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.