Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Welcome!  We are four Virginia Tech communication majors.  We are writing this blog for our New Communication Technology class, where our group is focusing on men's and women's sports in today's media.  We will focus on college basketball and the differences in coverage over mediums such as social media, news outlets, mobile applications and television.  We will compile research from the past and present documenting the current state of college basketball in today's world of instant information thirst.

Some of our findings which will go into detail in later blog posts, will help advertising and marketing companies to focus their efforts to a specific target audience.  It is our hope that gender bias gap will be reduced not only in men's and women's basketball but, for all collegiate sports. 

We will examine past and current research to form our own content analysis based on gender bias.  The information we have found is coming through scholarly research articles, major world publications, other blogs, social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  A supplemental newsletter will be posted for your future reference about this topic. 
"Be positive and work hard.  I think it's possible to overcome anything, if you're willing to work at it" - Sheryl Swoopes, three-time WNBA MVP
"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be" - John Wooden. 

You May Like College Basketball, but Do You "Like" It on Facebook?

Facebook is becoming a different medium for fans to track their favorite college basketball programs.

Facebook Growth and Use

The story of Facebook is well-known. Mark Zuckerberg dreamed up the idea in his Harvard dorm room and has since turned it into a social media juggernaut. From their offices in Paulo Alto, CA, programmers for Facebook are constantly revising the site and adding new features for users. The number of users continues to grow as interest in the new capabilities of Facebook spread.

In 2010, Facebook surpassed 500 million users. Growing from the 1 million reported unique users in 2005(Clemmitt, 2010). Needless to say, Facebook is here to stay. The age demographic using social networking sites is changing too. According to research done by Mary Madden and Aaron Smith at the Pew Research Center, in 2010, 86% of young adults reported using social networking sites. These statistics are not as surprising as the figures related to the older demographic. According to the same research, the biggest growth occurred from 2009 to 2010 in users ages 56-64. Half of American Internet users in this demographic are using social networking sites, and a quarter of Americans over the age of 65 are using the sites.
Facebook is the dominate social networking website. Facebook has three times the amount of users as its closest competitor Twitter(Clemmitt, 2010). Therefore, Facebook is a viable option for people to follow their favorite basketball teams, communicate with other fans, and garner even more interactive collegiate basketball information than ever before. 

Ways People Can Use Facebook to Follow College Basketball

There are a number of ways people can follow their favorite college basketball teams on Facebook. The most prominent use is through “fan pages.” All types of businesses use these sites to attract followers to their product, disseminate promotional material, and help build product recognition. Essentially when athletic conferences or teams create fan pages, they provide constant news updates, videos, press releases, scores, pictures, and a forum for fans to either communicate with each other or show their support. People show their support by clicking the "Like" button on Facebook. The average Facebook user becomes a fan of four different pages a month(New Zealand Herald, 2010).  

There are other ways fans can interact with and follow college basketball on Facebook. Advertising companies are beginning to spend a great deal of money on Facebook ads. In 2010, Facebook believes it will generate more than $1.4 billion in ads(Clemmitt, 20101). Advertisements on Facebook can target consumers through their “favorite” things listed on their profiles. Therefore, these ads tend to, “make us buy thing we don’t realize we want(New Zealand Herald, 2010).” Another way college basketball information appears on Facebook is through different “groups.” The group is a similar idea to a fan page, but is not really as officially maintained as a fan page and is more of discussion forum for a particular event, rather than a consistent source of information no matter what time during the year. Groups are a way for supporters to come together for a certain cause or a way to share information quickly with one another and then delete the group.

Bias on Facebook

Before I began researching different fan pages and information on Facebook, I thought that all the information would be heavily weighted toward men’s college basketball. After doing several extensive searches for NCAA March Madness, Women’s College Basketball, Men’s College Basketball, and Final Four, my results revealed a much different reality. 

A search for NCAA March Madness showed a fan page for “NCAA Men’s Basketball March Madness.” The page had 200,822 likes as of April 12th, 2011 and was well kept with a great deal of activity on the page. I found a fan page titled, “NCAA Women’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament,” with only 29 likes and almost not activity. This search of the recent march tournament was proving my initial hypothesis true that information and coverage of college basketball would be more heavily favored toward men’s, but I decided to search further on the site. 

