March Madness & NCAA PR

Once again, NCAA college basketball March Madness is upon us. Across the US, people are filling out brackets, and teams are chasing destiny. What happens will be life changing, not only for the young men playing the game, but also for the fans who pour their heart, soul, and money into the game.


NCAA titles – courtesy Wikipedia

In this article, I reveal 4 ways March Madness creates a wide open jump shot for savvy marketers.

1 – Competition brings people together: Nothing brings people together quite like having something to strive for. March Madness not only unites die hard fans, it bring the bandwagoners in closer, and even grabs tire kickers and onlookers on the widest communication circle. No one really escapes the madness. If you can create a narrative that brings everyone you target closer to your brand, then you can call that a huge PR win.

2 – Creates crossover PR: Business, entertainment, travel, even food, and beverage industries borrow PR points from the beast that is the Madness. The topic creates so many crossover PR opportunities that it’s tough to tell where they all begin and end. What can your business do to connect the marketing campaigns of several different tangentially connected interests? Answer that question, and it could mean a big win for your brand.

3 – New hero stories: Every year, the Madness brings brand new hero stories. People gravitate toward the Cinderella, the Underdog, the Powerhouse, and the Tradition. No matter who they love, they have someone to identify with, and hitch their bandwagon to.

4 – New personal narratives: March Madness changes lives. Not just for the players, but for the fans. Sure, not much on the surface will change, but the people who follow it will have new stories to tell, and new memories and experiences to share. They will be – at least a little bit – different for having participated in, or followed the event.

If your event can create an environment where people can’t walk away without a story to tell, then you have won on multiple levels.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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