As TCU prepared to start its 150th year, the university celebrated another momentous occasion: a record-breaking football season and a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Being the first football team in Texas to make it to the playoff – and then on to the championship game – placed TCU on the national stage like never before. From the undefeated regular season to the Big 12 Championship game, to winning the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona and to the final destination in Los Angeles, TCU was shining bright.
“There is no doubt that the impact of our football program’s performance this year will benefit TCU's academic mission for years to come,” Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. said. “Many have compared this to the national exposure we received when we won the Rose Bowl in 2011, but really, both seasons were historic and impactful in their own ways.”
In addition to the team’s successes, coach Sonny Dykes won numerous national coaching awards, and quarterback Max Duggan’s heroic story earned headlines and highlight reels, not to mention winning the Davey O’Brien Award, finishing second for the Heisman Trophy and more.
“This season we've earned an even greater opportunity to build TCU's national awareness and show what we stand for,” Boschini said. “We've demonstrated leadership, character and perseverance on a national stage.”
Telling the TCU Story
The moment provided an opportunity to tell of TCU’s rankings both on and off the field.
“Many of our academic programs continue to be recognized in top national rankings. TCU remains a top-100 national university, and our connected campus, student experience, faculty, research, colleges and schools are consistently lauded,” Boschini said.
Throughout the 2022 season, and especially as TCU was selected as one of four teams in the College Football Playoff, the media was hungry for TCU stories. Before the National Championship game even commenced, TCU had recorded more than $2.1 billion in earned media. President Daniel Pullin, for instance, had the opportunity to discuss TCU with different media outlets.
“There is really not a corner of our university that isn't benefitting right now,” Pullin said. “The entire country has had a glimpse into the incredible TCU community that we enjoy each and every day.”
A Nation Taking Notice
While the true impact won’t be seen this year, applications were up across the board with 31 percent of Early Decision applicants saying TCU is their top choice.
Visits to tcu.edu are up exponentially, climbing especially on game days and weekends.
- Fiesta Bowl Day traffic was up 150%
- In December, tcu.edu homepage views were up 125%
- Top-read stories were focused on the TCU experience and academic topics.
“We were excited to see that on gamedays, traffic to tcu.edu was up exponentially, and even more impressively, the top-read stories were about the overall TCU experience and academic topics,” Tracy Syler-Jones, vice chancellor for Marketing & Communication, said. “This shows that athletics helps us open the door to tell the full TCU story about our unmatched TCU experience and academic mission.”
Fort Worth Goes Purple
Another big winner? The city of Fort Worth.
“TCU has put a national spotlight on Fort Worth once again with this incredible football season, Fiesta Bowl win and National Championship game,” Mayor Mattie Parker said. “TCU's impact goes beyond athletics' visibility and brings visitors to our city in droves.”
According to Visit Fort Worth:
- Home games deliver a 35% jump in hotel revenue
- Home games deliver a 23% jump in total visitor spending, meaning an impact on local business
- Home games push hotel occupancy up 12 points, above national average into the mid-80% range
“In addition to the hometown team spirit, educational and academic leadership, TCU's impact means jobs, economic development and innovation,” Parker said. “We are excited to celebrate the university’s 150th anniversary on this national stage.”
Much of Fort Worth turned purple, and the city was joined in support across the country, from Dallas to Houston to Boston.
Only Hypnotoad knows what’s in store.