I tried a search for the main network that covered the basketball tournaments, CBS. I found the CBS College Sports Network Facebook page and it 9,831 likes. The site was more heavily favoring men’s sports. There were 13 videos on the page, and 5 of them pertained to men’s basketball and only 1 was about women’s basketball. As I continued searching Facebook I realized that by searching Women’s College Basketball and Men’s College Basketball, several different fan pages occurred from a variety of schools. Schools ranging from Division I, II, and III all had fan pages. In fact, women’s fan pages overall were much better maintained, had more recent activity, more information, and more likes than the men’s. The women’s pages used a variety of video to add to the news and many claimed that they were the “official page,” of the particular teams. The men’s had several different fan pages that were not well maintained and very few claimed that they were the “official page.” It seemed like this was one of the primary ways for some of the smaller schools to share news with their fans. For example, a search of “Women’s College Basketball,” returned a top hit to Loras Women’s College Basketball’s fan page. Loras is a small Division III college in Dubuque, Iowa. The page as 2,000 likes. There was no page for Loras men’s basketball. 

I decided to compare some of the schools with top men’s and women’s teams to see what kind of presence they had on Facebook. I compared teams from University of Connecticut, Notre Dame, Duke University, and University of Louisville. The results I found heavily favored women’s college basketball. The only official men’s page of these schools was Duke. The UConn women’s official page had 14, 323 likes and was well maintained. There was no official page for UConn Men’s. There was a men’s page for Notre Dame Men’s, but it did not say it was the official page and was not maintained well at all. The page did still have 2,633 likes on it. The Notre Dame women’s page had 1, 488 likes and was an official page with a significant amount of updates and discussion on it. Duke men’s and women’s pages both claimed to be official and were equally maintained containing constant updates and solid information. The women’s page had 2,447 likes, and the men’s had 19, 588. 

I then wanted to see what kind of coverage the Atlantic Coast Conference dedicated to both men’s and women’s basketball. I found a page dedicated to just women’s basketball in the ACC that was well maintained. I was not able to find a similar page dedicated just to men’s ACC college basketball. I did find the ACC fan page, this provided equal coverage to both men’s and women’s basketball, as well as the other collegiate sports in the conference. I found this site interesting and a compelling way to deliver information to fans who are interested in several different types of sports. 


My findings lead me to believe that there is a market on Facebook for fans to interact and gather information on their favorite teams. Right now, women’s teams have the most prominence on Facebook in regards to fan pages. If schools knew this, I feel like they would dedicate a lot of support to their women’s athletics fan pages because these are the pages people are going to. Also, if the men’s basketball teams put more energy into their official fan pages I believe they would gain thousands of followers, as seen on the Duke men’s basketball fan page. I also believe this information could be vital to advertisers, because people are actually viewing these pages on a daily basis and they could further narrow their ads to meeting certain niche areas. 

"Discipline is not a nasty word." - Pat Riley
"We do not win championships with girls. We win with competitors." - Pat Summitt

Coverage Growth, or maybe loss?

There's no question about it that women's college basketball has less media coverage than men's college basketball, and it's been this way since the recognition of organized women's college basketball.  Coverage has changed over the years and you'd think it would show growth the entire time as women's basketball became more exciting to viewers, but no.  Coverage has been up and down and up and down for the women's sport.  More recently the coverage has gone down, which seems odd since the games played have been more and more important and interesting to viewers and fans.

