Social media, especially Twitter, is growing exponentially and local sports teams know it. Both the Cubs and Wolves recently had game nights centered on this theme. Last night, was Evanston’s turn with Northwestern Social Media Night.
It was a great chance to build the NU brand by connecting fans online and creating more internet publicity. Unfortunately, the actual college basketball game didn’t cooperate. This was a chance for Northwestern to help sell their product, and the product was extremely defective as the Wildcats lost 69-41 to the Wisconsin Badgers in a game that was even more lopsided than it sounds. #unfortunate
The Badgers jumped out to a 9-0 lead and 28-12 halftime advantage and never looked back. The Cats had just four field goals in 20 attempts, with the 12 points in a half setting a new low for the 13 year old Bill Carmody era. The previous record was 13 vs. the Illini in 2002.
“The offense was stagnant,” added senior guard Reggie Hearn. And NU got demolished on the boards 47-22. They got dominated on the offensive glass too; 15-5.
“15 offensive rebounds, and it seems like they scored every time,” said sophomore guard Dave Sobolewski.
“On Social Media Night, Northwestern had its players warm up in purple T-shirts with their Twitter handles on the back, such as @AlexMarco3llio4 and @DaveSobo3. The otherwise outdated scoreboard displayed #B1GCATS vs. #BADGERS.”
And it was irony defined as the arena’s wireless internet connection kept going in and out on Northwestern social media night. And I think history was made as “#B1GCATS” (Northwestern sports' official hashtag) was printed on the game ball. That’s gotta be the first time a hashtag has been placed on a game ball used in any sport. The press row name placards featured our twitter handles as did the game notes with each team. (you’ll see in the gallery)
Media celebrity and Northwestern alum @darrenrovell was on hand for the game, but when he was honored the crowd reception was luke warm at best. There was a ton of Badger red in the house so that probably didn’t help. Darren Rovell left CNBC for ESPN, and he also does some work for ABC. He’s a huge supporter of NU athletics with a gigantic Twitter following, but he’s become so popular on the medium that he’s also inspired a backlash. #polarizing
Since he works for the World Wide Leader now, maybe he can get them to stop using “NW” in their on-screen scoreboards, and replace it with the correct “NU.” ESPN is the reason so many people make that mistake.
Northwestern fell to 13-14, 4-10 in conference. #19 Wisconsin improved to 19-8, 9-5 and 11-1 against Northwestern since 2006. This game drastically hurt the ‘Cats NIT chances. Go here for an analysis of their postseason potential. #diminishing
Here’s where you can follow NU sports online
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Chicago Now
A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.