March Madness’ Late Rounds are Valuable for These Key NCAA Advertisers

While economists estimate $6.3 billion in corporate losses because of lost productivity (thanks, bracket challenge!), March Madness is big business for brands. Last year, for instance, the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship raked in $1.28 billion in TV ad revenue alone.

The three-week long tournament is one of the most valuable franchises in all of televised sports, and it’s no surprise brands are lining up to reach a coveted group of consumers. But as it turns out, some brands are better served by showcasing their products in front of fans who watch the early rounds of the tournament, while others ought to wait until the field of 68 has been pared down.

As we head into the final weekend of the tournament, we wanted to showcase the kind of first-party data advertisers can leverage to ensure a slam dunk March Madness strategy.

Using the Viant Advertising Cloud, Viant’s people-based platform, as well as our leading TV ACR technology, we were able to isolate some key tournament sponsors and advertisers that would be best served by holding onto their ad budgets until most teams have hit the showers. Viant’s analysis is based on TV viewing data from nearly 12 million homes in the U.S., as well as consumer data points from partners.

Late-round viewers are more likely to be AT&T Wireless customers

Fans that tune in to the Elite Eight and Final Four are 6% more likely to be AT&T Wireless customers than fans who watch only the early rounds and Sweet Sixteen. Interestingly, viewers who tune in only at the end of tournament games are also more likely to subscribe to AT&T Wireless – 7% more, to be precise.

Late-round viewers have a specific Coca-Cola brand preference

Coke Zero, that is. Viewers tuning into only the Elite Eight and Final Four are 6% more likely to drink Coke Zero, while fans of earlier rounds are 8% more likely to seek out Diet Coke.

Late-round viewers seek out Nabisco’s salty over sweet snacks

While fans that tune in only to the early rounds of the tournament are 9% more likely to buy Oreo Double Stuff and 4% more likely to buy Oreos and Chips Ahoy, late-round March Madness fans are more into salty snacks – they’re 12% more likely to buy Premium crackers and 6% more likely to purchase Wheat Thins.



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