Butler loses title game, but wins massive publicity

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Butler University lost the NCAA national championship basketball game Monday night, but the small, private university nestled on the city’s near-north side has won a load of publicity.

“It’s really been unbelievable,” said Butler President Bobby Fong. “I’m not sure anyone could have predicted this.”

As a result of its basketball team’s success, Butler landed on the front page of USA Today twice, and was featured in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal as well as CNN, ESPN, CBS and ABC in the last 10 days.

Fong intends to commission a study of how much that media exposure is worth to the university, and hopes to have that data later this spring or summer.

Butler’s own Web sites have been overloaded at times since the team stormed through the Sweet 16, the Elite Eight and into the Final Four of the NCAA’s 65-team men's tournament.

The Butler.edu site even crashed for a while after the Bulldogs beat Kansas State University to qualify for the Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium, said Scott Kincaid, Butler's chief information officer.

The school's main Web site, which averages about 6,000 visits daily, registered a record 137,000 visits on March 27, the day Butler beat Kansas State. On April 3, the day Butler beat Michigan State, the site scored more than 103,000 visits.

On Monday, traffic was way up again, registering 131,200 visits. Kincaid said Butler’s Web traffic on Tuesday is still trending far above normal.

“Those visits are to the school’s main Web site, not the athletics site,” Kincaid explained. “Visitors came looking for general information about the university, its academics and admissions information.”

The school’s athletics site registered 48,000 visits the day of the Sweet 16 victory over Syracuse University and more than 83,000 visits two days later when Butler beat Kansas State.

During the Michigan State game, the school’s athletics Web site scored 91,000 visits. On Monday, it tallied 126,000 visits, 20 times higher than the site would normally see, according to Butler officials.

The traffic was so high for the Web sites, new servers and other hardware had to be added to carry the load, Kincaid said.

“To accommodate the spike, [we] increased the Web server processing power five-fold, added duplicate database servers, added a Web page caching device, and expanded the Internet pipe,” Kincaid explained.

Kincaid is hopeful that interest in Butler will continue to be elevated even after last night’s 61-59 loss to Duke University.

“What really amazed us was how many people logged onto our Web site during the game,” Kincaid said. “It shows how media-consumption habits are changing. It’s not enough for people to simply see something on TV any more. They’re constantly looking for more information, and we’re doing our best to provide them all the information about Butler we can.”


  • Study this....
    The study that Dr. Fong needs to commission is how to keep Brad Stevens much like Duke did 30 some odd years ago with Coach K when they started seeing success...well before where he is now....
  • Dan, you made me laugh!
    Ok, Coach K is a class act as is his program. That said, how much money is spent annual on the Duke basketball program? What is Coach K's salary? How much is spent on recruiting? In short, Duke did what it payed to get done and what it was 'expected' to do. Duke won by 2 points with a legitimate spoiler shot in the air at the buzzer.

    All said, Duke had 2 more points on the board at the end of the game. Duke took a trophy home and Duke will have their name engraved as the champion. However, Butler picked Duke's pockets (just like their defense) of all the other accolades. Face it, all the way home to NC, Coach K and all the Duke players knew they were as good as beaten by a bunch of kids from Indianapolis. It was rather bittersweet for Duke to win that title and I think to a man they will be choking on it for the rest of their lives.
  • Duke WON
    Duke won. There was a winner. They beat the Bulldog juggernaut with greater defense and offense. Duke was the better team. And because they were the better team, they beat the Bulldogs.
    • "If"
      First, congrats to the amazing Butler Bulldogs who not only showed skill on the court but what real heart is with commitment and dedication to the sport and their team mates.
      Second Caoch Stevens, you are not only a talented coach but a real role model for the guys on your team...
      "If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it..."
      You all did that and more!
    • CEO
      Cingrats! A class act, and there really was no looser. See you there next year.
    • Well Done!
      If ever a team won without winning, this was it. What a class act! Everyone involved should be very proud.
    • This just in from Butler
      Interesting news just in from Butler IT dept.: Yesterday, 13 percent of the Web traffic to www.butler.edu came from within Indiana. The rest of the website traffic was from outside Indiana, which shows the audience and reach is wide.
    • PRIDE
    • Congratulations!
      I'm the quintessestial Duke fan, having followed the team since 1989 when my freshman son, along with others in Naval ROTC, cleaned Cameron Indoor Stadium after the games. I was thrilled that they won this year, but would have accepted their loss to Butler. What a great team! What fine gentlemen in their game behavior! What restraint in the loss that must have been devastating after their training and hard work! Your teamwork was inspiring and the in-telligence you brought to the game likewise. Thanks for showing what college basketball is all about. Congratulations on a great season. We'll all be watching you next year! (And kudos to your dedicated coach who showed some of the old-timers how to behave on the court.)
      I wanted to let the Butler basketball team know what a great group of guys they are. This team all season long held it together and got the job done. I am so proud to say you took on the giants in the tournament and made everyone look at you. Great season and we can't wait until next year. Look out NCAA, Butler is the new team to look at.
    • An amazing group!
      This team has shown the world what a small school with a bunch of kids who are willing to work hard for what they believe and what a young coach, who truly cares about his kids, can accomplish! It was sad to see how devestated these young kids were after the game. They should be very proud of what they accomplished. They have no rights to hang their heads low. A lot of people are Butler proud this morning because of them and I will never forget their story!
    • Very Proud
      What a bunch of proud young men from Butler. Their loss was bitter sweet, for me. I have been a Duke fan for a long time but, after last night I'm totally a Butler fan. What a great group of kids who knew how to play the game !!!!

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