Mason’s Experience Is Good News for Next Cinderella, Professor Finds

Posted: March 18, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jennifer Edgerly

Robert Baker
Robert Baker

With the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament about to begin, everyone is wondering who could be this year’s Cinderella. Mason’s stunning Final Four run in 2006 made the team an instant fan favorite and the university a household name.

Fortunately for Mason, which was highly regarded as the region’s most up-and-coming university, good things were already happening. But new data shows the Final Four appearance put its progress on fast-forward.

Robert Baker, director of the Center for Sport Management in the College of Education and Human Development at Mason, examined the economic and social impacts of the Final Four appearance across the university. What he found is good news for the next university that wears the glass slipper.

Since the 2006 NCAA tournament:

  • Admissions inquiries increased 350 percent

  • Out-of-state applications increased 40 percent, and out-of-state students now make up 25 percent of the freshman class

  • Total freshman applications increased 22 percent from the 2005-06 academic year

  • Active alumni increased 25 percent, while online registration rose 52 percent

  • (the official Athletics web site) page views increased 503 percent, while unique viewers increased 702 percent in March 2006

  • Patriot Club fund raising increased 52 percent over the previous year and has continued to climb

  • Men’s basketball games have consistently had CAA record-setting attendance for home games in 2007 and 2008, and season ticket sales doubled in one year

  • An estimated $677,474,659 in free media was earned by Mason during the 2006 NCAA Tournament through national, regional and local broadcast, print and electronic media coverage (including games)

Write to at