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UMBC's brand takes off after historic win

Twitter, mascot help boost school spirit
Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-19 18:36:33-04

It was a whirlwind weekend for UMBC fans. After the basketball team's historic win in teh NCAA Tournament Friday night, the school's brand took off.

"We would go somewhere and people would say, 'Who are you here with?' and we would say, 'UMBC,' and they said, 'oh the miracle school!'," Twitter manager Zach Seidel said. 

With graduate Seidel running the school's Twitter, (@UMBCAthletics), the account gained over 100,000 new followers in 2 days. He said people appreciated this snarky personality with posts like "Pro: Someone scored a point. Con: it wasn't us."

"That's the stuff that fans want to see. At this day in age, you can see the score of the game at any time so why not have some fun with it?" Seidel said. 

Apex Marketing Group estimated UMBC's value in advertisements over the weekend was $33 million. That's almost $30 million more than the weekend before, when the Retrievers beat Vermont to win conference and advance to the tournament. 

"It's just so great for the school and I'm really happy for the institution," Seidel said. 

"We're on the map now and we've gotten some attention and I think it's an important thing," Cara Dekelbaum, who represents the team as True Grit, said. 

Dekelbaum graduated in 2016 and has been going to games and events as the mascot since 2012. She was welcomed back to fill the position during the NCAA Tournament. 

"It was incredible. I just remember being on the court and we were ahead by 20 points and thinking we could win this thing," Dekelbaum said. 

She helped score the school some extra bragging points too, winning the mascot dance off and jumping on the drums with the pep band. 

"I just wanted to prove that though we aren't the biggest university, we could have the best spirit," Dekelbaum said. 

Both are excited to use the new found fame to promote the school's academics. 

"I tweeted out, 'Hey no matter what happens guys, we are conveniently located in Baltimore and are a great academic institution," Seidel said.