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Yow says ACC Network “single most important thing for future of athletic program.” Is she right?

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A year from now, the ACC will finally have their own ESPN-partnered channel. That launch couldn’t come soon enough for the ACC’s athletic programs who are at a disadvantage against schools in conferences with their own channels. Just take a look at these numbers…

As you can see from NC State AD Debbie Yow’s comment (she is @gopacknow), she is banking on this deal to really boost revenue for NC State.

However, this venture is not without risk.

As reported by Sports Business Journal, each ACC school is being required to spend anywhere from $7-10 Million to prepare for the launch. That is a high price tag for sure, but ESPN is requiring these schools to basically build TV studios into their facilities.

Schools are expected to be capable of producing multiple linear-quality broadcasts at once, in addition to digital broadcasts and videoboard content. Each school will have four to five control rooms, with at least two with linear capabilities, and there are plenty of further costs out there, ranging from $100,000 for a camera platform to $1 million to run fiber-optic cable from the venues to the control rooms. Oh, and at some schools like North Carolina, there are major construction or renovation costs (around $4 million in the Tar Heels’ case) just to get suitable space for these control rooms. (Awful Announcing)

So is expecting the new ACC Network to be a cash cow the right move?

In an industry where revenue is strictly tied to winning, there is very little stability in long-term financial planning. So, if you’re going to bet on one sure-fire way to increase revenue, betting on the new ACC Network seems like the right play.

It helps that the SEC and BIG-10 are basically ‘proof-of-concepts’ for the idea, and both are out-earning the ACC by a large margin.

If you’re wondering why there is any concern at all, it’s because traditional TV subscriptions are on a downward trend. Cord-cutters and app users are really eating into the old model of bundling channels and ESPN is one of the last hold-outs. The sports media monolith still refuses to launch a standalone app that gives you access to all their live channels with playback ability.

Sure, with live sports and tons of licensing rights in place, it could get dicey, but ESPN has had a TON of time to figure this out and all they have to show for it right now is ESPN + (and WatchESPN, which is tied to a cable subscription).

It’s really still not clear what the vision for ESPN + is. Is it ESPN doing a test-run on their ability to produce an industry-leading standalone app? Or is it some idea hatched by execs with wallets bloated from years of traditional TV contracts, basically hedging their bets and getting SOMETHING in the app store because the entire sports-watching nation is pressuring them to?

At the end of the day, I think this nation is sports crazy enough that no matter what ESPN does with their digital delivery, the ACC Network will be a success. But just how much of a success likely depends on ESPN figuring out their positioning in this new generation of television.

NC State News

NC State University continues to climb in the US News rankings, ACC ranks #1

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The good news just keeps coming for NC State University.

Almost a month ago, Money Magazine ranked NC State as the #1 college in North Carolina when it came to value.

Now, US News & World Report has moved NC State up to #80 on their national “Top Colleges & Universities” list. Among public institutions, State was moved up to 32.

Leading the way was the NC State engineering department, followed by the Poole College of Mangement. Here is a blurb from the release:

The Poole College of Management continued to climb up the list of undergraduate business programs, moving up four spots to No. 87 in the nation. Poole’s undergraduate accounting program also made the list this year, ranking 54th.

Undergraduate engineering moved up two spots to 32nd place. Industrial engineering jumped two spots to 12th place and biological and agricultural engineering ticked up one spot to join the top 10 undergraduate programs in the nation.(NC State)

Meanwhile, the ACC as a whole showed great numbers in this same report.

For the 12th consecutive year, the Atlantic Coast Conference leads the way among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences in the “Best Colleges” rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. (ACC)

ACC schools combined for a 54.7 average rank and it’s the only FBS conference to have 6 members in the top 35.

While NC State is moving up, they have a way to go to catch the schools in the Top-40. Duke is #8, Notre Dame is #18, Virginia is #25, Wake is #27, UNC is #30 and Georgia Tech is #35 and Boston College rounds it out at #38.

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NC State News

NC State athletics is taking their marketing and branding seriously, pays off with #3 on national watch list

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As NC State fans, we love to see our school represented in a good light. However,  before Debbie Yow arrived on the scene and revamped NC State Athletics marketing arm, things were pretty bleak.

NC State Athletics marketing and design were well behind the times when it came to digital strategy and simply missed the mark with just about everything they put out. (It was one reason we decided to start PackInsider.com back in the day. We felt like, if no one was going to create a modern NC State online experience, then we’d at least try.)

