It’s safe to say that a major, highly anticipated nation-wide event wouldn’t be complete without endless marketing initiatives. March Madness is no exception. This single-elimination tournament is well underway, with 16 teams remaining. Blood, sweat, and tears will all be left on the court-the tears may be taken off court in some cases. In conjunction with the tournament, marketers at top companies and organizations are taking advantage of such a vast audience to push their products. From credit cards to healthcare, there’s a lot going on right now in the world of marketing and basketball.
The White House launched a March Madness themed campaign in hopes of increasing the number of young adults who sign up for Obamacare. The page, called “The 16 Sweetest Reasons To Get Covered”, offers a video of both the men’s basketball coach of UNC and the women’s basketball coach of Connecticut inviting young folks to sign up for Affordable Care Act coverage. Users will fill out an 8-game bracket by choosing their most important and favorite reasons to get covered. Reasons include anything from “because accidents happen” to “insurance companies can’t discriminate.” They then will be prompted to post about their bracket on social media sites. Votes will be tallied through Twitter and Facebook and the master bracket will be updated as the votes come in. The White House has also compiled ads featuring some of the best NBA players, including Lebron James and Magic Johnson, talking about Obamacare. They will run on major networks including ESPN, ABC, and TNT.
Completely switching gears, American website Zap2it created a Celebrity Social Media Showdown bracket where participants can vote on which celebrity deserves to move onto the next round based on their social media presence. There are four different social media outlets that are represented, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. The social media candidates include Misha Collins, Jared Padalecki, Nina Dobrev, Norman Reedus, and Zooey Deschanel. Want to cast your vote? Click here.
Moving on to credit cards. Capital One is one of the three top-tier sponsors of the NCAA tournament. If you’ve turned on a TV or computer recently, chances are you may have seen one of their several TV and online ads featuring former NBA stars Charles Barkley and Greg Anthony. They have also decided to step up their social media presence by “going where the fans are.” They got Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated to do a Q&A on Twitter. Also, randomly chosen lucky tweeters will win $1500 if they use #KaChing in their tweets. Lastly, they are also hosting the Capital One JamFest which is featuring a free Bruce Springsteen concert on a first come, first serve basis.
As you can see, there is a lot of creative marketing happening around March Madness. What are your favorite marketing campaigns for the tournament this year?