In the most recent findings about coverage changes,  a blogger posted statistics about growth and loss.  "The 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship game on ESPN was seen by an average of 3,831,000 viewers (P2+), up eight percent from last year’s average of 3,531,000, according to Nielsen.
 The game which featured two No. 2 seeds and saw Texas A&M capturing its first-ever title in the sport with a 76-70 victory over Notre Dame earned a 2.8 rating, a four percent increase from the 2010 rating of 2.7. A year ago, Connecticut won its seventh title with a 53-47 victory over Stanford.
Overall, the tournament viewership on ESPN increased 16 percent to 1,878,000 people from 1,629,000 in 2010. The rating was also up eight percent with a total of 12 games earning a 1.4 compared to 2010’s 1.3 rating" (Is It Good for Women's Basketball?, Wordpress blog).
So this shows that in the very recent times, coverage is growing. But let's look at a few more recent years' worth.   In 2009, ratings took a hit.  As the blog post by Jim Fuller in Elm City to Eagleville mentioned, the 2008 ratings were up 15% higher than the 2009 ratings, despite the actual 2009 tournament higher excitement and built interest.

A Washington Post article by Drape and Glier talked about why women's basketball coverage showed growth.  "The seminal moment in women's basketball might have been the 2002 national final, when UConn defeated Oklahoma. It remains the most watched college game -- men's or women's -- in ESPN's 25-year history" (Drape & Glier, College Basketball: A more grounded women's game is gaining). The authors described that women's games attendance rose by 16% from 2003 to 2004, compared to men's games attendance only rising 5%.

Finally, Mike Messner has studied coverage for different sports comparing genders and amount of coverage, and Messner fully supports the need for the growth of women's coverage. In an interview with the blog author of The Notion's The Dramatic Drop in Women's Sport Coverage: An Interview with Mike Messner, Messner says, "ESPN has done a pretty good job over the last few years of actually covering women's games in the tournament. But it doesn't appear very much on Sportscenter and it doesn't appear at all on the evening news. So what they're missing is a growing market for really interested and excited fans." Messner also drops numbers of actual attendees at the women's and men's games, and how there are plenty of fans for women, so the sports channels and news networks that pick up coverage for the tournaments and games must consider a broader target audience.  People want to watch it, but the networks aren't giving viewers enough information or places to find the games.

So as we've seen, women's college basketball loses and gains coverage growth, in a seemingly random pattern.  Despite the amount of interest for last year's NCAA Women's championship, the viewings had lost numbers than the previous, less interesting championship game.  But this year's 2011 NCAA Women's championship gained viewers and coverage.

Just like in our previous blog posts on our page, we've noted how the need to lessen the gap between men's and women's college basketball coverage.  Fans have commented on how they want to see more, and research has clearly proven that it's realistic.  Now it's up to the networks to meet the needs of their target audience and actually go beyond the minimum that their audience is looking for.

“You develop a team to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. All of us alone are weaker, by far, than if all of us are together.” -Coach K, Duke men's basketball head coach

"You have to demand things and believe you're worth more. And once you do demand them, you're usually going to get them." -Sue Wicks

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Marketing Support: the Glass Ceiling in Sports

In the past ten years the endorsement of Title IX has increased the possibility of women athletics; since 2000, the number of women athletes has increased from 14,445 to 15,423. Despite these numbers, 53 public universities’ women’s basketball teams had a deficient of $109.7 million in the past year, while men profited $240 million. What is causing this large difference?

            As stated in a previous blog post, the media coverage between men and women’s college basketball is significantly unequal. While the NCAA men’s tournament signed a 14-year $10.8 billion contract with CBS Sports Inc. and Time Warner, the women’s basketball tournament shares a 11-year $163 million contract with 21 other championships on ESPN. However, the cause of these differences is merely a cause-and-effect relationship. Throughout the 2010 NCAA Basketball tournaments, the men’s championship game between Duke and Butler brought in $23.9 million, but the women’s game between Connecticut and Stanford profited a mere $3.5 million. Why would media outlets chose to cover women’s sports over men’s? The profit lose simply would be unwarranted. 

            In correlation to media coverage, marketer support derives from the amount of coverage an event, sport, or team acquires. Last year CBS reported that the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament grossed over $614 million in advertising sales revenue—making the tournament the only close competition to NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl for most dollars per advertisements. In comparison to the 2010 NCAA Men’s Tournament, the NFL grossed $793 million during the postseason, and the NBA $417 million in ad sales.
To back up the lack of advertising in women’s sports, a Harris Poll, which surveyed adults on their favorite basketball team (both men and women), found that of the respondents only 7% watched women’s basketball, while 23% viewed men’s and 34% followed college football. According to Pamela Creedon, author of Mediasport, “whatever the truth, the relationship between marketplace considerations and mass media content is particularly obvious in sport […] the power of the sports page to attract readers and advertisers cannot be denied.”
            Perhaps in attempt to ease the inequality of coverage between men and women’s NCAA Basketball, NCAA only allows sponsors to contribute to the sport in general. Despite the investments from General Motors, Coca Cola, AT&T, Domino’s and Capital One, NCAA Women’s basketball teams remain struggling to keep their head above water.

