Who needs Don Draper when Butler’s in Final Fours?

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Butler’s been good to college basketball the last two years. The Bulldogs’ improbable feat of back-to-back Final Fours boosted TV ratings, attendance and surely helped the NCAA strike a lucrative TV contract.

Basketball’s been good to Butler, too. A billion dollars good.

The school released a statement Tuesday (via Rush the Court) noting that a recent study that monitored and evaluated media coverage of the Bulldogs’ run to the 2011 Final Four generated an estimated publicity value of $512,382,703 thanks to TV, print and online news. Combine that with the nearly $450 million the 2010 Final Four generated for the school, and it’s a remarkable two years.

Don Draper, eat your heart out.

“The story of our athletes and their accomplishments in the classroom, as well as on the court, exemplifies the true meaning of student-athlete.  And that story has been carried to a much larger audience, thanks to the success of the Butler basketball team,” athletic director Barry Collier said in a statement.

The breakdown’s interesting given how Borshoff broke down the values:

The study by Borshoff found that the performance of the Butler men’s basketball team generated $60,378,084.41 in television publicity value, $2,792,954.18 in print publicity value and $449,211,664.31 in on-line publicity value.  The study did not consider the publicity value of radio broadcasts or talk shows.

Television coverage during the final two weeks of the NCAA Tournament provided more than 7,600 mentions of the Butler men’s basketball team, with an estimated publicity value of more than $42.5 million.  The championship game’s publicity value was estimated at more than $2.2 million.  Overall, Butler basketball received nearly 10,000 mentions and reached an estimated audience of 1.4 billion.

Sure, the numbers don’t seem possible, but it’s impossible to deny the additional publicity boosted Butler. Nearly every story about the Bulldogs was either overwhelmingly positive or focused on its mascot (an even bigger win).

You know what this means, right? Brad Stevens probably needs another raise.

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