In National

It’s Friday night at your hometown football game. Hundreds of fans pack the bleachers, erupting when your team takes the field. Chants and cheers echo through the stadium. You can feel the adrenaline buzzing in the air as the announcer lists off the starters.

It’s easy to feel the sense of community at a game where fans show up, rain or shine, and support their team. But what about the rest of the time? Is there a way to measure that excitement?

We talk a lot on this blog about how VNN products help high schools rally parents, athletes and fans around their local sports programs online, but beyond what our software does, it also gives our team a unique point of view into 2,500 local communities across the country.

It’s with that in mind that today we’re announcing the 2020 VNN National Championship – a title that we’ll be awarding next month to the school that objectively had the best, most engaged, excited, deeply connected community across the VNN Network during the 2019-2020 school year.

So, how does someone win? A strong sports community comes down to four factors:

  • Community interest
  • Community engagement
  • Coaches involvement
  • Relationships and development
Students cheer during a pep rally last winter at Frederick High School (MD).

For every category, we’ll put numbers to them, apply them across the network, and create an algorithm using weighted averages that shows us the most impactful athletic departments to their local community. The criteria includes things like content popularity, number of coaches involved, student body engagement, all while controlling for things like enrollment to ensure that our smaller schools get an equal shot at the top prize as the big ones. The best part? This past year, our schools didn’t even know we were measuring them – making this inaugural campaign perhaps the purest of all the calculations we’ll do.

Our team is in the process of crunching final numbers but once we have the results, VNN will be presenting several awards that commemorate the work from August 2019 through July 2020 (2019-20 school year):

  • 1 National Championship
  • 4 Regional Championships
  • State Titles (1 per VNN State)

Each winner will take home a trophy to proudly display at their school. Stay tuned for final results.

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