            But, what is there to do?

            Recently, the NCAA has begun programs in effort to boost team fans, thus increasing coverage and advertising sales. For the past few years, NCAA challenged women’s basketball teams across the nation to “Pack the House.” In this intercollegiate competition, schools are awarded prizes for a sell-out game during the basketball season (October 2, 2010 to March 6, 2011). This year 33 teams were awarded $500 as donation to a non-profit of their choice, and of the 33 teams one team’s marketing program received additional incentives. This program is an attempt to gain fan’s attention to come out to the games.
            In addition, as a grass-root level, the NCAA has established a three-year program of grants for women basketball teams. According to the Grant Program application, the objective of the program is to:
             provide NCAA support for Division I institutions and conferences in the
development and implementation of targeted marketing plans to increase
attendance in Division I women’s college basketball programs.

Currently, the program is offering grants from $15,000 to $100,000; however, the program is in the final year. As a successful story, the Columbia women’s basketball program received grants two of the past three years. From these contributions, the program implemented numerous of marketing strategies, advertising plans, and grade-school programs. As a result, Columbia watched women’s basketball attendance rise from 5,731 in 2007 to 7,992 in 2010.
            Lastly, sports fans have been pushing the NCAA to fight for a television contract strictly for women’s basketball. Bernadette McGlade, an Atlantic 10 Conference commissioner and a former coach and player, fully supports this idea no matter how small a contract as a starting point to help women’s basketball popularity grow within media coverage. As he states, Kentucky has forced their women’s team as a priority, thus increasing their attendance by 5,000 in 8 years and increasing ticket prices from $20 to $45.
            Whatever is to come in the future for women’s basketball will be a struggle. If women’s suffrage occurred in 1920, Title IX passed in 1972, and the first championship basketball tournament in 1982, when will women’s basketball truly be an equal to men’s? As stated in Sports Marketing:

             surefire plans for creating a bigger fan base in women’s sports linger on the shelf
because the limited funds go into promoting the traditional “revenue” sports (usually men’s sports) that have historically helped to fund everyone else. Even though shifting money to a promotion of women’s sports might result in a greater revenue yield, the risks seem too great.

What are you Tweeting about?

What’s with the Twitter buzz?
Social Media is one of the fastest growing phenomena’s on the Internet.  Through web sites such as Facebook and Twitter, people have access to breaking news more quickly then ever.  Twitter has grown exponentially since its inception five years ago. 

Sports fans in particular have the opportunity to follow not only their favorite players and writers but, they have a chance to get involved in the process as well.  Through twitter, sports fans can tweet to their followers about anything they want.  The average fan has the chance to get involved, criticizing the way a player is playing or how a coach is coaching.  Through twitter, the fans can perhaps express something they wouldn’t normally say in person in an online community.  

How was social media used in the NCAA tournament?
In Early April, the men’s and women’s college basketball championships were played.  Before the championship tournaments started, a study was released by the IMRE Sports conducted by the Harris Interactive about how the American public would utilize Twitter during the men’s tournament.  The study revealed that nearly “one in four online American adults (23%) will be using some form of social media to follow the tournament.” (PR News Wire, 2010).  It was also revealed that those with higher incomes, which the study defined as $75K+ and college graduates would be more likely to use mobile applications and Twitter.

