How a College Basketball Team Celebrated Their Historic Moment on Social

It’s been a while. Actually, since 1939, when the first men’s basketball tournament was played where else but on Northwestern University campus. And it took 78 long years for Northwestern men’s team to earn a bid. That wait is finally over as the Wildcats will make their first ever March Madness appearance this Thursday against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

But, as much as I’d like to write about my basketball days at Northwestern University from 2001 till 2006, and how this is sort of a dream come true for me as well, that’s not what this post is about. This post will be a quick overview of how the Northwestern Men’s Basketball social and digital team followed their basketball team’s success (qualification to the NCAA tournament) on official social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).


Northwestern has a solid following on Facebook, which is bound to grow during March, especially if the team wins a few games in the tournament. They post multiple times a day, with the great majority of content being either engaging and/or informative. They’ve put out great posts during the past few days regarding the NCAA Selection Show watch party at Welsh Ryan Arena, celebration videos, as well as sponsor posts and some cool graphics. All of the content was created to build up the hype around their first ever NCAA tournament appearance. 

Only downside would be the lack of two-way communication which would be very appreciated by the fans, but this is something that is easy to fix. As far as design goes, Northwestern Men’s Basketball social team is doing a great job. The design is fresh and interesting, and is definitely something that might attract new followers.

Facebook Likes (and counting)

See everyone at Welsh-Ryan Arena tomorrow for what should be a historic day. #B1GCats

Geplaatst door Northwestern Men's Basketball op Zaterdag 11 maart 2017

Get your Northwestern March Madness gear NOW. #B1GCats #PoundTheRock #ItsTime

Geplaatst door Northwestern Men's Basketball op Zondag 12 maart 2017

NCAA Selection Show Watch Party

Join the #B1GCats as they watch the 2017 NCAA Tournament Selection Show from Welsh-Ryan Arena!

Geplaatst door Northwestern Athletics op Zondag 12 maart 2017

We are just getting started. #B1GCats | #PoundTheRock | #ItsTime

Geplaatst door Northwestern Men's Basketball op Maandag 13 maart 2017


Official Twitter page was filled with posts, which is what I sort of expected, because, well, Twitter is that kind of platform. I was very happy, and I am sure all of their followers are, with the amount of information. Even though some information posted on Facebook was posted on Twitter as well, you forget about the repetitions because there is a lot more content over here…gifs, graphics, videos, everything you need to keep coming back.

Before and during the Selection show watch party at Welsh-Ryan, the social team has made most of us feel like we were in attendance. They did their best to bring the event closer to us, and I believe they succeeded at this. What I like the most about their Twitter feed is the behind the scene content – there is a lot of it here, and this is what fans and followers LOVE to see. What is also great is that they’ve made room to represent their sponsors in their tweets. That’s always a plus. 

Twitter followers (and counting)


Northwestern’s Instagram page has the least followers out of the three major social media channels, but it still has some cool content. Most content that can be found on this platform can be seen on Facebook and Twitter, but the images that are Instagram-only are great. They show commitment, passion and emotion that this program strives for and I think they could benefit from more of this type of content.

Instagram followers (and counting)

It’s time

My favorite piece of content is a video released shortly after Northwestern was selected by the NCAA committee. It was obviously prepared in advance, well thought and executed, and it showed everything it had to show. It shows the fight this team went through this season, the ups and downs, as well as the passion and brotherhood that carried them on their way. I highly recommend you watch it from start till the end, you won’t regret it!


Northwestern Men's Basketball – "It's Time" (2017 NCAA Tournam…

The next chapter awaits. #B1GCats | #PoundTheRock | #ItsTime

Geplaatst door Northwestern Men's Basketball op Zondag 12 maart 2017


As a Northwestern alum, I am probably a little bit biased, but I think that, all in all, Northwestern Men’s basketball social team is doing a good job on social networks. Of course there is always room for improvement, but they put out great, engaging and informative content on a daily basis. Their design team is making their job easier with cool graphics, but the social team does a great job developing a social media strategy and delivering content to the right people at the right time. Another important thing they are doing is praising their sponsors which is very important. Under Armour, their official gear sponsor, was mentioned on all platforms on multiple occassions.

As I said earlier in the text, a thing they could work on is two-way communication, which can be somewhat difficult if they are understaffed, or have thousands of followers, but this is something that will set them apart from others. Fans like to know there is someone listening on the other side, and they want their voice to be heard, they want to matter. Give them what they want and they will appreciate you even more.

Northwestern basketball team is already under the spotlight as this is their first NCAA tournament bid. But what I am looking forward to see is what kind of content their social media team has prepared for us in the next few weeks…



Vedran Vukušić

Vedran Vukušić

Overtime Sports Marketing

If you have any questions about sports marketing, feel free to contact me at

Article sources:

Northwestern Men’s Basketball social media accounts

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