The power of basketball: how a tournament run put Marquette in the national spotlight 

Both Marquette’s women’s and men’s basketball teams participated in the NCAA Tournament in March, with the men’s team making a run to the Sweet 16. With over 10 million television viewers tuning into March Madness each year, the event is an outstanding opportunity for the university to shine on the national stage. 

This year, the postseason appearances benefitted Marquette in several key metrics:

University website traffic 

  • In the 10 days leading up to the Sweet 16, new users to the homepage were up 40%.  
  • The Marquette Madness microsite, featuring facts to know about Marquette, reached nearly 5,000 views in that time period. 
  • The seven-day rolling average of user activity on Marquette Athletics site,, nearly tripled from the start of the Big East quarterfinals to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  
  • website activity from Chicago, one of the university’s major recruitment areas, notably spiked. A 30-second TV advertisement ran in this crucial market during the Sweet 16 matchup on CBS. 
  • Web users from New York City additionally rose during the Big East Tournament, held at Madison Square Garden. 
  • When Marquette defeated Colorado to advance to the Sweet 16, Google searches for the university doubled. 

Marquette social media engagement  

  • Impressions on Marquette’s primary social media accounts were up 165%, reaching 3.6 million in the 10 days leading up to the Sweet 16. 
  • Engagements on Marquette’s primary social media accounts increased 134%. 
  • Nearly 800K impressions alone when Marquette punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 on March 24.  
  • The number of messages Marquette’s social media profiles received increased 213%. 
  • Social media net audience growth was up 133%. 
  • Marquette gained 350 new followers across its social media accounts on March 24.
  • From March 7-31, the men’s basketball social media accounts had: 
    • 6.7 million impressions on Twitter 
    • 5.4 million impressions on Instagram 
    • 3.6 million impressions on Facebook 
    • 850,000 total engagements across platforms 

University media coverage 

Support displayed in Milwaukee and around the globe 

  • Buildings throughout the city were lit up blue and gold in support of Marquette, including Northwestern Mutual, Discovery World Science and Technology Museum, the 600 East building, the Gas Light Building, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, MGIC, the Pfister Hotel, US Bank Center and Fiserv Forum. The Hoan Bridge was additionally illuminated in Marquette colors. 
  • Marquette fans took part in events hosted at each game site – Indianapolis, South Bend, Indiana, and Dallas – and attended watch parties throughout the country and as far away as Paris. 

Photo gallery