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Brand Madness: Marketing Winners And Losers Of The NCAA Tournament
By: Forbes
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Unlike other professional and college sports, the NCAA Basketball Tournament takes center stage capturing the entire month of March. It’s a goldmine for brands: There are no competing sports events, it touches all corners of the U.S., it’s followed by millions of rabid and loyal students, alumni and fans (all consumers), and it’s full of drama. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to brand engagement with a month-long full court press.

Little more than a dozen brands are NCAA partners and sponsors which provides VIP access to what is known as March Madness. They have TV packages, arena packages, online packages, etc., all of which require a significant media spend. However, social media, where the crux of digital dollars are spent, is a free medium sans sponsoring and boosting.

We laid out the entire month of March to generate real-time data analytic reports on all these brands in various competitive views. The results were surprising considering who you would naturally think to optimize and leverage the tournament. Though when we dug deeper into the data, the reports spilled the beans and made it crystal-clear why some brands excelled and others failed during March Madness.

Here’s an overview of Official Sponsors AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola and Partners Allstate and Buick.

The Winner is:

Capital One. Greatest impact and engagement: perfect cross-channel promotion between social media, tv spots, and events (JamFest featuring Maroon 5, PitBull and FloRida). Stuck to one vanity hashtag #RoadToOne for the entire event, used #JamFest for cross-pollination with brands, boosting reach and engagement. Perfect combination of content (Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson) promoted on all social stacks and television, as well as tying in their Quiksilver Card. Kept their content message clear – “The #RoadToOne” is a fun journey with Spike and Sam via Capital One.

Ho-Hum Second Place:

AT&T. All over television and had massive reach on social channels using Facebook AT&T and on Twitter with @ATT and @Uverse. Overshadowed Capital One reach by a ton but did poor cross-channel activation tying into March Madness. #GameOn was not unique enough and the campaign was not engaging. They had a Block Party concert with Fall Out Boy and Panic, but no one engaged with it (3,000 Facebook views prior to). Second only because of reach and unrelated giveaways on Facebook and Twitter for TVs and smartphones.


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About the Author
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. You'll find a link to the original after the post. www.forbes.com
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