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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.

College Athletes Can Form A Union: What’s Next?

The regional National Labor Relations Board in Chicago issued a stunning decision Wednesday, granting employee status and unionization rights to college football players at Northwestern University (PDF of decision here).  The decision will almost certainly be appealed to the national NLRB in Washington, D.C., and from there can move over into the federal appellate courts and ultimately the Supreme Court.  While we won’t have a final resolution to this issue anytime soon, the decision issued today was significant and will have immediate impact.

Remember, we’re less than three months away from a trial in the O’Bannon v. NCAA case which has been in the courts since 2009.  A judgment against the NCAA there would no longer allow it to profit off of student-athlete (or should I now call them employee-athlete-students?) images and likeness without compensation.

We also had a new case filed just this month directly targeting the cap on scholarship amounts, demanding that the free market determine what a school may offer a prospective student-athlete.

In January, the NCAA hosted sessions at its convention on the future of Division I athletics.  But the feedback was skeptical and the detail missing.  The presentation reeked of bureaucratic speak such as new committees and task forces.

Now with this NLRB decision, you get the feeling the entire student-athlete / amateurism model is going off the rails.  But what did the decision actually say and how does it apply?

It says the scholarship (walk-ons are excluded) college football players at Northwestern University are employees, and have the right to unionize and collectively bargain for compensation and benefits.  The decision focused mostly on the level of control the school, via its athletic department and coaching staff, has over its athletes.  It covered in depth the athletes’ daily routine, the hours spent on football, and the rules that must be adhered to in order to remain on the team and keep the scholarship.  Special emphasis was placed on the fact the scholarship is contingent on a number of different factors which all ultimately are controlled by Northwestern, the employer.

Northwestern tried to argue that a 2000 NLRB decision involving graduate-students at Brown University should control, and lead to a determination the athletes are not employees.  (I went through a detailed analysis of this last month).  The NLRB said the Brown case did not apply here, and even if it did, the result would be the same.

Presumably, today’s decision would allow other private university athletes to follow a similar path.  The NLRB does not govern public institutions, so athletes at state schools will have to navigate the unionization process in their own state under state law.

To this point, the College Athlete Players Association (CAPA) has not said it will pursue increased financial compensation and/or salaries for performance.  It’s focus has been on better health care as well as some type of structure to receive funds from likeness and image use, as well as sponsorship revenue (i.e. along the lines of O’Bannon case issues).  However, the authority granted by the NLRB today would certainly permit increased compensation to be included in any collective bargaining.

It’s also difficult to read today’s decision and not think it could very easily be applied to many other sports at many different levels down the road.  As I mentioned, the focus was much more on the time commitment of the athletes and the control the coaches and school have over them, rather than the large amount of revenue the athletes in major college football generate.  Many student-athletes in non-revenue sports and at smaller schools are on scholarship, put in the same hours, and are under the same university control.  It will be interesting to see which group of college athletes follows in Northwestern football players’ footsteps.

There are two key dates coming up soon as this process moves forward.  Northwestern must file a list of eligible employees with the NLRB (Chicago) by April 2nd so that an election can take place regarding forming the union.  Then, Northwestern has until April 9th to file an appeal with the national NLRB in Washington, D.C.  It most certainly will do that, and where it goes from there is likely a long, windy road through the federal courts.

Northwestern football players won a victory today.  What remains to be seen is whether, upon further review, the decision is confirmed or reversed.


Follow Daniel at and @Daniel Hare.



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


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



Kansas State


# 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


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





# 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





# 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





# 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



Arizona State


# 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





# 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.



Weber St.


# 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.



Oklahoma St.


# 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



North Dakota State


# 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.


New Mexico St.


# 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





# 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





# 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





# 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





# 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

Weekly Q&A Series: Steve Barrick, Associate AD of Operations (Belmont University)

In an effort to provide aspiring sports business professionals with a deeper insight into the college athletic world, will be conducting weekly Q&A’s via email with industry professionals working in higher athletics. This week’s guest is Steve Barrick, Associate Athletic Director of Operations at Belmont University.

Check out the Q&A below and let us know what you think of Steve’s advice on Twitter. — When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in sports?

