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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 12, 2011

PHOTO: Herky the Hawk photo by Bill Adams

UI competing with Nebraska for most fans on Facebook

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 in Lincoln on Nov. 25.

What started out as an informal challenge via a Facebook post from the UI to UNL has been named 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.

"This is an opportunity for both schools to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the Heroes Game," said UI Vice President for Strategic Communication Tysen Kendig. "We expect 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 going to be a lot of fun."

When Iowa issued the challenge Aug. 18, it had just more than 15,000 fans, trailing Nebraska by about 2,500. Already, Iowa's audience has grown to nearly 25,000, surpassing UNL.

The goal for both schools is 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 serves as a welcome to Nebraska, which is in its first year in the Big Ten Conference. Throughout the competition, both schools plan to make posts to Facebook that will highlight institutional points of distinction, drawing parallels, and introducing the institutions to the other's audience.

A video to kick off the Race to Black Friday can be viewed at

More information:

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