Commentary

Cinderella BB's Boost School Brand and Web Traffic

Cinderella BB's Boost School Brand and Web Traffic

According to Hitwise, the ESPN.com Men's Basketball site experienced an increase in market share of visits by 77 percent among all sites compared to 2005, based on peak visits in 2006 and 2005 during the first week of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament.

The George Mason basketball team, though, was the big winner among viewers as the 11th-seeded team made it all the way to the Final Four before losing to Florida. The school's website saw an increase in market share of visits by 393 percent after they advanced to the Final Four, and the school's admissions site increased 151 percent the next day.

When looking at daily traffic for the opening day of the tournament:

  • ESPN.com Men's Basketball site experienced an increase in market share of visits of 155 percent on March 16, 2006 versus the 2005 opening day on March 17, 2005
  • MSN Fox Sports College Basketball site increased by 77 percent for the week ending March 18, 2006 compared to the same week last year
  • NCAA Sports site was up 42 percent in that period
  • Yahoo's College Basketball site which had the largest market share in 2005 among these sites, dipped by 7 percent compared to the previous year

Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research for Hitwise, said "As we analyze visits to the top college basketball sites for this year's championship, it's clear that ESPN's college basketball section was the run-away leader in market share. ... for George Mason University, it is also interesting to note that success on the court can significantly boost a school's brand.  I would be hard pressed to find a more effective publicity engine for George Mason than their 'Cinderella' run at the championship."

Before the tournament began, the term "george mason university" was ranked 182 in education institution searches. (four weeks ending March 11, 2006). 

Top Ranked Search Terms Resulting In Visits to the Education/Institutions Category (Four Weeks Ending April 1, 2005)

Rank

Search Term

Volume

1

MIA Format

0.11%

2

University Of Phoenix

0.09%

3

George Mason University

0.06%

4

Tuition

0.06%

5

UCLA

0.06%

6

BGSU.Edu

0.06%

7

Transcripts

0.05%

8

Employment

0.05%

9

University Of Washington

0.05%

10

MIA

0.04%

 Source:Hitwise U.S. Data

 For more information please visit Hitwise here.

 Errata

... Whoops, the headline in last week's Brief on April 6th would have been more accurate like this: A Million More new High Speed Internet Subscribers Added Than Were Added in the Previous Year. Ed

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