The pizza boxes stacked onto a waist-high countertop stood taller than Pauline DeAndrade, President of Temple University’s chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA).
One by one, as fellow members trickled in to NABA’s April 22 assembly meeting, the mound of pizzas shrunk in size.
A catered assembly meeting was NABA’s reward for winning the inaugural Fox SPO Madness. A Twitter-based bracket competition, Fox SPO Madness pitted 16 student-professional organizations (SPOs) at Temple’s Fox School of Business against one another, with the winner earning a pizza party for its members, sponsored by Vanguard, a parter of the Fox School’s Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD).
NABA defeated Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (TU-AMA) in the final round.
“When we surpassed 200 votes in the championship round, I think that was when I started thinking we might win,” said DeAndrade, a graduating senior and a summer intern with Deloitte’s auditing practice in Philadelphia. “Our support system showed during the duration of the contest, which made it a lot of fun.”
For a two-week span, from late March to early April, Fox SPO Madness galvanized SPOs into action. The contest ran simultaneously to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, ending April 6, the same day as the basketball tournament’s championship game.
Of Fox School’s 24 SPOs, 16 maintain Twitter accounts. Each SPO was chosen randomly to populate spots in a 16-entry bracket. Once daily at 9 a.m., beginning March 17, the Fox School’s Twitter account (@foxschool) unveiled that day’s matchup to be voted upon. In each matchup, the retweet and favorite functions served as votes for respective SPOs and, at 3 p.m., a winner was declared.
To ensure the largest number of votes each time, NABA employed social media platforms, emails to its listserv members, and regular appeals to coworkers, family and friends.
“We tapped into our alumni, too, and we do so regularly,” said senior Harold Rosemund, NABA’s Social Media Coordinator. “For example, if one of our members knows they can do better in a particular course, we reach out to our alums and say, ‘Is anyone available to mentor a student, or consult with them on a project?’ Beyond the scope of the contest, our alumni base is always so supportive.”
“And I think this (contest) shows just how strong the SPOs are at Fox.”
Not to mention how hungry they are.