Steve Barrick — My junior year in college. I was pursuing an undergraduate degree in advertising and realized that I really missed the sports world. At the time, I was working in the Campus Recreation Department at WKU and loved being around sports as an administrator. — You obtained your undergraduate and graduate degree (both from Western Kentucky). Is a graduate degree necessary to work in collegeathletics? Or does it just depend on the position?
SB — In this day and time, I think a graduate degree is essential for job placement. The sports industry has just gotten too competitive. The graduate program curriculum should afford you significant opportunities to network and make needed contacts. — Did you intern/work for free/volunteer during your undergraduate/graduate career? If yes, where? How valuable were those experiences for you before obtaining your first job in sports?
SB — I did not volunteer or intern while in college. I worked for the WKU Campus Recreation Department in a couple of different roles from my sophomore year in college to the completion of my graduate program (Recreation Administration). — What do you do on a daily basis as the Associate AD of Operations at Belmont University? (can be brief). As a follow-up, how long have you been in your current position?
SB —  I have been an administrator in the Belmont University Athletic Department since the fall of 1998. In general, I oversee all athletic department operations on-campus and off-campus (Curb Event Center and the ES Rose Park Sport Fields Complex). Job responsibilities include but are not limited to coordinating team home schedules and times, game operations, liaison with BU Campus Security and BU Facility Management Services, scheduling of practices at Rose Park, coordinating maintenance, housekeeping and security at Rose Park, and liaison with Metro Park Administration. — When you’re looking at a prospective intern or a graduate assistant to have in your department, what types of qualities/skills are you looking for to make you want to say ‘I need this person on my team’?
SB — When looking at interns or GA’s, I look for experience and maturity first. I like individuals who are detailed oriented, know that they have to pay their dues, are team players, and understands that the sports industry does not work on a 9 – 5 work day. — For someone wishing to pursue a career in college athletics, what’s the one or two pieces of advice you’d give them?
SB — Network and get as much sports industry experience as possible.

Follow Mark on Twitter.

College Football Super-Division, Penn State and O’Bannon

I wanted to provide some brief thoughts on several hot topics in college sports today, so here we go:

College Football Super-Division

Back in February, I provided some analysis and predictions about the future of the NCAA.  Specifically I discussed the idea of four BCS super- conferences, the possible separation of those schools from the NCAA, and the possible creation of a new football division for the BCS schools.  The jury is still out on super-conferences (though things have stabilized for now with all but the SEC schools granting their television rights to their conferences), and defecting from the NCAA still doesn’t seem to have much momentum.  However the idea of a new football division is picking up steam.

The BCS schools, through the voice of their conference commissioners, are saying enough.  Their aggravated tone and sense of urgency leaps off the page.  No longer will they allow the simple majority of the “have-nots” to out vote them at every turn, on every initiative, and on anything they can’t or don’t want to pay for (stipends anyone?).  A fourth division is coming to an NCAA school near you, and it could be sooner rather than later.  Even the college athletics watchdog Knight Commission came out over the summer with a recommendation that the division be considered.

What does a fourth division mean?  Well, it depends.  Most importantly in my view, it restores some sanity to all Division I football programs and athletic departments.  The idea that schools in the Sun Belt or MAC are on playing the same game as those in the SEC or Pac-12 is ridiculous.  What’s worse, pressuring those schools, administrators, donors/alumni, coaches and athletes to compete with BCS level schools both on the field and in the financial arms race is unrealistic and harmful.

Penn State

The NCAA did something right this week by granting back some of Penn State’s scholarships taken away in the wake of the Sandusky debacle.  It simply had no business wading into criminal matters that it does not legislate; and while this certainly doesn’t make what it did to Penn State right, it provides hope there is at least some clear thinking going on today in Indianapolis.


As I’m writing this post, news is breaking that the O’Bannon plaintiffs have settled their dispute with two of the three defendants in the case, EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC).  It appears EA Sports will no longer produce its college football game, though the terms of the settlement were not yet disclosed.  This of course still leaves the NCAA as the lone defendant, and the case against it will presumably continue.

Those of you who have been following the Ed O’Bannon case probably know we’ve been waiting for the big ruling regarding whether or not the plaintiffs will be certified as a class (dramatically upping the stakes).  The hearing on this issue occurred in June, and since then we’ve seen several procedural tactics but nothing too critical to the ultimate outcome of the case.

This week we’ve also seen the NCAA beef up its legal team, as well comment they are prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court.  This isn’t too surprising at this point in the proceedings; and it will be interesting to see if the tough talk continues if/when the plaintiffs are certified as a class.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielHare and at