According to Meltwater, a media intelligence company, UMBC’s historic upset of number one seed Virginia generated an estimated $119 million in media exposure for the University (within 24 hours of the game); roughly 1/3 of the publicity value the school has received over the last 12 months. 37% of +/- 50,000 news stories mentioning the University over the last year, have been written since Friday night. Social media is abuzz too, with 87% of the school’s social media mentions within the last 12 months coming on Friday night or Saturday; as the UMBC athletic department built its twitter following 1,730% (as of 1p Sunday afternoon), from 5,000 to 91,500.
Howie Long-Short: The true value of the victory will be realized in the fall of 2019, when freshman enrollment is expected to swell. Noteworthy upsets at Georgia State (enrollment +28.5% in Fall ’16, beat #14 Baylor in March ’15) and Middle Tennessee State University (enrollment +16.9% in Fall ’17, beat #2 Michigan State in March ’16) provide guidance in terms of what can be expected; though, the distinction of becoming the first #16 seed to win an NCAA tournament game will give UMBC a “longer tail than your usual upset.” 1,772 freshman enrolled at UMBC in August 2017. If the school just manages to match MTSU’s enrollment increase, conceivable considering Butler increased enrollment 43% following it’s run to the ‘10 finals, it would add +/- 300 students. With in-state tuition over $5,700/semester, the win is worth a minimum of $3.5 million/year to the University.
Fan Marino: Jairus Lyles is UMBC’s best player. He hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer in the conference championship game to send UMBC into the dance, scored 28 points in their win over UVA and a team high 12 points in Sunday night’s close loss to KSU; but, no one has gotten more attention following Friday night’s win than Zach Seidel, the man behind the twitter account. Seidel, who lacked a strategy going into the game (he’s doesn’t usually handle the Twitter account for men’s basketball), has since been interviewed by everyone from The New York Times to CNN to Slam Magazine.
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