

Alabama’s situation is not unlike most women’s basketball programs in the country. Although Alabama’s basketball program went 13-18 last season, even the most successful teams on the court struggle with donor support. UConn women’s basketball reported $389,033 in contributions on its financial disclosures. Although higher than UConn men’s basketball ($218,324), it paled in comparison to football’s $2.7 million in donations. Like Alabama, women’s basketball at UConn finished the year at a deficit: $1.3 million.

Louisville, who’s women’s basketball program played for the title against UConn last season, reported women’s basketball donations at $193,074. Nowhere close to the $20.4 million the men’s basketball program brought in – although, it should be noted that no basketball program in the country, men’s or women’s, comes close to Louisville men’s basketball in that department. Louisville women’s basketball joined Alabama and UConn in finishing the year at a financial deficit of $2.3 million.

Football and men’s basketball donations are bolstered by donations required for the right to purchase season tickets, which can be a lofty sum when tickets are in demand. In fact, as I detail in my book Saturday Millionaires, donations to the top football and basketball programs can sometimes be twice as much as television revenue, mistakenly believed by many to be the largest source of revenue for athletic departments.

Women’s basketball, along with every other sport a school sponsors, simply doesn’t have that revenue source. As you can see below, donations to women’s basketball in the SEC are either non-existent or extremely low compared to donations to men’s basketball and football.

University Contributions to Women’s Basketball Contributions to Men’s Basketball Contributions to Football
Alabama $0 $645,136 $18,679,937
Arkansas $0 $3,660,681 $17,370,567
Auburn $237,692 $2,046,352 $27,051,405
Florida $0 $1,791,862 $35,871,054
Georgia $26,386 $721,265 $26,944,091
Kentucky $0 $0 $0 *
Louisiana State $168,856 $2,815,161 $22,376,287
Mississippi $153,821 $1,144,588 $3,105,908
Mississippi State $6,010 $30,175 $0 **
Missouri $31,848 $885,080 $1,293,282
South Carolina $0 $184,544 $9,746,213
Tennessee $2,070,124 $1,235,289 $12,499,404
Texas A&M $39,127 $1,284,743 $8,303,578
Vanderbilt ***

Source: NCAA financial disclosures filed by each university

* Kentucky does not break down contributions by sport on its report

** I’ve asked Mississippi State about this in the past, and they don’t move money over from their booster club for football unless they need the additional revenue

*** Vanderbilt is not subject to open records requests because it is a private university

A couple of caveats on the chart above. First, the amount shown for football donations isn’t necessarily all of the money donated for football in a year, it’s simply the amount the athletic department accepted for the year. Let me explain. Most athletic departments receive donations through a fund-raising entity. If a donation was earmarked for football, but taking in that revenue and spending it on the football program would throw financials out of whack for Title IX purposes, the fund-raising entity will put that money aside for the future.

Here’s an explanation straight from my book, Saturday Millionaires:

The Office of Civil Rights has previously offered this interpretation with regards to boosters or other donors who donate funds for specified sports: “a school cannot use earmarked funds as an economic justification for discrimination.”

In other words, the school can honor the sport-specific designation for such donated funds, but it still must comply with the proportionality requirement. It cannot dedicate those funds to football, throwing the proportionality out of whack, and then say they had to do so because the funds were earmarked. The excess funds that cannot be applied simply have to be put aside for the future, or they can be applied and revenue from other sources can be moved out of football in order to maintain compliance.

Bottom line: just because it looks like your school is receiving the most donations for football from the chart above doesn’t mean it’s true.

As you can clearly see, however, women’s basketball is a long way from raking in the kind of money men’s basketball and football can generate from donations. Will booster clubs geared specifically toward women’s basketball, like the Crimson Tide Center Court club change that? It’s unlikely, but they can certainly help generate some excitement for the program and bring fans together with the team. In the end, I would imagine that’s Alabama’s goal, especially given that Alabama women’s basketball is getting a new coach this year. A coach who will make a reported $400,000 a year – 81% of the program’s total revenue.

If you have more interest in the Crimson Tide Center Court, here are some additional details… Continue reading

LeBron James Recruiting for Ohio State Baskeball?

“For me, I can’t worry about what everybody says about me. I’m LeBron James, from Akron, Ohio. From the inner city. I’m not even supposed to be here,” said by LeBron James after winning the Finals MVP this past year.  There wasn’t a shout out to Ohio State, nope, just to his hometown.

Anyone who’s been following his career knows that he never went to college. So then why would Ohio State have his name above a locker in their new basketball facility?

Let me ask you this, if you were a top recruit and visiting Ohio State and saw LeBron James name slapped to the top of a locker wouldn’t you be a bit more interested in attending that school?

I know I would.

According to Ohio State officials the reasoning behind devoting a locker to the Miami Heat player is to display James’ Nike line that is worn by the Buckeyes that include shoes, jerseys and warm-ups. Ohio State has been wearing different versions of his gear since the end of the 2006-07 season, where as Kentucky and Miami started wearing his gear in 2011.

