In a nail-biting, come-from-behind victory, Mason edged out Virginia Commonwealth University in its first Facebook Face-off challenge.
Mason rallied from an early 4,000-fan deficit to come within 20 fans of VCU in the last 15 minutes of the contest. Patriot fans pushed through and overtook VCU in the final moments and never looked back. In the end, Mason won the challenge by an 87-fan margin.
However, both schools came out winners on Facebook, where they each more than doubled their fan bases over the contest duration. Mason gained 14,496 new fans, for a total of 22,870. That number is almost three times the 8,374 fans with which the university began the contest. VCU gained 14,409 new fans in the contest, for a total of 25,126 fans.
The contest tipped off at noon on Jan. 19 and ended at noon on Feb. 9. The results were announced during halftime at the Feb. 9 VCU-Mason men’s basketball game, where Mason again prevailed in a come-from-behind victory, knocking off VCU 82-77 in overtime at the Patriot Center.
The idea for the Facebook Face-off sprang from a similar challenge between Louisiana State University and Texas A&M. At the time of their challenge, those schools had the largest fan bases among universities on Facebook.
“It was really wonderful to see the way the Mason Nation came together to fight for this win,” says Tara Laskowski, a manager in Mason’s Office of Media and Public Relations, which spearheaded the campaign.
“The school spirit was amazing. We had thousands of people — students, alumni, faculty, staff and fans — spreading the word. The friendly competition between our fan pages really mirrored the basketball rivalry on the court that night.”
As part of the contest, Mason also hosted a contest for four premium Homecoming tickets for the men’s basketball game on Feb. 20. To enter, fans had to write their favorite Mason tradition on the university’s Facebook wall during the Face-off. Thousands of fans entered the contest, and the winner will soon be announced.
Laskowski and the Media and Public Relations staff thank all who participated in the Face-off. Even though the contest is over, it’s never too late to join other Mason fans on Facebook. Just log in to your Facebook account and visit www.facebook.com/georgemason.