Time to fill those brackets and break out the college apparel. March Maddness is upon us! What started as an un-televised 8 game basketball tournament held over a few days in 1939, has blossomed into a full fledged, multi network, 68 team, month long basketball showcase, garnering millions of viewers. The Tournament has become so popular in fact, that it trumps ad spending across all major pro sports postseasons in America– yes, including the NFL. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has generated $7.5 Billion in ad revenue since 2005, with each year totaling more than the last. But what makes the tournament so successful? Here’s what we’re banking on.


Alliteration – The NCAA loves it! March Madness, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four– they’re fun to say and easy to remember. Catchy names have helped the Tournament define it’s own language. Now, the names are so popular that you’ll often see them adopted far outside the context of basketball. And you can bet advertisers are jumping in on the fun.

Competition – Though the action on the court is anything but boring, we’re talking about the real competition here– your office bracket pool. Bracket Challenges are simple and accessible for even the least basketball savvy participants, and instantly create an investment in the entire 3 week ordeal. That means more engaged viewers, and more ad dollars.

The Cinderella Story – Most post season sporting events feature less than ten teams, let alone 68. The rapid culling of  teams over the course of the tournament  provides the opportunity for the ultimate underdog story. Every game is a drama packed single elimination battle, and everyone knows real drama makes for must-watch television.

Of course, there is so much more that makes the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament great for advertisers and viewers alike. Let us know what you think makes the Tournament so popular on Facebook or Twitter.

BONUS – Here’s a look at the all time matchup records. What’s going on with the 5 vs. 12 matchup? The 5th seed is winning about 10% less than statistics would predict. Remember that for your bracket!

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