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Bloomberg: FGCU & Cinderellas Capitalize Off March Madness Upsets

They should send Georgetown a thank you note.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Four-Fairleigh Dickinson vs Florida Gulf Coast Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to wadetandy for bringing this story to our attention. What a fine way to mark the impending four-year anniversary of the most gut-wrenching moment in recent basketball history. It’s not as though Georgetown fans are coping with any other wonderful recent revelations on this fine, snowy day.

Before we get started, a brief word from Kevin McCallister:

It looks like the Hoyas are having a positive impact on the world of college athletics, extending far beyond the boundaries of our own campus. Bloomberg published a piece yesterday entitled, “March Madness Cinderella Stories Send Applications Soaring.”

As you may have guessed, the Hoyas’ upset at the hands of Florida Gulf Coast University in 2013 was featured heavily in their narrative. In the year following that game, the school’s public profile was significantly elevated:

“The New Jersey native had never heard of the school, which was established in the 1990s, prior to the 2013 National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament. That was the year the Eagles, seeded 15th out of 16 teams in their region, upset Georgetown 78-68.


After the university’s surprising NCAA performance, Google searches for the school spiked; interest in FGCU was higher than it was for the University of Kentucky during March Madness, despite Kentucky’s traditional dominance of the sport. The school’s website generated more than 100,000 unique visitors, about triple the norm. The following year, applications to Florida Gulf Coast surged 27.5 percent, according to a Bloomberg analysis of Department of Education data.”

The upside was not solely academic; there were financial benefits as well:

“Of course, March Madness success is also good for a school’s bottom line. Sales of Florida Gulf Coast apparel jumped more than 2,000 percent, and royalties from licensed sales nearly quadrupled in 2013.”

The article (which is excellent, you really should read it) continues on to discuss the relative impact of seeding on this phenomenon as well as giving a more in-depth statistical analysis of the application bump.

Remember when the days between Selection Sunday and the NCAA tournament used to be hopeful and joyous? Me too. Maybe go pretend like it’s still National Napping Day.

After you fill out your bracket, that is.