The SB Nation mothership produced an article this week listing the Power Conference football schools with a percentage of who has the most Facebook fans-to-students ratio. The notion is to measure the percentage of fans who "like" the university's athletics department Facebook page opposite how many actually attended the school. The percentage, therefore, is designed to chart people like Grant, Joe, AJ, Jeff, Bridget, Brian, Kwani, Coach, Conrad, and pretty much everyone else who's done something for BCI but actually went to Boston College against...well.. me.
Turns out Boston College has the third-highest percentage of Facebook likes that are also BC graduates - 37%. That means more than one out of every three people liking the team's page has one of its prestigious diplomas going on the wall.
Notre Dame and North Carolina have the least amount of people who actually went to school there liking their page (by percentage) since the Fighting Irish rang in at 4% and UNC rang in at 5%. Oregon and Georgia are next, tied with 7%, while Texas, Wisconsin, Florida, and Alabama are all at 8%.
When I saw this stat, I thought about the gentleman who was ripping tags off his Notre Dame sweatshirt in the stands as he put it on during the last game when the Irish played at Alumni Stadium. I think I said something to him about how he should save the tags to return it the next day. It's hard to remember. I was pretty drunk.
Meanwhile, it's unsurprising that teams who sell the most merchandise are at the bottom of the list. After all, UNC is more of a fashion statement than an actual football team at this point (thanks to Michael Jordan and basketball), and Oregon is a walking Nike billboard. Texas, Wisconsin, Florida, and Alabama all had their moment in the sun in the past 10 years in the BCS, and Georgia is well - Georgia. Kentucky is next at 9%, tied with Duke, LSU, Arkansas, and Northwestern. That makes sense since they've all won national titles, and Arkansas is living off something that I can't put my finger on (PAT BRADLEY?!?!)
And then there's Northwestern, which makes absolutely zero sense to anyone.
Some of the other teams on the list are that Syracuse has 11% of their fans on Facebook, proving a theory of mine that their basketball team is more popular than Genny Creme Ale. Clemson chimed in at 15%, which proves my theory that they are an immensely popular team with legions of fans. Further down the list, Florida State is at 23%, which proves my theory that I won't say anything because I really don't want to deal with #FSUTwitter when it's not football season.
Down with us in the top 10, Virginia Tech is at 32% because the majority of their fan base may lack the Internet in Blacksburg. Behind us, Colorado is at 45% and Texas A&M is at 57%, which is just bad considering Texas is at 8%.
What's this prove? Well, if you're into social media, it's the be all end all to announce everything you like in life. It's the place where you can post every picture of your dog, loudly announce to the world when you eat a meal or brush your teeth, and proclaim your sports allegiances (guilty as charged on that last one).
This does prove that the majority of people following Boston College athletics are a sizeable amount of school alums. There's still a sizeable audience that didn't go there, but it's not as much, percentage wise, as the amount of fans who support other schools.
On a more serious note, it does highlight some of the challenges presented to the BC marketing team. Other schools are pretty much licensed to print money because of their fandoms, an effect of branding and having a nationally-recognizable brand. It creates a competitive imbalance in terms of drawing power, especially when a school like Boston College has under 25,000 total likes and Notre Dame has over 339K likes. When you consider the amount of fans who also didn't go to the school, you're at a significant disadvantage in drawing power.
For me, I tend to place more emphasis on social media presence. BC's done a great job in terms of creating on social media, from the short videos leading up to the Pinstripe Bowl to the highlight reels and interviews with coaches. The graphics they put out on a yearly basis are, in a word, phenomenal. But social media is always going to be free advertising and needs to be utilized in every which way, shape, and form it can be in as creative a manner as possible.
Leave your thoughts below on the fan base. Do you think BC can expand its fan base? How do you think they'll do that? Let us know!