Campus & Community

University of Denver’s First Presidential Debate: It’s a Wrap

While the first Presidential Debate at the University of Denver is now a memory, the excitement lingers along with banners and signs that remind the campus community that history happened at our doorstep.

The effects also are evident in the number of University of Denver news mentions associated with the Presidential Debate and related activities. With an estimated television viewing audience of more than 67 million the approximate value of publicity between Oct. 31, 2011 — when the University announced it would host the Debate — and Oct. 15, 2012 is more than $55 million. Publicity value on the day of the debate alone was well over $36 million (source: Vocus, Nielsen estimates and internal analysis).

Additionally, unlike previous debate cycles, social media played a major role in visibility. For example, on the day of the debate, the University of Denver saw a total of over a million impressions on Facebook, which is more than the Democratic and Republican parties’ webpages receive combined on an average day. It also set a new record as the most tweeted political event to date.

According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, more than 3,000 media personnel were credentialed for the Presidential Debate, representing more than 1,500 networks and news organizations. This included more than 700 international media representing more than 65 different news organizations and 47 countries.

In addition to journalists covering the event, an estimated 800 University of Denver students, faculty and staff volunteers signed up to help at various Debate-related events. DebateFest, a celebration and watch party, had approximately 5,000 attendees. On the night of the Debate, about 300 students were seated inside the debate hall.

As the University prepares to celebrate its 150th Anniversary in 2014, we are proud that the Presidential Debate served to reach and remind both our neighbors along the Front Range and in Colorado, as well as those watching across the country and around the world, that the University of Denver is truly a great private university dedicated to the public good.

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