.Joyce Julius & Associates Feature Article
.............. Growing The Temple Brand: Football Exposure Valued at $38 Million
The date: December 3, 2016. It's the American Athletic Conference Championship … ABC on hand to nationally televise the Temple/Navy matchup … and over 2.0 million viewers are watching.
The date: December 27, 2016. An estimated 2.1 million viewers tune in to ESPN to watch the Military Bowl – as Temple takes on Wake Forest.
When a football team is on network television, the school logo is shown repeatedly to a national audience. There's the band … the cheerleaders … the spectators … flags … sideline banners … end zone identification. The name of the institution is constantly referenced – and prominently displayed – on the TV screen.
The numbers for those two games – 2.0 million and 2.1 million – are large.
But the following is staggering: Over a four-month timespan from September 1, 2016-January 2, 2017, Temple received more than 880 million impressions through print media coverage, Internet news stories, television news coverage – to go with five nationally televised football appearances.
From a pure marketing, branding and exposure position, those 880 million impressions – the interaction between a piece of content and an audience member – are akin to the amount of people who could be seeing and hearing the Temple name. The name, the logo, the brand … Temple was getting its name out there nationally, regionally and locally.
From a football standpoint, the appearances in conference championship games and bowl games speak for themselves. But from the institution's viewpoint, it's about the fan base and the alumni base and recruiting future students. It's about getting the university's message across – and the Temple brand has received an enormous boost over the last two years.
What is the value of having a major college football program? What does media exposure provide?
Cutting to the chase, every time the Temple football team is mentioned, the institution is mentioned. The university benefits from its association to the football program in generating the kind of national and regional exposure that wouldn't happen without it.
The two are linked and go together in complete unity. Experts in academia will tell you that there is intrinsic value that comes with college sports.
"Particularly with the high-profile sports – football and basketball – athletics brings all sorts of touch points," said Dr. Andy Gillentine, associate dean of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina. Specifically within his own continued research, he looks at different aspects of college sport. "Consider the idea that Temple will have a football game this weekend on ESPN or ABC or CBS. Leading up to the game, there are 30-second commercials being run. If that spot runs twice a day for six days, the university won't be spending that kind of money to have Temple's name just pop up on the screen. So it raises that level of brand awareness, which can be very valuable from the academic standpoint to the athletic standpoint.
"That brings the thought of Temple University to the forefront of their thoughts. Even if it's not someone who's going to stop and watch the game, you hear Temple – and you hear the name in a positive connotation. The advertising, the television exposure, it's positive regardless of the result of the actual game."
Dr. Michael Sagas, a professor and department chair in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida, said that "the low fruit in the relationship is the co-branding opportunity." The athletic department gets a lot more visibility to a general public consumer of the university and to a prospective student.
"Branding works both ways, in my opinion," said Sagas, who serves the University of Florida as the Faculty Athletics Representative to both the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference. He studies sport management and organizations from a sociological perspective. "The presumed relationship is that – if the athletic department is doing well – the brand equity that was developed or created rubs off on the university. It improves the presumed stature and the perception and quality of the university. It works both ways; if academics are doing well as far as rankings or faculty rankings or whatever we tell our stories with – especially when we're talking student-athletes – they just assume that it's a great academic institution. Therefore, the athletic department also provides a great academic and athletic experience for them to grow as an athlete and as a student."
Sagas also spoke to the importance of athletics as an entertainment platform for the general student body.
"Getting students to campus is one thing; keeping them here is just as critical nowadays," he said. "Retention and graduation rates … there is a comprehensive, complex effort to keep students well and happy, and entertainment is part of it.
"Athletics provide an excellent opportunity to let students come together and have a good time. Relax a little bit … get away from the academic rigors of campus. It creates a common group identity, which is great for new students. It's part of the socialization process of students when they get to campus. Football is in the fall, and it's usually the first touchpoint new students will have with the institution. You see all these people rooting for the same team, wearing the same color. It helps with feeling a common bond with the university. It's definitely an entertainment piece, but it shouldn't be underestimated. It is important to the overall well-being of the student experience on campus."
