Blog Entry

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

Posted on: July 26, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 5:01 pm
By Matt Norlander

Nearly as mind-blowing a fact as Butler making back-to-back Final Fours is the number affiliated with the accomplishment: $500 million.

That's how much the school says it's reaped in regard to publicity due to unprecedented title-game runs in 2010 and 2011. It's also the amount of money most schools are willing to pay to hire Brad Stevens. (Kidding. Only kind of.)
The study, done by Borshoff, monitored and evaluated media coverage of the Butler University men’s basketball team from mid-March to mid-June, 2011.  During that period, Butler garnered an estimated publicity value of $512,382,703 through television, print and on-line news coverage.  When factoring in social media, the audience reach surpassed 69 billion.
That's 69 billion people, not dollars. Had to clean that dangled sentence.

And, holy wow, 69 billion? No, really -- sixty freaking nine freaking billion. That's an unbelievable number, considering you're accounting for page views, viewers on television, Twitter followers, etc. Who knows the math behind it all, really.

Wait, Butler claims it does. This isn't the same type of ambigious, nebulous number you hear about each March, when studies claim America loses $385 billion on lost work and the like. No, they've got this all down to a science, people.
The study found that the performance of the Butler men’s basketball team generated $60,378,084.41 in television publicity value, $2,792,954.18 in print publicity value and $449,211,664.31 in on-line publicity value.  The study did not consider the publicity value of radio broadcasts or talk shows.

Television coverage during the final two weeks of the NCAA Tournament provided more than 7,600 mentions of the Butler men’s basketball team, with an estimated publicity value of more than $42.5 million.  The championship game’s publicity value was estimated at more than $2.2 million.  Overall, Butler basketball received nearly 10,000 mentions and reached an estimated audience of 1.4 billion.
And the chorus sings, "Why aren't we paying the players?"

There's more, though. You don't reach such a high number over the course of two years unless the Internet plays a huge role. And it does now more than ever. The study monitored any type of mentions for Butler on every social media platform, as well as YouTube, and discovered another audience that produced more than $12 million hits.

What's undeniable: Butler basketball is a household brand now, thanks to Brad Stevens. But even if this team du jour is such a draw, what are the numbers for schools like Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina? At least double, you'd have to imagine. And then consider college football programs, which are gaining steam each year. What does Florida or USC or Notre Dame earn in publicity? You'd need a golden calculator to divide the time it takes to realize that real programs like that are earning money that's beyond countable.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 28, 2010
Posted on: December 3, 2011 9:36 pm

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

but he's not coaching.  OSU should just shut it down.  its embarassing to the conference

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:48 pm

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

i agree with most of the people posting here...  to make 500 million dollars is one thing, but this article quantifies it in "publicity units."  thats kind of like me winning 500 million in the lottery and spending the whole thing on a giant tub of tapioca pudding.  while it may be worth 500 million dollars, it won't be worth that for long and i could not exactly get my 500 million back to spend on better things.  just like in basic economics, money is only worth what you spend it on, and one can only assume butler would not have spent all 500 million dollars trying to reach "69 billion people."  they probably would have opted for an entirely new school first.  therefore the real value of this publicity is probably somewhat less, like my giant tub of pudding!

Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: July 29, 2011 7:23 am

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

.....and the players who made it happen get NOTHING!!!!  This is why college athletes should get paid, to big of a pie not to give a slice to the kids drawing the viewers.  I for one do not tune in to the games to see the uniforms or the head coach or the management. I want to see the players play.....give em a little bump.....500 milion?  sigh.....

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:01 pm

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

CBS, did you see who did the survey? BorShoff!  69 BILLION people (world population currently 6.93 Billion) so that means that EVERYONE in the world watch the NCAA Final Four NEARLY ten times each.  I believe that the total worth is what you PAY for it.  Since "Butler" made 500 million, How much did The Ohio State University make.  "You have Duke making 2 Billion dollars, Ohio State making 2.5 Billion, and UK stating that they made just enough to cover expenses"  "WORTH is nothing unless you have someone buy it" Really says 69 BILLION people, come on CBS you have to do better in checking out your stories!  Need a smile say "Kentucky Football", just kidding!

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:50 pm

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

Now only if Butler could win Wink

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:43 pm

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

Well, shouldnt Butler pay taxes?  Its one thing to brag about all the money you make while its quite another to pay your fair share.  Butler pays no taxes on an profit seeking ventures.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:10 am

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

Holy shit balls.  By this math, Jim Tressell must have a net 'worth' sufficient to wipe out our national debt.

Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 7:01 am

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

I guess you can pay the players in some units of internet publicity, which is apparently extremely valuable.  What a stupid article.

Since: Nov 29, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:45 am

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

Well having lived in Indianapolis I can tell you there are not many LA jerseys in Indainapolis either!!

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: July 26, 2011 9:52 pm

Final Four runs earn Butler $500 million

Matt, the story is skewed by the word 'worth'. The headline could not be more wrong with the use of the word 'earn' It was not worth $500M or $69B to Butler they did not receive it. Perhaps to gain the relevant publicity by purchasing it would cost that kind of money. Obviously Butler has not sold $500M in tickets, merchandise or even increased tuition (although they are likely working on that last item.) Their earning as much, much more modest.

Last year after the US media collectively threw their back out throwing stones at LeBron over 'The Decision', it collectively completely missed that the event was broadcast in Europe, South America and Asia including China. To those folks watching that program, there was nobody arrogant or rude on the program. There was a basketball player given 60 minutes of prime time as no other player ever had. Yes, LeBron's popularity dropped in the US but how much was it boosted elsewhere? Conservatively I have heard the figure 'hundreds of millions' tossed out as to the actual worth to him in lifetime endorsements. If that opportunity were offered to you would you turn it down?

Ok, sure, Butler is the darling of the country and the two incidents are not the same. Or are they? P.T Barnum once said 'There's no such thing as bad publicity'. A recent Stanford research paper determined that for a relatively unknown person this is absolutely true while those well know can suffer. So suffering in the US is not the same as suffering overseas. Butler has a limited time to continue to reap any real benefits from this run. Alumni may contribute more (ask the giants like Kansas, Duke, UCLA) and that is always helpful but there is a limited market for the rest. I doubt there are many Butler jerseys on the courts in Los Angeles.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or