That changed 8 years ago when Yow came into the fold. We don’t know the inner-workings, but suddenly things started to shift. GoPack.com got a facelift, the video intros took a huge step up, marketing campaigns became more visible and design started to be taken seriously anywhere NC State Athletics was putting out content. In a world where (like it or not) online presence matters, suddenly NC State was becoming relevant.

If you haven’t noticed, we put together a few examples for you…

Here is some pregame hype material…

Here is their “offer pack” they send to recruits…

Here are some of their postgame graphics…

Also throw into the fold that they are producing their own docu-series for both football and basketball which are being nominated for awards.

This investment into creative and marketing isn’t going unnoticed. NC State was recently ranked #3 nationally for ‘best college-athletics creative teams to watch”

And now that the creative is there, NC State is investing in reaching the masses with it. Over the past few days, we’ve noticed NC State draped all over Raleigh-Durham.

Here are NC State’s new banners at the RDU airport…

And here is one of the 150 banners spanning from North Hills to downtown Raleigh (Glenwood South).

Actually, NC State also hung giant banners (visible from Karmanos Dr.) down the East Side of Carter-Finley and had all banners around PNC & CFS complex redone. They’ve also done some work at Dail Basketball lobby, Reynolds Coliseum and have projects on the horizon for Murphy Center, baseball, and tennis.

NC State is finally taking branding and marketing seriously and it’s paying off in a big way. Raleigh is the home of NC State and everyone in this city should know that. Thanks to the Wolfpack’s new focus on high-level creative and marketing reach, it’s starting to become pretty apparent.

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NC State News

NC State Welcomes the Most Academically Qualified 1st-Year Class in School History

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The Wolfpack’s 2018 Fall Football Camp came to a close yesterday, because classes at NC State officially start today.

NC State welcomes the largest and most academically impressive class of freshman today in school history.

  • 4,889 incoming freshman (29,852 undergraduate admissions applications). Most in North Carolina this year, and most in school history.
  • Average SAT score: 1320
  • Average ACT score: 29.3
  • Weighted high school GPA: 4.59
  • 48% were in Top-10 percent in their class
  • 77% were in the Top-20 percent in their class
  • 229 valedictorians and salutatorians

Welcome NC State students and student athletes. You are a part of school history, and you just arrived. You chose the best school in North Carolina, and the best fanbase around.

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NC State News

Money Magazine Ranks NC State as #1 College in North Carolina

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Money Magazine released their ‘best schools for the money’, and look who is slotting in at #1 in North Carolina.

That’s right pack fans. NC State is atop the list, followed by Duke at #2 and UNC at #3. In fact, NC State ranks 31st in the nation.

Taken into account for this ranking was Median SAT/ACT score, estimated price without aid, estimated price with average grant, percent with need who get grants, average student debt and early career earnings.

There are some interesting takeaways here. While it’s a little harder to get into Duke and UNC, students coming out of NC State with a degree make more ($53,800) in their early career than UNC students ($51,200).

So the boys in blue can keep running around with their dated data about how much more valuable their degrees are, but the statistics have spoken.

If you want to pay less and earn more in North Carolina…You go to NC State.

Here’s what they had to say about the Wolfpack:

North Carolina State University is a school with deep-rooted tradition and local pride. In fact, many current students have parents and grandparents who are NC State alumni. Probably best known for its agricultural science program, as well as its science research majors, NC State offers its 34,000 students some 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. With its location in urban Raleigh, there’s always plenty to do, both on campus and off. Hundreds of student clubs are constantly recruiting on the Brickyard, State’s central quad, and Greek parties run late into the night. But nothing brings the community together as much as cheering for their Division I sports teams, now in a century-old rivalry with nearby UNC. Students and professors go all out, dressing in red, roasting pigs at tailgating sessions and pitching tents in parking lots before games. When it comes time to study, the recently built learning commons offers a quiet escape. Classes are large, especially the introductory ones in the core curriculum. Nevertheless, undergrads say that professors are attentive and almost always available. The university has a solid 78% graduation rate, according to MONEY’s calculations, which is 10% higher than would be expected based on the academic preparation and economic background of NC State Raleigh’s students. In their first three years after graduating, alumni tend to earn an average salary of $53,800. (Link)

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