College athletics provide a platform to reach fans, alumni and individuals around the country and around the world. A lot of universities are known – or have had awareness generated for them – because of the success and exposure of their athletic programs. Sport opens people's eyes as to what an institution does as a whole.
And what's the offshoot of those impressions? Engagement – with the fan base, the alumni base and in the recruiting of students.
"I think there are a variety of functions and benefits for what having a college football program does for an institution," said Dr. Jeremy S. Jordan, the director of Temple University's Sport Industry Research Center and an associate professor in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Jordan also serves as the university's NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, helping ensure the academic integrity of intercollegiate athletic programs. "No. 1, it exposes a larger group – a larger geographic region – to the brand. For instance, my son lives on the West Coast. A lot of what he knows about Temple – especially before I got here – was what he saw on television or what he read in the paper or what he saw on ESPN. It helps provide exposure to groups that are not familiar with the institution.
"There's very little activity that a university can promote that brings such a disparate group of people together – faculty, staff, alumni, community members, people from different academic groups on campus, and people with different socio-economic or ethnicity or other diversity characteristics."
Sport – or in this case, football – has the ability to provide a common connection. It becomes part of the tradition, part of the university culture in institutions.
"I think more than anything, college athletics – especially football at most schools, though Indiana and Kentucky, among others, would argue more for basketball – brings about a strong sense of community," said Dr. Brian Turner, associate professor of Sport Management at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on organizational behavior, with a primary context being intercollegiate athletics. Turner has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and made over 80 presentations at national and international conferences. "In sport marketing research, you hear about self-esteem enhancement – why we say 'we' when the team we follow wins, even though we don't play.
"Alums, current students, and faculty/staff feel a strong sense of pride when the university football team does well. If someone ever attended or worked at a university, they will always have that connection. University events – homecoming, tailgates, away and bowl trips – are often centered on football games. Would many of our alums return to campus for homecoming without a football game? I'm not so sure."
Whether it's football or basketball or anything that gets an institution on the national stage and garners attention, one enormous benefit is that it allows the university to recruit students. The key for any university is to get in touch with as many potential students as it can.
"As someone looks at it and sees the brand extension, I know the way we try to get a measure on the value of athletics and athletic exposure is purely on the number of applicants that come into the school," Gillentine said. "Over the years, we can see that as a program has been successful in gathering more exposure, it can be generalized to say that it falls under the curve or the spike in the number of applications. And particularly if you are winning and you are getting the high exposure levels, you can expect to see a spike in the application numbers.
"The spike in applications has multiple positive academic benefits for the university. One, of course, is if you're trying to drive enrollment up, you have a much larger pool of potential candidates. If you're trying to drive up quality, it only makes sense that as the pool increases, so does the number of better applicants – kids with higher scores. So you get a larger pool of higher quality applicants to choose from to allow admissions. If you have a much larger pool and you maintain your academic admissions standards, then your acceptance level goes down – which says that it gets harder and harder to get into your school because of the qualifications. All of those things help make it more competitive to get in, and that's attractive to people.
"People want to know that to get into a university, they have to work really hard to make sure they can make that cutoff because it's hyper-competitive. That's a positive win for the university."
Gillentine was quick to point out that you have to be careful, though, when discussing enrollment increases. Institutions have full-time people driving enrollment, and they shouldn't be marginalized by saying that a winning football or basketball program does this for the institution.
"Athletics can be the front porch for an institution – but academics always comes first," he said. "The front porch is not your home. It's not everything, but it's the inviting piece that makes you pay attention. And then you better have everything ready for when you get these extra feelers of interest. You better have good information, good materials, a good reputation, and unique programs ready to show them. The front porch looks good, but the inside looks even better."
Coming off the football team's success in 2015, Temple's athletic department was very confident about a repeat performance in 2016.
