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L & D Blog

Ban Busted Brackets from your March Madness Marketing Mix

Mar 14, 2017

So your brackets are all penciled in or your ESPN Tournament Challenge app is complete with the two teams you think will square off in Phoenix on April 3rd. The thrilling season of March Madness is finally upon us. While, its evident March Madness is all about basketball and competition, it can also be about the direct mail and marketing industries. According to, an estimated 40 million people now fill out brackets, betting $9 billion in total. Anything can happen in March. You don’t necessarily have to know basketball to guess who might take home the NCAA National Championship trophy in April. (See: “Cinderella” teams) If you have a bracket, you instantly become a part of the conversation at home, at restaurants and at work. That conversation is what makes it ideal for brands to use March Madness as leverage for direct mail and direct marketing campaigns over these next several weeks.

Social media is our best friend. How many times have you seen the Villanova three-point buzzer-beater to win them the 2016 NCAA National Championship over North Carolina? If you haven’t seen it, check it out here. (By the way… if this doesn’t get you excited about March Madness, I don’t know what will!) Take a step back; see how easy it was to follow the link to check out the latest buzzer beater and thriller of the tournament? With several games being played at once, social media helps us catch the moments we’ve missed. After all, many of us will be working while the tournament tips off. Have your brand get in on the sharing. Post real-time updates and videos to announce upsets. Become a part of the conversation.

Keep in mind your audience. Always. Always keep your audience in mind. According to the NCAA, it's estimated that over 181 million viewers tuned into March Madness in 2014, nearly 10 million viewers per game. It’s a given that there is a ton of traction to the games. So, where do you fit in? Well, make sure all of your content keeps your brand at heart. Think of ways to implement March Madness into your direct marketing strategies. Take a look at our current advertisement. We suggest “our team” is the key to our clients reaching their goals. Most importantly, is the imagery. When the topic of conversation is basketball, eyes are drawn to anything relating. Take a stab at your March Madness advertisement or direct mail piece. Remember, we’re experts in that area. We’ll throw the assist for you to complete the alley-oop for your next campaign. According to Koeppel Direct, 96% of March Madness viewers used their television to watch some of the action, while 68% did so online; 52% attended live events, and another 50% caught up on the highlights via print media. Don’t ignore the opportunity this March to relate, captivate and resonate with your target audience while keeping those brackets in mind!

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