by Matt Kupec
March 16, 2019
It is the time of the year – March Madness – when the NCAA Men’s Tournament takes over the sports scene and dominates our time and attention with a dazzling display of collegiate basketball games with the focus on getting to the NCAA Final Four.
Last week I had the privilege of attending my first Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament. The MVC is one of the “mid-major” conferences, not quite considered at the level of the Power 5 Conferences (ACC, SEC, Pac-10, Big 12, and Big Ten.), but conferences that play outstanding basketball. Often a “cinderella” team emerges from one of the mid-major conferences and earns a trip to the Final Four.
Last year, Loyola of Chicago had the magical ride to the Final Four. Other mid-major teams that have gone to the Final Four in the last fifteen years include Butler (2010, 2011), Virginia Commonwealth University (2011), Wichita State (2013 as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference), Memphis (2008) and George Mason (2006).
It is widely believed that NCAA Basketball Success and a trip to the Final Four leads to significant increases in enrollment, fundraising and new national branding opportunities as the national media brings unprecedented marketing and publicity opportunities for these mid-major schools.
In this blog post I have researched whether these schools did experience significant fundraising success after a Final Four run. There are some good studies that have concluded to differing degrees what this March Madness success had done for these major schools in terms of enrollment and merchandising but I am looking solely at the fundraising performance……….