Followers mean more than popularity for Ball State golf
Coach will donate $1 for every new follower on Twitter
To take a break from the misery that is Finals Week, Ball State’s men’s golf team congregated for a Christmas party on Sunday. Amongst the laughs, presents and goodies, the team decided to talk about more serious matters.
For a team that finished the fall portion of the season on the cusp of a top 25 ranking (the team is rank No. 27 by Golfweek), not many people know much about the Cardinals and their prowess on the links.
At the party, the guys sifted through ways to bolster acknowledgment for the team’s achievements, and one common theme was reoccurring.
“We just wanted recognition for the team,” coach Mike Fleck said. “And we thought the best way to do that was through social media, more specifically Twitter.”
Fleck said the team realized in order for the community to support them, they needed to support the community.
Most people have had some run-in with cancer, whether it be with a friend, a relative or a personal battle.
Ball State Golf has been directly affected in the past. Former Ball State golfer Justin Cross lost his battle with leukemia in 2005.
With all of these reasons, Fleck said that the decision to become involved with fundraising for cancer research was a “natural fit.”
On December 11, the twitter handle @BallStateGolf had about 250 followers.
Then a barrage of tweets ranging from players, to students, to official Ball State accounts made it known that coach Fleck would be donating a dollar out of his own pocket for every new follower up to 1,000 followers.
Two days after the Christmas party, the handle’s follower count has more than tripled, and now has more than 850.
The message has been relayed, resent and retweeted hundreds of times, even by some notable names.
The news of Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano's leukemia diagnosis has spurred the creation of "Chuckstrong,” a program that accepts donations that go towards leukemia research at the IU Health Simon Cancer Center in honor of Pagano.
Colts owner Jim Irsay joined Ball State’s cause and retweeted the information to his 194,000 followers. Irsay has even clicked the follow button himself, and brought Fleck one dollar closer to writing his $750 check.
With all the immediate success, Fleck doesn’t know exactly what can happen with this plan.
“Right now the goal is getting to 1,000 followers,” Fleck said. “But we aren’t really sure how big this thing can get.”