BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - With the new season almost here, CSUB Athletics wants to remind fans to connect with the Roadrunners via online and social media, a point of focus for the department during the last few seasons and an area showing unprecedented growth.

CSUB Director of Athletics Jeff Konya says since hiring Director of New Media and Broadcasting Corey Costelloe in early 2011, the online and social media has not only grown, but become a major source of information for fans and members of the media that cover the Roadrunners.

One focus has been improving the department’s presence on Twitter, where the Roadrunners had just 75 followers two years ago. That number has rapidly risen to nearly 2,000 followers. Also, Facebook likes have increased dramatically from a few hundred followers in 2011 to just shy of 3,000 this month.  The percentage increase in both platforms ranks as one of the tops in the nation over that stretch of time.

“We decided in 2011 that this would be a major area of focus for our re-branding and marketing efforts,” Konya said. “We knew with the right plan in place, we could show growth in this area and after reviewing it recently, I can say we’ve accomplished that initial objective under Corey’s leadership.”

By comparison to the current WAC schools, CSUB and Utah Valley lead the incoming class of WAC members with the most Facebook likes, as only established members Idaho and New Mexico State have a larger online fan base and presence.

Klout.com is a social-media impact monitoring website that shows CSUB Athletics with an average score of 60, the highest among sport properties in Bakersfield. It also monitors the impact and viral-importance of a message, including how many times it is shared by others while also tracking mentions on various other social media websites.

Costelloe admits he would still like to see the numbers grow, but the message is clearly being delivered.

“The fact that our KLOUT score is as high as it is shows that we have passionate followers that are sharing our message across the social media,” he said. “Sure 10,000 followers would be nice, but if you can’t effectively engage those 10,000 into your message, it doesn’t necessarily help advance your brand.”

The numbers should continue to grow in 2013-14 as the Roadrunners recently announced plans for a new multimedia show thanks to a partnership with The Bakersfield Californian and Bakersfield.com. That show will also be aired on GoRunners.com, another multimedia platform that has grown exponentially in the last few years.

Since being redesigned and launched in December 2011, GoRunners.com has had over 1.5 million visits and 4.5 million page views. Analytics also show that of all those visitors, 30% are new to the site.

“My goal is two million hits a year. I am most excited that we keep attracting new visitors as that means our brand is growing,” Costelloe said.

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