Measures of Alumni Athlete Engagement (Part 1)
Athletics Community

Measures of Alumni Athlete Engagement (Part 1)

Measuring alumni engagement, for athletes or in general, is essential to understand the effectiveness of your efforts and to identify areas for improvement. CASE has created a framework for measuring engagement that can be helpful for providing ideas and benchmarking that can be adapted for alumni athletes. The key is to measure what is important to your alumni athletes focused efforts based on the goals of your institution. 

Because alumni relations is about community building as well as contributions, it can be hard to capture useful data for measuring success. Let’s start with data that is (relatively) easy to collect: 

  • Attendance Rates: Measure the number of alumni who attend sports events with a special alumni event offered in coordination. It is straightforward to monitor the alumni event attendance and you can seat the alumni in a specific section of the viewing area (and sell tickets) to track how many attend a team event.
  • Attendance Rates (general): As with all alumni, count attendance at webinars, reunions, and other activities (online and in-person.) Track attendance over time to measure if programming appeals to your alumni.
  • Online Platform Activity: Track the frequency and depth of interactions on your alumni online platform especially for broadcasting sports events and in your athlete groups by team and by sport. Monitor metrics such as the number of logins, profile updates, content contributions, and connections made.
  • Social Media Metrics: Analyze engagement metrics on social media platforms, including likes, comments, shares, and followers. Compare the results of sports and alumni athlete focused programming with general programming. These metrics indicate the reach and resonance of your content.
  • Web Traffic and Engagement Metrics: Monitor website traffic related to alumni pages and team pages. Look at metrics like page views, time spent on pages, and bounce rates to gauge the effectiveness of your online content.
  • Email Open and Click Rates: Measure how often alumni open your emails and interact with the content by clicking on links. This indicates the relevance and appeal of your content.
  • Alumni Database Updates: Keep track which alumni athletes update their information and which teams seem to have a better update frequency on their profiles. An increase in updates could indicate a higher level of engagement and can indicate ideas for engagement.
  • Alumni Surveys: Regularly survey alumni athletes to gather feedback on their level of satisfaction, perceived value of engagement efforts, and suggestions for improvement. Participation in a survey is a form of engagement in itself.
  • Retention Rates: Analyze how many alumni continue to engage with your institution’s initiatives over time. Higher retention rates indicate sustained engagement.
  • Qualitative Feedback: Go beyond quantitative metrics! Start to solicit qualitative feedback and sentiments expressed by alumni. This can provide insights into the emotional and community-driven aspects of engagement.

When deciding on what to measure, consider your department’s specific priorities and goals as well as the institutional goals that relate to alumni athletes. Combining multiple metrics and analyzing them in context will give you a more comprehensive understanding of your alumni community and the success of your efforts.

Up next: Measures of alumni engagement (part 2): A deeper dive