Monday, December 3, 2012
This past weekend was advertised as one of the most exciting in all of college football: Championship Weekend. Championships were won, trophies handed out, bowl berths earned, and commentary of 140 characters was plentiful. There were six championship games, three overtimes, and a blowout of historic proportions. Today, we know who won on the field but let’s take a look at the off-the-field winners – more specifically, the Twitter winners (Twinners?).
In this 2-part post, we'll analyze the Twitter profiles of the 12 championship contenders and their respective leagues’ presence in the Twitterverse.
The conferences that held championship games over the weekend were: the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Pacific 12 (Pac-12), Southeastern Conference (SEC), Big Ten, Mid-American Conference (MAC), and Conference USA (CUSA). Let’s look at the good, the bad and the hashtag-worthy that happened on the field of Twitter. (To be fair to all championship games, we’ve listed these in chronological order.)
Game: MAC Championship Game
Official Hashtag: #MACtion
Conference Champion: In true MAC fashion, NIU won an offensive shootout in double-overtime
Twitter Champion: The MAC is the little engine that could when it comes to social media marketing. #MACtion has been a conference effort for some time and has become one of the darlings of the Twitter-age within the sports industry. Just recently, the league looked to start profiting from this rally cry. On Thursday night, #MACtion even became a global trending topic. As far as these championship games go, this may be the best example of Twitter being used to boost the conference’s image and engagement. Kent State may have lost a heartbreaker, but on Twitter, there were no losers. The real winner here is the conference as a whole: #MACtion.
Game: PAC 12 Championship Game
Official Hashtag: #Pac12cfg
Conference Champion: Stanford will represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl after a 27-24 win
Twitter Champion: First, kudos to the Pac-12 for activating a webpage dedicated to the social media marketing effort of this game. However, unlike the game on the gridiron, this matchup was never close. But what else should we expect from a school stationed in Silicon Valley? Stanford, whose alumni base (194,626) is much smaller than UCLA’s (393,691), actually has a much larger Twitter following. With 17,519 followers and a very impressive Klout score of 71, @Stanfordfball blows out the competition which has a rather miniscule following of 6,221 – the smallest of any BCS conference team that we looked at. Advantage: Stanford.
Game: Conference USA Championship Game
Official Hashtag: #CUSAchamp
School Hashtags: #TulsaFB, none for UCF
Conference Champion: Tulsa won an overtime thriller 33-27
Twitter Champion: These are two of the smaller followings among the schools we analyzed, but they’re separated by just less than 800 followers. UCF sets the pace with 5,821 and a Klout score of 64. However, they’re marked down for not having an official hashtag to monitor conversations with their fans. The Twitter competition was just as close as the football game, but I have to give the advantage to Tulsa and their use of #TulsaFB.
As these games proved, Twitter can serve as an incredible tool in the viewing of live sports. An online community can gather, discuss and engage in a way that is unlike any other medium. When used properly, the audience is the true winner.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 when we analyze the SEC, ACC, and Big Ten Championships. We promise to share more winners, losers, and Twitter Champions.