The study then broke down how people would use the social media site.  (PR News Wire, 2010)

  • 62% will use social media channels specifically to check the scores
  • 44% will use them to watch the games
  • 44% will use them to follow their favorite team/college
  • 40% will use them to follow their own bracket/other gaming purposes
  • 19% will utilize social media channels to follow their favorite player/coach

What did we find out?
A week after the women’s championship game, we went on Twitter and searched specific topics catered to the championships.  The terms we searched were #MarchMadness, #NCAA, #NCAAM and #NCAAW.  Before starting the inventory of the terms we believed that there would be more tweets related to #MarchMadness and #NCAAM. 

When we searched for the subject #MarchMadness none of the tweets dealt with college basketball.  All of the tweets that mentioned #MarchMadness dealt with the NCAA hockey tournament that just wrapped up earlier.  So therefore, this topic does not apply to what we were looking at. When we searched #NCAA we had a very similar problem.  We had a sample of 100 tweets, the first 100 on the page and most were regarding football or the hockey championship.  Out of the 100 tweets only 13 were related to men’s or women’s college basketball.  From those 13, only 2 were related to women’s basketball. 

The only two terms left to search were #NCAAM and #NCAAW.  We specifically narrowed these two topics down because they usually relate to college basketball.  After completing the searches, the results were way different then what we were expecting.  One week after the conclusion of the college basketball season there were only 22 tweets that came up when searching for #NCAAM.  All of the tweets were from a broadcaster with the username of @WishFeeder.  When searching #NCAAW however, we found many more tweets.  There were 59 tweets about women’s college basketball. Like with the men’s search, most of the tweets came from a broadcaster with the user name of @hoopsfeed. 

So what does this mean?
Although we were surprised that the women were much more dominant with the social networking scene, we really shouldn’t have been.  As mentioned above, the two dominant tweets from both the #NCAAM and #NCAAW feeds were from broadcasters.  Through broadcasting, the writers can get their stories out and appeal to a mass audience that is interested in a particular topic.  Also, in an industry that is “dying” like the newspaper industry, most of the stuff that would normally have been in newspapers has moved online.  Through Twitter, writers can now “microblog” what they believe is important to his or her followers.  The trick is making sure the tweet stays under 140 characters. 
“Communication does not always occur naturally, even among a tight-knit group of individuals. Communication must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one.” - Mike Krzyzewski
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" - John Wooden 

espnW: No Boys Allowed

So What is espnW?
In December of 2010, ESPN – the worldwide leader in sporting program -  introduced a new outlet to reach a targeted segmented: women.  The new website launched, espnW is a web site extension of  www.espn.com .  The format of the website is a blog with hopes that the web site will be “Dedicated to women’s sports that specifically caters to the female fans of those sports”.  (Media Strut, 2010) The company is hoping to eventually spread to the format of television, depending on how popular the blog becomes with its targeted audience.  The target audience for this new experiment is women between the ages of 18 and 24.  The blog currently has the capabilities to stream videos online and the ability to share certain content via mobile phones. 

Laura Gentile, the vice president of espnW has high hopes for the new sub brand for the company.  She believes that if the web site is able to appeal to the target audience that these women will become more engulfed in sports for years to come.  “The idea is potentially cultivating this fan base of women’s sports fans, where 10 years from now, girls are growing up truly feeling like ESPN is made for them and ESPN is truly their brand,” Gentile said in an interview with the New York Times. (Kim, 2010). 

Who are watching sports?
In a recent New York Times article, it was revealed that women “make up 44 percent of football fans, 45 percent of baseball fans and 36 percent of professional men’s basketball fans.” (Kim, 2010). The New York Times received this information the different sporting leagues like the NFL, MLB, and NBA.  Later on in the article it was revealed that women make up nearly a quarter of ESPN’s total viewership. 

While there is strong evidence that women are watching sports, they are not necessarily watching women’s sports, or not on ESPN at least.  In 2009, just 1.4 percent of the airtime on ESPN was devoted to women’s sports.  That is down from a decade earlier, when 2.2 percent of the airtime was devoted to women’s sports.  In 2010, just 8 percent of ESPN’s on air programming was spent on women’s sports.  (Kim, 2010)

What are others saying about espnW?
Since it’s debut five months ago, espn W has received mixed reviews.  Surprisingly though, most of the reviews have been negative.   One of the criticisms of the web site is how the company is trying to reach out to women.  EspnW claims that it is trying to reach out to women who are interested in sports and yet the brand tweets about clothing. (Example: Fancy Lulu! See you soon. RT @WhitBenj: Only a few more hours until the @espnW retreat! What's a girl to wear? Dress up my @lululemon?)

