Tuesday March 20, 2012

The Eyes of the World

From Alaska and Hawaii to Florida and New England, media have mentioned Dayton's role in kicking off the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

The visit of President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship First Four was a slam dunk of media coverage for the University of Dayton.  

News outlets in the U.S. and the U.K. covered the March 13 visit from wheels up to wheels down of Air Force One, generating thousands of online stories and mentions.  

It was March Madness for sure, but with babies as well as basketballs and global hot dogs as well as hoops. Uncounted photos and videos were snapped of the president with a baby, the two world leaders with hot dogs and both deep in conversations with University of Dayton students.  

According to a University of Dayton media relations report generated by the tracking service CisionPoint March 20, in the past week, media outlets in 155 U.S. media markets other than Dayton ran stories mentioning Dayton and the University. The estimated publicity value of the media attention, excluding the Dayton market, is at least $1.1 million. Those stories made at least 2.1 billion impressions outside of the Dayton market.

In addition to media outlets in the U.K., outlets in Canada, Indonesia, Argentina, Malaysia and the Philippines ran stories. 

The University seized the opportunity to take its unique brand worldwide, noted The Washington Post in the Campus Overload blog. 

"This year, the private Catholic university is using the national spotlight as a branding opportunity, sending out a flurry of press releases and buying a full-page ad in U.S. Airways magazine that proclaims: “No matter who’s in the tournament, Dayton takes the lead."  

Dozens of high-profile publications and outlets such as The Washington Post, ESPN, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News carried stories, photos and videos of the visit.   

Obama told CBS Sports, in the only interview of the two at the event, that he was happy to bring Cameron to the heartland of the U.S. The CBS story said the president praised Ohio, saying he was glad he had been able to bring Cameron to the state.  

'I thought it was going to be wonderful for the prime minister to have a chance not only to see a basketball game for the first time, but also to come to the great state of Ohio,' said Mr. Obama. 'Because sometimes when we have foreign visitors they're only visiting the coasts. They go to New York, they go to Washington, they go to Los Angeles. But, you know, the heartland is what it's all about.'"  

U.K. outlets covering the visit included the BBC, The Telegraph and The Times and Reuters news service.  

Along with a cheeky story about Cameron's apparent unfamiliarity with basketball, U.K.'s MailOnline ran an extended photo gallery in which University of Dayton President Daniel Curran and a number of University students are plain to see.  

Reuters wrote: "President Barack Obama, America's basketball fan-in-chief, treated British Prime Minister David Cameron to courtside seats for 'March Madness' on Tuesday, taking him to an NCAA tournament game in the presidential election swing state of Ohio… Obama, an avid basketball fan, whisked Cameron out of Washington to attend the National Collegiate Athletic Association game between Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State at the University of Dayton sports arena." 

The University of Dayton was prominently featured in a photo with a story in the Jakarta Globe, Indonesia, which commented: "The setting created the image of two buddies, dressed in casual clothes, eating hot dogs and enjoying the NCAA tournament, one of America’s premier sporting events." 

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.