Final Four Media Exposure Worth More Than $555 Million to Wichita State

Released: 18-Mar-2014 12:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Wichita State University
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Newswise — Wichita State University's Partnership for the Advancement of Sport Management (PASM) recently completed a study measuring the national media impact of WSU's run to last year's Final Four and determined all print, broadcast and digital media exposure was worth more than $555 million to Wichita State.

That's a lot, especially considering WSU's entire annual budget is $291 million, or that it's 80 percent of Walmart's annual total ad spending.

It should be noted that the total is an estimated cost of exposure had Wichita State chosen to purchase the coverage.

The researchers in this study used a variety of methods and assumptions to generate a final estimated value of the exposure during the run to the Final Four. The final results are a conservative estimate and should be considered incomplete without the ability to track all mentions via clip services and monitor broadcasts for a complete assessment of on-screen logo and name usage.

"Our study validates the theory that Wichita State's appearance in the Final Four last year provided the university with a significant and distinct sample of media exposures on the national level," said Mike Ross, instructor in the Department of Sport Management and lead investigator on the study. "The NCAA Tournament is one of the most popular sporting events in our country, and that amount of attention allows the exposures to be so unique they are nearly invaluable from a cost perspective."

According to the report, Wichita State's run to the Final Four in 2013 was a tremendous success story for the university, and opened the front door of the school into a new level of exposure during March and early April.

A similar run in 2014 would likely garner even more exposure, thanks to continuous increases in advertising value during television broadcasts and the evolving digital world. Further studies on merchandise, admissions and other value to the university will continue to be forthcoming.

The PASM as established by WSU's Department of Sport Management last year. Its purpose is to serve as a resource regarding sport management knowledge and practice.

Final Four study facts

- 103 articles in the print media sample of national newspapers and Sports Illustrated

- 152 ESPN Sportcenter episode 'tags' for March Madness

- About 7.5 hours of national broadcast in-game coverage

- About 11.5 hours of appearances on nationally syndicated radio broadcasts that included at least 13 nationally broadcast interviews and five games lasting two hours each.

- An average of nearly 64 million search results for 'Shockers Final Four 2013' and nearly 57 million search results for 'Wichita State Final Four' on Google and Yahoo.

See the complete report.

In addition to the media impact study, Wichita State also reports:

- External visitors to WSU's main website normally peak midweek at 15,000 visitors per day. That number is now peaking at 21,000 midweek.

- Since mid-November, the main website is experiencing twice as many visits from Facebook compared to last year.

- During the Final Four last year, WSU's main Facebook site experienced a tenfold increase in users viewing posts, a twentyfold increase in likes and a total reach of 285,000 when the normal reach peaks around 10,000-20,000 daily.

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