Another main criticism is that if women are true sports fans, they should not have a different form of espn specifically catered to their needs.  As one blogger wrote "Women already HAVE an ESPN. It's called ESPN." In other words, women who like sports can just watch sports—they don't need a special channel to feed them coverage or make sports more palatable.” (Dicaro).

It remains to be seen if espn W will survive and if they will keep the same format of regenerating stories that are appealing to female fans.  
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." -John Wooden
"I'm strong, I'm tough, I still wear my eyeliner." - Lisa Leslie

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We're not the only ones talking about it

What Others are Saying

It has become evident to us, with even more research, that the men’s and women’s college basketball scene are those of two different worlds that receive two totally different rates of coverage and support.  We aren’t the only ones that noticed it either, because the topic was a popular blog post trend and letter-to-the-editor type response during the NCAA 2011 tournament.

Many other bloggers have noticed the difference between men’s and women’s college basketball, whether it’s the fan base, the media coverage, or the overall popularity of the sport.
Most of the blogs and responses we found for today’s post were about women’s college basketball, and how a select group of bloggers are seeing what we see as far as media and overall support.  Here’s what the people are saying:

The first blog we came across during research was written by a female blogger on her page “Not a Barbie Girl.” The title of her article was “I Don’t Watch Women’s College Basketball,” which gave her opinion about the sport.  Just as we’ve found in our research, this blogger noted, “the audience disparity for men’s and women’s college basketball is disappointing,” but then went on to say that she unfortunately contributed to this statistic because she didn’t watch women’s college basketball.  She mentions that the men’s league gets more attention, but makes a call for action at the end of her post for everyone to start supporting the women’s league.

Another post we found was again written by a female blogger on her page “Youth Noise,” in her post, “Women’s College Basketball, For the birds?” This blogger takes a stance supporting women’s college basketball, defending against those that complain about the sport.  She makes a few points, including if the viewer doesn’t like women’s basketball, they can change the channel, and to remember that the women’s teams generally play for the love of the game in their hearts, and not to impress a large audience.  She also took a stab at the “haters” (mostly males) and said they should stop complaining because they probably couldn’t even match skill levels with these young female ball players.  In the end, she also makes a call for action to recognize the trials and tribulations female athletes have endured, and for society to lessen the gap between support for men’s and women’s sports.

We then found a post written by a male blogger in “Jack’s Blog” post titled “The Good and Bad of Women’s College Basketball.” We noticed many of the blogs were written by females and the public feedback began looking skewed, until we found the men supporting women’s sports.  This blog post was in full support of women having the right to play and the need for more equality in college basketball.  He wrote that equality is the main thing that these women’s teams are looking for, and they deserve it.  It’s not about the men’s team versus the women’s team in any regards, but the need for women to be recognized just as well as men.

The final blog post we found to stand out was written by another male in “MyFDL,” in his blog post, “Women’s College Basketball, Well Worth Watching.” This guy started out admitting that despite all his sports pals dismissing the idea of women’s basketball as a legitimate contender for time worth spent watching sports, he still supported the women’s teams.  He then mentioned that the 2011 NCAA championships were very opposite as far as quality of the game, and picked the women’s game over the men’s game for entertainment and interest.  He wasn’t afraid to admit that women’s sports can be just as, if not more, interesting and well played as men’s sports.  “If you enjoy both the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory that comes with sports, why not avail yourself to the whole spectrum of it, both men’s and women’s athletic competition? To do otherwise is to simply cheat yourself out of the thrills and excitement of athletic competition that women’s sports now provides on a level that is in many ways equal to and sometimes superior to that of men’s sports.”  

So there you have it.  The difference in support for women’s college basketball versus men’s college basketball is duly recognized by many people, and they’re speaking out about it.  The problem is known; we can now just hope to inform all the others that don’t recognize this need for equal coverage and support.
“Know yourself. Never forget where you came from,
and reach back to help someone else come forward too.” 
- Alpha Alexander, co-founder of the Black Women in Sports Foundation

“Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”- Rudy Tomjanovich

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mobile Applications

Cell phone technology continues to progress and change every year. Mobile applications are becoming a significant part of the college basketball experience. Television providers are working with advertisers to configure some of the most innovative uses for the technology imaginable.
A search of “college basketball” apps on the IPhone 4 produces 11 different apps to choose from. The development and wide range of these applications allows users to specify how much information they want to receive on their phones. During the championship game this year, mobile apps accounted for 30% of streams. This statistic is up 10% from the 2010 championship game.
 Since 2007 CBS has allowed mobile users to stream games, but did not provide coverage of all the games(Howard, 2009). In 2011, if people owned an apple device such as an IPhone, IPad, or IPod Touch, and downloaded the NCAA March Madness on Demand app, they could stream every game of the tournament for free(Tedeschi, 2011). The NCAA March Madness on demand app is not susceptible to blackouts in any areas. The app allows users to view any live game they want, view a running box score, and watch video highlights(Tedeschi, 2011). The app also searches through Twitter and Facebook feeds and publishes the more meaningful posts from regarded analysts throughout the sport.

ESPN Bracket Bound 2011 was another popular app during the NCAA basketball tournament this year. This free app allowed users to access scores, schedules, news, video, research and the Twitter feed(Tedeschi, 2011). These were the two most popular apps from March Madness in 2011, and neither included anything about the women’s tournament. The apps were primarily directed toward the men’s tournament.
Advertisers are beginning to realize the possibilities of advertising on the mobile applications because of their growing popularity among sports fans. Coke Cola teamed up with CBS in 2009 to advertise on their March Madness app that cost $4.99, but is downloaded for free now(Howard, 2009). People are using apps for more than just viewing games. They are playing games, chatting with each other, and looking up statistics. Five of the 10 busiest "peak" minutes of Internet traffic ever were linked to the NCAA tournament, says Akamai, a Web technology firm(Horovitz, 2010).

Though use of mobile apps is on the rise as more consumers are purchasing smart phones, there are still doubts about the effectiveness of mobile ads. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in an interview with BusinessWeek that “mobile ads suck”(Morrisey, 2010). Notorisouly advertising through mobile apps has come in the form of banners similar to the early Internet ads. Miller Lite is using a different approach to become more interactive with consumers. Miller Lite revealed their Tip n’ Sip game during the 2010 tournament to provide a forum to constantly interact with consumers(Horovitz, 2010).
There are no apps representing women’s college basketball. The ratings for the women’s championship game in 2010 were higher than the men’s and they still do not have their own mobile apps. Through all of my research, I did not find a single article in regard to women’s mobile advertising. By purchasing Mobile TV packages through services such as Sprint, users can watch an assortment of cable TV, which includes women’s and men’s games, but these apps can carry high fees and have not become mainstream.
There are several questions that can be raised in regard to the future of mobile apps and sports. In 2011, providers made the two main apps for March Madness free to users, which was a change from the previous two years, but how long will they offer this service free of charge? It is a lucrative market and people enjoy the ability to view games wherever and whenever they choose.

There are several mobile apps for all major sports, but how will other big events such as March Madness be presented to fans. What's so different about the NCAA tournament and, say, the Olympics? Both are big-budget, multi-week events, but NBC puts a good bit of the Games on cable, and cable operators don't like when content they pay for goes online for free(Learnmonth, 2010).

Mobile apps are changing the way we view sports. They are moving from the big screen, to our handheld devices. Currently, the mobile app field is extremely bias based on gender in college basketball because there are no apps that currently exist that are specifically made for women’s basketball.  

"Don't give up, don't ever give up." - Jim Valvano

“The bottom line is we've got good basketball players so we make good basketball decisions and play really good basketball and we just got to keep that same focus and intensity.” - Diana Taurasi

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Works Cited

Works Cited

Backhorn, Eleanor. "ESPN to Launch Women's Brand: What's Good, What's Bad, What's
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