March Madness for Marketers

Mar 11, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is March Madness for marketers, too.
TNS Media Intelligence estimates that over the past 10 years, 300 advertisers have spent more than $4.2 billion on CBS’ coverage of the road to the Final Four and the ultimate college hoops championship.
“As a sports marketing event, the collegiate basketball tournament is part of a Final Four alongside the Super Bowl and the Summer and Winter Olympics,” said Dean DeBiase, CEO of TNS Media. “The tournament is a powerful property for both advertisers and CBS. Its popularity extends to a broad, diverse cross-section of the population and provides marketers with an important opportunity to connect with consumers over a three-week period via multiple platforms including TV, online, social media and in-store. It’s an ideal event for utilizing an integrated media mix and interest in the tournament this year should be high. Leveraged correctly, this is a great vehicle for traditional powerhouses and Cinderella brands alike.”
TNS notes the NCAA Tournament registered more national TV ad revenue than the playoffs for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association or college football. (The National Football League’s post-season, including the Super Bowl, beat out March Madness by $100 million in 2008.)
Last year, spending during the tournament reached an all-time high of $643 million, a 24% increase from the year before, with 102 marketers participating.
In 1999, 83 advertisers spent $270 million on the tourney.
John Bogusz, executive VP for sports sales and marketing at CBS, said there are still scattered TV spots available in the tournament, including a handful in the championship game, and with three weeks to go, the network is holding firm on pricing. “The market is challenging, but we’re at a decent spot,” he said.
CBS’ online March Madness on Demand is nearly sold out, with revenues up about 30% from last year to $30 million.
In the past, General Motors, AT&T and Coca-Cola have been the key advertisers during March Madness. Despite its problems, GM remains a sponsor in 2009.
In addition to GM, automakers Mercedes, Toyota, Audi and Lexus are advertising during the tournament, Mr. Bogusz said. The network also is seeing interest from movie studios and fast-food restaurants.
CBS has signed a couple of technology companies as new sponsors.
TNS says that, as GM demonstrates, marketers tend to stick with the tournament. It says that more than 80% of CBS’ revenue has come from returning advertisers.
Last year, General Motors was the top spender on the NCAA tournament, dropping $79.7 million. AT&T spent $35 million and Coke spent $25.8 million. Other marketers in the top 10 were Anheuser-Busch, Lowe’s Cos., Nike, the U.S. government, SABMiller (Miller Beer), State Farm and Daimler.
TNS estimates that last year, advertisers paid about $1.2 million for a 30-second spot in the NCAA championship game, for a household cost-per-thousand (CPM) of $93. Semi-final games cost $800,000 a spot for a $75 CPM. By comparison, a spot in the 2008 Super Bowl cost $2.7 million, for a $55 CPM.
TNS notes that GM, Coke and AT&T pay other fees as part of the NCAA’s Corporate Champions program. That program gives the companies opportunities to build marketing programs around March Madness and other NCAA sports.


  1. Thanks for your visiting this http://www.glamour-watches.com/replica-pens online store.

  2. I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success 😛

  3. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  4. Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

  5. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

  6. I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  7. High quality info here! Keep up the great work. I love the feelings being expressed.

  8. Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

  9. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  10. I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up 🙂

  11. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  12. I thought AOL was worst with the year. Pick a person background treatment and stick to it; otherw ise your brand??? arrives off as a brainstorming session.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)