SMARTInsights blog

SMARTInsights :   April 2017
Apr
20
2017

Small-Budget Marketers Can Make a Big Splash During March Madness

2017 marked another record-breaking year for the NCAA and March Madness. Yes, TV ratings boasted historic growth, but it was digital and social platforms that achieved new excellence in this year’s tournament. NCAA March Madness Live (MML) generated a record-setting 4.4 Million live video streams for the Championship game, up 29% vs. 2016. Overall, MML netted an all-time best 98 million live video streams for the entire NCAA Tournament, up +33%. As digital live event coverage gains popularity, marketers must ensure they are getting the right amount of exposure across all media.

Traditionally, March Madness Live digital media advertising is bundled with TV ad packages, but not all TV advertisers get digital spots. Those that do are big-time NCAA Basketball Sponsors like GM, Coca-Cola, and AT&T. Smaller advertisers not able to purchase TV ad spots can often work around this by running digital banner ads that run alongside streaming video or on other sites dedicated to March Madness news and information.

As media consumption goes digital, opportunity exists for smaller budget CPGs  to capitalize on digital marketing efforts to reach audiences. With only ten companies making up nearly 40% of the entire tournament’s ad spend, smaller marketers must get creative in order to capture their share of voice.

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