James has always deemed himself a huge Buckeye fan, having been raised just two hours away from the campus. He has frequently been seen at high-profile games decked out in scarlet and gray.  Had he not been drafted out of high school and immediately gone pro, he would’ve likely attended the school.

Of course, coaches and schools will do anything to attain the best recruits they can get, and dropping a name has never hurt anyone.  It’s a sly recruiting tactic, whether it will work or not remains to be seen.

When Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was asked, “does that LeBron guy have a chance to contribute for you guys this year?” all he had to say was, “I think he is going to have to earn his stripes.”

SportsBoard: The Future of Player Assessment

Goodbye, pen and paper. Sayonara, endless hours of crunching numbers by hand.

Hello, SportsBoard!

In an electronic-centered society, why not fuse technology and sports? Especially when its so addicting to let’s say, college students.

Over 170 college programs, including Duke basketball and the University of Texas football program, are now using the Mobile Player Assessment Solution application called Sportsboard during practices, recruiting visits and games. The application allows coaches to gather and evaluate Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) for each athlete. At the end of each practice or game the individual numbers are uploaded to a server and within minutes can be sent to each players mobile device or iPad so they can see their strengths and weaknesses from that day.

Sportsboard eliminates the idea that coaches have to slave away over clipboards and manually enter numbers into computers just to sit down later to look at everything they typed in. Instead, everything they need is in one program.

“Duke had two guys on the sidelines watching the practice game and they were calling out what was happening on the court. They had a guy use a clipboard basically tallying all the stats for all the players as they were happening. When the practice was over they were entering all the stats onto a spreadsheet and they would compute each players efficiency points ratings…we took a 2-3 hour process and made it into a 5 minute process, which ultimately enabled them to use the report in a much more timely way” said Gregg Jacobs, founder and CEO of West Shore Technologies, the company that produce SportsBoard.

The program, which has been called “the future of basketball practice’”by ESPN, is applicable to more than just football and basketball. SportsBoard currently has applications for twelve different sports that include: Soccer, Lacrosse, Rugby, Ice Hockey, Baseball and more, each one easily accessible through an application store, Jacobs says that “The teams that adopt this technology sooner are going to have a competitive advantage when it comes to putting the best talent on the court or on the field. Ultimately they are going to use data over gut instinct.”

Besides working with universities, SportsBoard is being used in over a dozen camps this summer, such as Stanford’s baseball and lacrosse camps.

“What we are impacting on camps is so much bigger than what we are doing in terms of impacting college coaches for recruiting or season. We are enabling these camp operators to assess the player give them a rating, video them…we are enabling them to completely professionalize what they did on paper or what they weren’t doing before” said Jacobs.

Overtime, Sportsboard will revolutionize sports in way no one would have imagined 15 years ago.  Sorry clipboards, your time has passed.

Will Syracuse Attempt to Break All-Time Attendance Record?

What better way to make an entrance into a new conference than by breaking the NCAA’s all-time attendance record for an on-campus game? Syracuse is considering moving the basketball court to the middle of the Carrier Dome, as a one-time deal for the highly anticipated Duke game this upcoming season. The move to the middle of the court has the possibility of drawing in a crowd of 50,000 or more. The current record held by Syracuse is 30,012 set on February 23, 2013 when Syracuse hosted Georgetown for the last time as Big East rivals.

Moving the court would be Syracuse’s grand way of celebrating their recent membership into the ACC. Syracuse’s executive senior associate athletic director Joe Giansante told Syracuse.com, “We had a wedding in New York City on July 1,” referring to the ACC welcoming Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the conference. “But there still needs to be a reception. We’re not sure what we’re going to do for that yet, but it’ll be special.“

The notion of Syracuse moving to center court (literally) of the Dome is not authentic; the idea has made its way to the drawing board in the past but has always stayed there.

Unfortunatel,y everyone working on the Hill has a lot has to take into consideration before they pick up the pieces of the court and move them: (1) whether or not the fire marshal gives them the okay for the project, (2) figuring out wiring set up for television crews for a one-time basis, and (3) taking on the challenge of moving season ticket holders and not having any complaints.

The current forced seating arrangement to the one half of the dome makes it feel more intimate and as if it is a full house each game.

Having a single game in the middle of the field you can’t just have fans seated 70 yards back from the end zones of the court.  And what about those with courtside seats, especially if they were to decide to play on a raised court?

Would making history and spending the money for one night outshine the hassle?

Duke isn’t the only big named program that the Orange will be hosting this season other teams include North Carolina in an ACC game and Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Whether or not Syracuse will move the court has yet to be confirmed or denied. The full basketball schedule will be released later this month soon following that tickets will go one sale, which is when we’ll find out whether or not Syracuse will be making history again.

“We’re going to look at all kinds of options to make our move to the ACC as special as possible,” Giansante said Thursday. ‘There are a lot of different things on the table to consider.”