April 1, 2011

Butler Reaps Publicity Value From Final Four Run

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- As the Butler men’s basketball team prepares for its second consecutive appearance in the national semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, the University has already reaped a windfall in the area of publicity.  A study commissioned by the Butler athletic department found that last year’s NCAA Tournament run generated well in excess of 600 million dollars in publicity value.

Utilizing media firms Borshoff and Meltwater, Butler’s athletic department tracked print, television and online publicity generated by the Bulldogs’ march to last year’s NCAA national championship game.  The study covered the period from March to December, 2010.

The results of the study showed that Butler’s 2010 NCAA Tournament bid resulted in $639,273,881.82 in publicity value for the University!  That figure included $100,000,000 in publicity value from the CBS broadcast of Butler’s national title game against Duke.

“The big story here is that the quality of Butler University has been revealed to a nationwide audience through the success of our men’s basketball team,” said Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier.  “This incredible amount is exposure was earned on the court by our team and that is a credit to Coach Brad Stevens and the men's basketball team.”

The lengthy study found that the Butler men’s basketball team generated $10,416,108.72 in print media publicity value and $72,991,373.09 in television publicity value, beyond the national championship game broadcast.  In addition, Butler received $455,866.400.01 in on-line/internet publicity value.  The total publicity included 68,192 hits and 24,374,672,262 impressions!  The study did not examine the additional publicity value of radio broadcasts.

“We did the study well after the fact, and it only included the value of one tournament game,” noted Collier.  “The values included only the media hits that our firm was able to track months after the tournament, which means the publicity value could be even higher.”

The publicity value study quantified yet another impact of Butler’s 2010 Final Four appearance.  The University also experienced significant increases in enrollment, ticket sales, merchandise sales, and charitable giving.  Applications to Butler rose 41% and men’s basketball season ticket sales increased by 25%.  Sales of Butler athletic merchandise and donations to the athletic department both reached all-time highs.  

The Butler athletic department has already commissioned a study to look at this year’s Final Four tournament run.  The study is tracking stories as they occur, which will yield a more accurate final value.