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March 19, 2015
Mad Money in March Madness
Sixty-four teams are going to the Dance!

March Madness, or the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, starts officially on Thursday at 12:15 p.m., when the first-rounders start competing in the four regions across the nation.

Who will be this year's Cinderella team? Will Kentucky join the ranks of the legendary by going unconquered through the tournament? Will uprisers like Butler, Xavier, Wichita State, or Shaka's VCU cause any big seeds trouble?

And how in the world did Villanova get a #1 seed?

All the questions above will be answered between now and April 6. The tournament has turned into a national pasttime, a pasttime with revenues placing only second to the NFL playoff rounds.

Yes; though these college athletes aren't getting paid (allegedly), the NCAA and the networks carrying them are.

With the 2015 inventory of ads being 95% sold out according to Forbes, the NCAA tourney revenues will reach a little over a billion dollars once the tournament concludes. And with a 30-second ad during the tourney in 2014 costing $1.5 million dollars, we are expecting the price now to be between $1.6–2 million dollars, more if an interesting storyline develops before inventory is sold out.

Brands are looking more and more for those live events that will prohibit the consumer from fast-forwarding through them. Sports are a brilliant way to capture that audience. We will definitely follow up on this sotry to see how the numbers actually play out.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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