Last year, over 70 million people participated in an NCAA bracket challenge, and the games had an average viewing audience of 9.8 million people per day.
This year, it’s expected that the average worker will spend up to six hours watching mid-day games, checking their bracket ranking and other March Madness related activities in the workplace.
That kind of viewer engagement means endless opportunities for marketers to catch the attention of basketball fans across television, desktop, and mobile screens.
The Key Players
Major automakers such as Buick, Lexus, and Infiniti are playing in this year’s games… with campaigns driven by the buzz around March Madness.
Buick, a long-time sponsor of the NCAA tournament, is offering a month of free 4G LTE Wi-Fi for vehicles in which the feature is available so that passengers can stream as many of the games as they’d like from “the comfort of a Buick”. They are also offering an exclusive NCAA Tournament app with live audio feeds of the games.
Lexus is returning for the third consecutive year to sponsor Yahoo Sports’ Tourney Pick’em. The luxury brand also re-launched their “0-60 Bracket Challenge” mobile game, which promotes the latest model of the Lexus RC F.
“Our partnership with Yahoo Sports allows us to connect with millions of college basketball fans on their favorite device – their smartphones,” said Cooper Ericksen, Lexus VP of Marketing.
Infiniti is another key automaker who has decided to take part in the basketball festivities with their support of Coaches vs Cancer®.
Infiniti’s annual Hardwood Heroes game donates to the American Cancer Society based on the number of correct picks made during the CBS Sports Round by Round Brackets online.
Hardwood Heroes is the only bracket that helps fight cancer and gives participants the chance to win seats to the Final Four®.
What’s Your Game Plan?
It’s a smart idea for dealers to align their marketing efforts with their OEM’s Tier I and Tier II messaging around March Madness – but be careful not to infringe upon the NCAA’s intellectual property rights.
There have been a number of incidences in which local dealerships attempt to get in on the March Madness fun, but are slapped with a lawsuit for misusing trademarked terms.
If you’d like to learn more strategic ways to take advantage of March Madness for your dealership, contact us for a free digital consultation with one of our strategists.