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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 21, 2011
Race to Black Friday coming down to the wire

The University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska are competing to see which school can attract the most fans on its institutional Facebook page by the time the Hawkeyes and Huskers football teams meet on the field at 11 a.m. Friday in Lincoln.

What started out as an informal challenge via a Facebook post from the UI to UNL in mid-August turned into The Race to Black Friday. The rules are simple: whichever school has the most "likes" on its page by kickoff of the Heroes Game wins. So far, each school has gained close to 30,000 likes, and they have traded the lead several times.

"This was an opportunity for both schools to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the Heroes Game," says UI Vice President for Strategic Communication Tysen Kendig. "We expected to grow our audience significantly and at the same time engage audience members in dialogue that highlights every aspect of the Iowa experience -- from academics to athletics to arts to student life. It's been a lot of fun, and it's coming down the wire."

When Iowa issued the challenge Aug. 18, it had just more than 15,000 fans, trailing Nebraska by about 2,500. In three months, Iowa's audience has grown to nearly 45,000.

The goal for both schools has been to grow their audiences on Facebook and to create a more interactive environment on the world's most popular social media platform. But The Race to Black Friday also served as a welcome to Nebraska, which is in its first year in the Big Ten Conference.

For more information or to connect with the UI:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Office of University Communication and Marketing, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Page, University Creative Services, or 319-384-0018