March Madness: The Big Dance for Advertisers


It's March Madness and while we can't help you with your brackets, we can help you research the dollars and cents of college basketball. According to Kantar Media, about 280 marketers have spent over $4.8 billion on national television advertising during March Madness over the past decade. In 2010 alone, ad revenue topped $613 million, up 4% over 2009.  And since games are streamed online, digital advertising represents a small but growing segment of March Madness advertising. Digital advertising represented only 1% of the ad revenue for 2006, but grew to almost 6% in 2010. The NCAA playoffs are also the #2 most lucrative post season sports franchise for ad revenue, ranked only behind the NFL playoffs. Top advertisers included GM, AT&T, Coke, Capital One and HP. Speaking of Coca-Cola, this is a big year for their Powerade division. According to AdAge, Powerade will launch its biggest marketing program yet as this year's "Official Sports Drink of the NCAA". Powerade products will be on the sidelines for all 88 games and they'll launch their new "Game Science" campaign during the first game with an ad featuring Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. Powerade currently holds about 27% of the sports drink market share with Gatorade leading the category with 71%.