What Businesses Can Learn from March Madness

The year is flying by here at New West! First, there was the Super Bowl, and now we’re headed into March Madness! Both the Super Bowl and March Madness create a lot of buzz this time of year; but how is this buzz created? Well, since the Super Bowl has come and gone, let’s talk March Madness!

The NCAA is a non-profit organization, yet it continues to find ways to create excitement as well as a substantial economic impact year after year. March Madness had only eight teams at Northwestern University with very little coverage when it first started; and 77 years later, the NCAA now invites 68 teams to compete. To create buzz, the NCAA brands it’s games by naming them with various names such as Sweet Sixteen, Elite 8 and Final Four. When doing this, these names spread like wildfire through word-of-mouth, getting everyone, including advertisers, excited for the month of March. Even people who don’t know much about March Madness know a little about the game because of its media coverage.

To promote March Madness, the NCAA has become very adept at utilizing social media. Primarily through Facebook (755,829 likes) and Twitter (310,000 followers). Last year alone, the total March Madness mentions was 5,583,821! To increase this number, NCAA has expanded its media coverage to CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV. Fans are also able to watch games and interact with friends on mobile devices. In addition to social media and traditional media coverage, the use of brackets has grown. Media used in restaurants, on mobile devices and other avenues for bracket challenges, creates interaction between users and in turn creates engagement.

So what can marketers learn from the NCAA?

  1. Creating buzz can lead to engagement.
  2. Creating memorable names can help reach and increase frequency through social media and word-of-mouth marketing.
  3. Promoting the event on social media, mobile phones and media outlets can increase engagement, reach and frequency.
  4. Providing fun challenges that create interaction between users increases brand exposure.

Have additional comments? Let us know!

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