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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

Fan Rewards Go Social

Rewards programs are not new. Whether for pumping gas, swiping your credit card or booking a flight, companies have long sought to incentivize consumer loyalty. Think about it: between commercials, people in booths at the airport and internet pop-up ads, rewards programs are becoming ubiquitous.

College athletics fan rewards programs, where athletics departments give out prizes based on attendance at various sporting events, are also nothing new. Recently, a new trend has developed in this arena, one that seeks to combine the rewards concept with social media. Social media fan rewards programs have been popping up around the country, including schools like Oregon, Florida State, Duke and Penn State, among many others.

The premise is simple: fans are already interacting via social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram, often immediately before, during and immediately after athletic contests. Schools utilizing this technology are now providing a platform for fans that makes it easy for them to interact and engage (and spread the good word of the athletics department), while also garnering points to be used for free swag (and who doesn’t like free swag?).

One of the earliest adopters of these programs was Baylor, whose Baylor Bold Rewards program kicked off at the beginning of the 2011 academic year. At the time Associate AD John Garrison stated that, “With so much of our communication moving to social media, we felt this rewards program would be the way to get beyond our ‘friends’ to our friends’ friends.” The program has generated over 22 million social media impressions over the course of a year. That ability to expand a fan base is a big reason these programs have themselves gone “viral”. It’s about rewarding fans for spreading your message about your brand to their friends. Now, not only are more and more schools getting into the act, but conferences are as well, with the Big Ten Network, Horizon League and SWAC all launching their own iterations recently.

Two of the leaders in this burgeoning industry are Row 27 and Lodestone Social. Row 27 was responsible for Baylor’s groundbreaking program and also offers a number of other social marketing tools through their Fanmaker App Suite. Each company boasts long lists of clients from major programs, and each promises to galvanize a fan base through social media while dangling the carrot of the potential monetization of those social media initiatives. Lodestone Social’s pitch is to, “unite the void between social media efforts and revenue, connecting the passion of the crowd to the power of your team.”

One recent example of this “unity” is when Ole Miss and Mississippi State jointly announced in September that C Spire Wireless had signed on to become the official wireless partner of the universities’ social media rewards programs. The sponsorship will allow fans who participate in the Ole Miss Social Rebels and Hail State Social Rewards programs to interact with C Spire Wireless and earn additional rewards and giveaways, and also allow both universities to better engage their fans during games through their smart phones. It is believed to be the first program of its kind in the country, but is not the only way to make money from social media efforts. For example, in 2011 the University of Michigan made $376,478 in revenue from Facebook referrals alone.

Not everyone is impressed with social media fan rewards programs, however. A recent post on the digital and social media blog Digital Hoops Blast questioned if social media rewards programs are necessary at all. The three arguments made to support this notion are: 1) that these programs cause schools to lose focus on creating and sharing amazing content by focusing instead on points, 2) these programs dictate what social networks are better for fans to engage in by skewing the point scheme (more for a like on Facebook than a retweet on Twitter for example), and 3) the automation that totals up points to decide who your best fans is impersonal, which is counterintuitive to how you would want to connect with your best fans.

Those are great points but ultimately these programs are not going to go away. If Michigan, Ole Miss and Mississippi State were able to monetize their social media efforts, you can bet others across the nation with similar or even larger social media footprints are in the process of forming similar partnerships. Rather than the latest tech trend these programs appear to be an extension of what athletics departments have been doing with “traditional” fan rewards programs for years. For this reason look for companies like Lodestone Social, Row27 and others to continue to saturate the market, and for a social rewards program to come to a university near you (if it hasn’t already happened).

ACC Financials ’10-11

The first conference we’re looking at is the ACC. The chart is sorted by ’10-11 profits for each football and men’s basketball program from greatest profit to least. The “% Invested” column shows how much of the specific sport’s revenue goes back into that specific sport. Please read below before viewing the financials.

About the data: All of the data is from reports each school files with the US Department of Education. It is the only available data for both public and private universities. However, there can be variances in how each school chooses to report data. For example, each school can decide for itself whether to break out television revenue by sport or leave it in a generic revenue category, which causes variances. After speaking with dozens of schools the most common practice appears to be attributing the majority of television revenue to football and a portion to basketball. The most common split is 65/35.

There are also variances from year-to-year, so be careful when comparing this data to last year’s data. For example, Florida State’s football program showed a gain of approximately $14 million from ’09-’10 to ’10-’11. When contacted for comment FSU explained that in ’10-’11 they broke out contributions by sport, which they hadn’t done previously.

Although far from perfect, this data is the only available data for all Division I programs. We just want to make you aware of the possible variances and will let you draw your own conclusions.

 

ACC Football No Cash Cow

After writing about the football finances of the SEC and Big Ten, it’s the ACC’s turn.  The numbers are drawn from schools’ reports to the U.S. Department of Education on the state of their athletic departments’ finances for July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. See the note at the end for more details on the data.

I don’t think the schools on top of the revenue list in the ACC will surprise anyone:

  Football Revenue
Virginia Tech $31,155,870.00
Clemson Univ. $30,994,503.00
Georgia Tech $24,870,064.00
Univ. of Miami $24,631,029.00
Univ. of North Carolina $22,077,550.00
North Carolina State $22,018,738.00
Boston College $19,184,902.00
Univ. of Virginia $19,004,653.00
Florida State Univ. $18,958,861.00
Duke Univ. $16,109,324.00
Univ. of Maryland $11,540,368.00
Wake Forest University $10,227,922.00

I also don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that the average revenue in the ACC ($21m) is less than half that of the SEC ($50m) and only slightly better than half that of the Big Ten ($41m).  Read the rest of this entry