By Billy Liggett
Editor, Campbell Today
Back in 2012, an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley released a study that tracked what wins by a university’s football program meant for that school’s enrollment and alumni giving the following year.
Among his findings: a one-win increase during a football season meant an additional $74,000 in gifts to the athletic programs, an addition 104 applications for admissions and an in-state enrollment increase of about 17 students.
A five-win increase in football meant a 28 percent jump in athletic donations, a 76-student in-state enrollment increase and even a 9-point increase in incoming SAT scores for accepted students.
Long story short — a winning football program gets a school noticed by everyone. Now, this study dealt mostly with larger schools with larger football programs. I’m certain the same line of thinking applies to a smaller school like Campbell. In fact, I think athletic success helps us out even more.
We all agree Campbell’s a great school. One thing it doesn’t have going for it though is an instantly recognizable national brand. Even with a unique mascot, the percentage of those outside of N.C. who know much, if anything, about Campbell is low.
Our sports programs helped change that a little in 2013-14. Our women’s golf team was by far the smallest and most “unknown” program in this year’s 32-team NCAA championship in Oklahoma. And our baseball team’s trip to the NCAA regionals put Campbell on national TV three straight days.
A trip to the NCAA basketball tournament ... a huge football upset ... another viral sports video — these would do wonders for Campbell’s national brand.
It’s reason enough for all of us to support our athletes and our athletic programs. It’s an exciting time to follow Campbell sports — and potential students are taking notice.