In support of the Goizueta Marketing Communications Group, Manish and I have been asked to predict the game that generates the most “buzz” for each round of the NCAA tournament. By buzz we mean the most pre-game (the period 24 hours before tip-off) social media noise. From a marketing research perspective, this is an interesting endeavor. Social media has great promise as a marketing research tool as it provides a source of organic and unconstrained data on consumer opinion.
During each round, Manish and I will identify the game that we expect to generate the most fan interest and provide some logic for our choices. For example, in the first round my pick is the Kentucky-Kansas State matchup. From the UK side, I think this game will generate the most noise because Kentucky has probably the most unhinged and irrational fans (a nicer man would say passionate) in all of college basketball. These fans should be especially eager given last season’s early exit from the NIT. Kansas State also has a deep tradition, and the fans are likely to find the UK matchup intriguing. The matchup also includes coaches that embody the best and worst of college basketball. Manish’s first round pick is the Ohio State-Dayton matchup. Dayton basketball had the most loyal fan base among the non-major conferences in our previous study. The Ohio State University has a large following, and this is a matchup of two schools in the same state.
To assess buzz, we will use a social media monitoring tool called Topsy Pro to track all of the pre-game mentions on Twitter for each game. Click here to learn more about the buzz contest.