Before the commencement of the 2016 season, Temple commissioned a Media Exposure Analysis study with Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc . – an Ann Arbor, MI-based independent research company that measures and analyzes all forms of media. The company's methodology takes into consideration size, location, brand clutter and integration factors. In other words, they measure how much brands or sponsors get from being associated with whatever sport they're involved in.
"I believe in the power of analytics and in the consideration of facts and data in the decision-making process," said Director of Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft. "As an organization, we are always seeking ways to improve and this powerful analysis provides concrete evidence of where we have been to help guide where we need to go. We have always believed in the strength of the Temple brand but now we have the evidence to back it up. And I can only imagine the greater reach we would have had in 2015 with the additional exposure from ESPN's College Game Day and national TV games against Notre Dame and Penn State. As a Department, we are gratified to know that we are doing our small part in telling the Temple University story nationwide."
Joyce Julius looked at the quantitative exposure Temple University received during the recent college football season. Impressions and exposure values stemming from national television, television news, Internet news and print media were included within the report.
Along with the television viewership numbers from five overall nationally televised games – nearly 6.6 million sets of eyes – the Joyce Julius research showed that there were:
6,871 articles mentioning Temple University resulting in over 600 million impressions on Internet news platforms – including stories on industry leading sites like NYTimes.com, Sports.Yahoo.com, ESPN Online, Finance.Yahoo.com and WashingtonPost.com.
1,545 newspaper articles about Temple – an estimated 200 million impressions – including stories in the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Post.
940 mentions as part of television news coverage – with Temple referenced by TV stations in 32 states.
"We look at how much media is generated, and then we place an exposure value to give insight as to what kind of impact is made with it," said Eric Wright, the president and executive director of research for Joyce Julius. "With the games on TV, we're trying to see how long the brand was up on the screen. For everything else, we're trying to see how many eyeballs saw it – and then place a value on it."
Exposure value is translated to what it would cost the university to be buying that type of ad time
"It's a big number, but you have to imagine that there probably isn't a retail brand that has enjoyed as much on-screen time cumulatively during a course of a football season as a football program does," Wright said. "You have to think about a game broadcast, where a team is averaging about two hours of on-screen time during that game coverage. You'd have to buy a lot of TV commercials to come up with two hours' worth."
Joyce Julius has a digital tracking system that goes through a game telecast and finds visual references to Temple. Once those references are located, a digital measurement drills down to get specific information – such as the size of a logo in relation to the rest of the screen, and the placement of the logo. The system also tracks if other competing sources for the attention of the viewer were present.
"We go frame-by-frame throughout the telecast to see how long Temple identity or Temple branding is present," Wright said. "We track that, and we have a scientific way of putting a value on that – an exposure value – and we're comparing it to a cost of a commercial during that particular telecast."
For TV, they're literally measuring how long the image is on screen and then comparing it to advertising rates – knowing that a commercial is sold in 30-second increments.
Conversely, when referencing traditional newspaper media, Internet news and TV – such as highlight clips on national shows like SportsCenter and coverage by local affiliates – they're looking at the potential number of eyeballs that might have seen the messaging.
"From those four components – with slightly different methodologies for each one – we get a sense for how much exposure was generated during the course of the football season," Wright said.
As a reminder, from September 1 through one week after the December bowl appearance, Temple received over 10,000 mentions/articles thanks to TV coverage/newspapers/Internet news – plus five nationally televised games with an estimated 6,599,000 home viewers. The exposure value for the university, according to Joyce Julius' research, was over $38 million.
"Temple cannot afford to purchase that level of exposure on a national level. It would just be too costly to buy that amount of advertising time," Temple's Jordan said.
"Temple University is a brand. When the football team is on television, it's a way to promote the brand and communicate the mission of the institution and what the institution stands for. It was more than just a game or two. What that meant in terms of the commentary that was being had at the national media level about Temple – its football program, the university, Philadelphia in general – all benefitted because of this. It provided a definite opportunity for Temple as a university to receive exposure through its athletic program."
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