Highlights From Duke & Wisconsin’s Twitter Coverage of the Title Game

The coverage of this year’s NCAA Tournament was a slam dunk. The teams, NCAA, broadcast partners, etc., all shined on the second screen to share memorable social media moments. Tweets about the games were viewed 9.1 billion times (according to Twitter) from March 15 – April 6. That’s a lot of content consumption!

Considering how the tournament played out, it’s no surprise that the championship game also lent itself to great content. With back and forth leads, nail-biting seconds and plays to remember, the game provided great opportunities for social media content/moments. And while Duke took home the title in 2015, both teams (Duke and Wisconsin) won on Twitter. They took advantage of the big stage and gave fans a reason to follow, engage and share.

There’s a lot to be taken away from how Duke and Wisconsin handled the big game on Twitter. Here’s a look at three highlights from each team:



Duke has two accounts. @DukeBluePlanet focuses more on the team’s own voice, while @Duke_MBB is a more traditional account. Their graphics throughout the tournament were some of the best, and they did a great job of consistently turning out content.

While I’m not always a fan of having multiple accounts for a team (it can dilute audience), Duke does a great job of sharing content between accounts. If you follow one account, there’s a good chance you’ll find the other one too and connect the dots. The approach seems to work for them. Here’s a look at three of highlights from @DukeBluePlanet and @Duke_MBB collectively:

Created great graphics.
Duke had some of the best graphics throughout the tournament. The look and feel was sharp and intense. There’s no doubt they stood out.

Capitalized on all types of content.
Twitter isn’t limited to 140 characters anymore. There are so many tools available to help tell a more impactful and robust story. And, both Duke accounts did a great job of mixing up their content for their championship game coverage. They shared audio (Soundcloud), graphics, video and Vines for a more 360-approach. When crafting your content strategy, it’s important to tap into all the avenues to sound, images and video just like Duke did.

Rode the victory wave.
It’s important to ride the victory wave online after winning something like a national title. Fans are excited days after the big win, and with the heightened emotion, are more likely to share your content. If you want to maximize reach, then extend the celebration on social media. Duke did a good job of keeping the content coming even after the net was cut down. They shared the team’s journey back home and continued to relive special moments:



Wisconsin did a great job throughout the tournament of telling their story. The content gave fans a better sense of the team, the players’ personalities and the journey. Here are three highlights from the Badgers approach:

Added color commentary.
When your team is on a national stage, it is fair to make the assumption that most of your fans are tuning in on TV. The Twitter coverage is not meant to compete with TV, but instead enhance the viewing experience. Skip the play-by-play and focus on color commentary. The voice shouldn’t be a stiff box score; it should resonate with the fan at home who is screaming at their TV. Wisconsin did a good job at this. As you’ll see below, color commentary doesn’t have to be fancy but it does get good traction:

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 1.21.15 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 1.21.10 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 1.21.01 PM

Handled the loss with grace.
Handing a loss is never easy on Twitter. Because of that, it’s important to think about how you might handle a win AND a loss heading into a big game or moment. Even better, do some prep work and create a graphic template before the game so you can make a few tweaks and share almost instantly. If you do the work ahead of time, you’ll feel a lot better when you hit send in the heat of the moment.

Wisconsin did a great job of handling their loss. From their final score graphic to thanking their seniors, they nailed the sentiment of their team and fans:

Shared different content across accounts.
One of the most important things in social media is to differentiate content across accounts and platforms, even if the message is the same. You don’t want to hit your fans over the head with the same thing over and over again. And, Wisconsin showed how to differentiate two accounts while sharing the same message. Both @UWBadgers and @BadgersMBB posted final score graphics and thanked the seniors, but they did so in different ways. Here’s a look at @UWBadgers graphics (compared to @BadgersMBB above):



So there you have it. Three highlights from each team with three different lessons. What stood out to you about the coverage?

Thanks for reading!

Like what you read? Please share!
Follow by Email

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *