SPORT

In First Pac-12 Matchup, UCLA Is Losing The Social Media Game

UCLA may be the better ranked team, but Arizona is killing it on social media.

SPORT
Sep 25, 2015 at 1:58 PM ET

In Saturday’s Pac-12 conference match-up against the UCLA Bruins, the Arizona Wildcats are going all out, putting in powerhouse players like Iron Man, Captain America, even the mighty Thor himself.

At least, that’s the impression you might get from watching Arizona’s latest hype video, in which Wildcats glory and triumph unfolds amid superhero voice-overs borrowed from Marvel’s latest Avengers movie.

The video, posted to YouTube on Wednesday, is the latest indication that while UCLA is ahead of Arizona in the AP poll — in 9th place to Arizona’s 16th — and each team is undefeated after three games this season, the Wildcats are winning the internet video game by a huge margin.

Meanwhile, the only visible and recent social media effort from UCLA is #champedup — a hashtag they used to promote a pep rally on campus.

Just look at the Arizona athletics department’s YouTube channel, which boasts 12,702 subscribers to UCLA’s 3,254.

It’s worth noting that UCLA was late to the game here, joining YouTube only about two years ago, while Arizona has been posting videos since 2008. But in that time, the Wildcats have racked up over 8.1 million video views, more than 8 times as many as the Bruins.

The Wildcats’ video victory is made possible by spots like the Avengers video, which add new flavor to the familiar hype-video recipe of soaring anthems and slo-mo football feats.

This summer, Arizona mixed a winner by combining Wildcats highlights with the soundtrack for the new Star Wars movie trailer, effectively summoning Luke Skywalker to bestow Jedi powers on the team. And last month, the Wildcats PR team put together a goofy, elaborate 007-themed video spot, featuring a fleet of fancy sports cars, and linebackers in Bond-worthy tuxedos.

But while Arizona dominates UCLA on YouTube, the Bruins come out on top by other social media measures. On Twitter, for example UCLA has about 4,000 more followers — 39,900 to Arizona’s 35,700.

And on Facebook, nearly 100,000 people like UCLA Football, far more than Arizona Football’s roughly 70,000.

Saturday’s game match-up may reveal which is the greater asset on the field — extra Twitter followers, or the awesome power of Thor and the rest of the Avengers.