PantherU

News and notes on Monday

A few pretty big things happened Monday, and I was out on the town and unable to post until tonight.  We’re putting them into one post – the YSU preview will be up after this.

– Milwaukee draws Fairfield in ESPN BracketBuster.  The Fairfield Stags are fourth in the MAAC at 11-10 overall, 6-4 in conference play.  The Stags have lost close games recently to Manhattan and Loyola (Md.) and dropped a double-digit game to Iona in their most recent loss.  Milwaukee has won only one BracketBuster game, despite being one of a select group of teams to play every year in the event.

There won’t be much on the line this year. Seeding for the NCAA Tournament should either team win their conference tournament is about the only thing I can think of.

Next year, however, it’s a good mid-major game, on the east coast.  While the program may have preferred a closer, regional game, an east coast game against Fairfield gives us a game that point guard recruit Jordan Aaron’s family can easily reach.  It also gives us a game where potential New York area recruits have a chance to see the team in person, which is always a big deal in recruiting.

– That Facebook vote is still going despite having decided the game earlier today.  Green Bay-WSU won over Milwaukee-Detroit despite Milwaukee carrying an average attendance of 1,600 more than Green Bay.

It’s fair to say that this game was poorly marketed by Milwaukee Athletics.  The marketing department may not have the budget they need to make real waves with attendance, but social media guerilla marketing is free and should not have been handled as poorly as it was.  The same goes for our SID – the load on the three main guys has lightened a bit as intern Tim Prahl (go Tim!) has taken the reins on some of the smaller sports. Basically, this is how I see it:

The second voting opened, there should have been a huge guerilla marketing campaign on the internet.  @PouncePanther, @MKEPanthers, @CoachJeterUWM, each of their Facebook pages, the texting thing they do with students, the Panther Pack e-mail address list – every single one of these things should have been SCREAMING for people to vote.  And you can keep it going.  It’s as simple as making a checklist and following the checklist every six hours or so.  Obviously you don’t want to text students every six hours, but once every 3-4 days over the course of the vote isn’t a bad thing.

@MKEPanthers has 1,342 followers.  It was updated four times in the past week – once to announce the women’s soccer hire, once to call people to vote (Sunday night at 10 p.m.), and twice in the past few hours trying to get people to come to the game tomorrow and announce the Fairfield game.  ONE TIME it was updated to tell people to vote, and that was when the vote was practically finished!

In that same time, @PouncePanther was updated THIRTEEN times.  It still only had one “call to vote” around the same time (9:33 p.m. Sunday) as @MKEPanthers.  This is a problem.  Whoever is controlling both – we know it’s the same person because the updates on @MKEPanthers are mimicked immediately by Pounce – needs to recognize that @MKEPanthers and the Milwaukee Panthers Facebook page should take precedence.

The Milwaukee Panthers page has 5,267 “likes,” which means that whenever they make a post, that goes to 5,267 people immediately.  Those people are Facebook users.  How many of them missed the vote?

On the page, the Horizon League Network page came and commented on the Milwaukee Panthers page telling people to vote.  However, for the 5,267 people, they didn’t see it unless they went to the Milwaukee Panthers page.  If the Milwaukee Panthers page was updated with that same message – a simple copy, paste, submit – all 5,267 people would have seen the message.

– Marketing with social media is kind of haywire for the Milwaukee Panthers, as you can see with the previous rant.

So the athletic department has two pages on Facebook and multiple Twitter accounts.  Each has a following.  Both should take care of everything “press release” for men’s basketball because all the fans need to know.  You need to get your fan base excited for games and knowledgeable.

Then, each page needs to take things in their own direction beyond that.  @MKEPanthers and the Milwaukee Facebook page should be dealing with everything game related – starting discussions on the lineup, offense, defense, real x’s and o’s stuff.  The @PouncePanther account and Pounce Panther Facebook page should deal with all the cutesy stuff – pictures of Pounce around campus, interacting with fans (although @MKEPanthers can interact too).  Social media in the department is a mess and it doesn’t have to be.

Basically, everyone in the Milwaukee Athletics department that has a hand in marketing needs to become a religious follower of Andy Pawlowski. That would be @AndyPawlowski of DigitalHoopsBlast.com and

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