During NCAA run, Butler got $512M worth of free publicity

The recent success by the Butler University men’s basketball program certainly has been fun, but from a business standpoint, it shows that it isn’t just a game.

The university commissioned a study after the Bulldogs’ second consecutive trip to the NCAA men’s basketball Division I national championship game, and the publicity generated is astounding when put into a dollar amount.

“The incredible exposure the run to the final game generated goes well beyond the media monitoring report,” Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier said in a release. “This study is an indication of a very significant amount of publicity Butler has received through our athletics program.”

Borshoff conducted the study, which monitored and evaluated the media coverage of the basketball team from mid-March to mid-June. During that period, Butler garnered an estimated publicity value of $512,382,703 through television, print and online news coverage. When factoring in social media, the audience reach surpassed 69 billion.

“The story of our athletes and their accomplishments in the classroom, as well as on the court, exemplifies the true meaning of student-athlete,” Collier said. “That story has been carried to a much larger audience, thanks to the success of the Butler basketball team.”

The study estimated that the Bulldogs’ tournament run generated $60,378,084.41 in TV publicity value, $2,792,954.18 in print publicity value, and $449,211,664.31 in online publicity value. The study did not consider the publicity value of radio broadcasts or talk shows.

Just by playing in the title game, the publicity value was estimated at more than $2.2 million.

Overall, Butler basketball received nearly 10,000 mentions and reached an estimated audience of 1.4 billion.

By Tom Davis
The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Ind.