Social Networking, Fan Sites Propel First Week Of The Bowerman Fan Vote

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

August 9, 2010   

NEW ORLEANS – Only seven days have passed since online fan voting for The Bowerman began, but already the number of combined votes for the men’s and women’s candidates has exceed the three-week total posted in 2009. As of 9 a.m., central, Monday morning, 20,192 choices have been made, and it is safe to say that social networking, fan-devoted, and school’s official websites have fueled the first week of votes based on visits to TheBowerman.org.

The Bowerman logoThe tight race on the women’s ballot between Iowa State’s Lisa Koll and Virginia Tech’s Queen Harrison has only helped the cause. According to Monday morning’s totals, Koll holds only a 34-vote lead over Harrison and both combine for over 12,000 of the votes cast. On the men’s side, Arizona State’s Ryan Whiting with over 3,000 votes holds a four-percentage point advantage on Oregon’s Ashton Eaton.

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Leading all methods, over 20 percent of the web traffic to TheBowerman.org in the first week came from direct sources such as email, bookmarks, or typed URLs. Over 2,500 visits to the site were referred from facebook.com, which totaled 17.5 percent of the hits. In fact, last week’s web posting announcing that voting had opened was shared on the social networking site 230 times. Twitter tallied over 200 of the referrals.

And, then, there are the fan-devoted and official websites of the schools with candidates. Techsideline.com, a Virginia Tech fan-centric site, actually beat out Facebook for the top referral of the week, notching over 18 percent of the visits. A majority of those hits came from a mention on the bottom of a football web posting titled “Hokies ranked 6th in Preseason Coaches’ Poll”. Iowa State’s official site, cyclones.com, accounted for over 1,600 visits, and Virginia Tech’s site, hokiesports.com, accounted for over 1,400. Cyclonefanatic.com was next in the order with over 800 referrals.

Traditional sites dedicated to track & field coverage (not including ustfccca.org) yielded 2.5 percent of the traffic.

The people of Virginia visited TheBowerman.org more than any other state with over 3,600 hits. Iowa was next in line with over 2,300 visits, followed by New York, California, and Oregon. Ames, Iowa, won the week as the top city with 879 visits to the site, followed by Richmond, Va. (707), New York, N.Y. (600), Des Moines, Iowa (428), Blacksburg, Va. (367), Washington, D.C. (358), Glen Allen, Va. (321), Eugene, Ore. (265), Roanoke, Va. (262), and Atlanta, Ga. (215) to round out the top ten. Nearly 70 percent of the visits came from outside the top ten cities.

Voting will continue until Friday, August 20. The winners of the fan vote account for one collective vote in The Bowerman balloting process.