Friday, September 06, 2013
MACON, Ga. - The 2012-13 academic year saw great success for Atlantic Sun teams, student-athletes, coaches and the league at large. As a result, a record number of people visited AtlanticSun.org to obtain information from the conference website.
The A-Sun site had 477,000 visitors throughout the year up from the previous record of 456,00 set in the 2010-11 seasons; an increase of 4.6 percent. A total of 1.6 million page views were recorded last year - also a new record - trumping the prior mark from the 2009-10 year by 13.5 percent (1.41 million). Several achievements, new initiatives and team successes helped to set the new standards for the league site.Engagement Drivers of the 2012-13 Academic Year: • FGCU Sweet 16 Run in NCAA Tournament & Mercer's NIT victory • Record-setting four women's basketball teams in postseason play • Launch of men's & women's lacrosse as sponsored sports in the A-Sun • Expanded baseball championship field from six to eight • Deployment of ESPN3 on-campus productions at Lipscomb and USC Upstate • Increased original content for each A-Sun sponsored sport
Along with the increase in web traffic, the A-Sun social media efforts saw a dramatic increase in followers, likes and fan interaction. The conference's Facebook and Twitter communities nearly doubled as likes on Facebook went from 2,365 at the beginning of the year to currently sitting at 4,275. Twitter followers jumped from 2,230 on August, 1, 2012 to 3,960 as of today.
The creation of a conference Instagram account, which sits at 1,115 followers, added to the fan interaction as the conference office shared photos from the 19 sponsored league championships and postseason success. Currently, the A-Sun Instagram account trails only the Pac-12 Conference for followers among NCAA Division I conferences.
As well as the creation of an Instagram account, several A-Sun staff members created personal accounts to promote individual sports, which grew substantially throughout the academic year. A number of social media campaigns helped with the increase of numbers during the year.Successful Social Media Campaigns/Initiatives in the 2012-13 Seasons: • Preseason Facebook Fan-Voted Superlative Awards for each sport • Second Annual A-Sun Most Valuable Mascot Challenge • Early Release of Atlantic Sun All-Conference Teams via Twitter • Use of Twitter sport-specific hashtags in article headlines • InstaCountdown to the A-Sun Basketball Championships • Creation of an A-Sun Album on Instagram with Prize Giveaways
At the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year, the Atlantic Sun ranked 30th out of 31 NCAA Division I Conference for Twitter followers and 21st out of 31 for Facebook likes. Currently, the A-Sun sits in 15th place for Facebook having moved ahead of six conferences; Horizon League, America East, West Coast Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Big West and Colonial Athletic Association, while the A-Sun Twitter account jumped to 27th place.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun footprint reaches into seven of the top media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.