Van Wagner Helps Turn Up the Madness of March!
March 14, 2023
It’s #MarchMadness! That time of year when we celebrate our nationwide obsession with college basketball. Millions of eyes will be in attendance and tuning in to watch traditional powerhouses, Cinderella stories and unforeseen upsets as the leading Men’s and Women’s college teams battle it out on the court.
This is our 15th Final Four and as the NCAA’s exclusive production partner, Van Wagner’s Productions team will be dispatched across the country to lead game presentation at every venue. The Men’s tournament kicks off today, consisting of 67 games starting in Dayton, OH, and ending in the finals match-up at NRG Stadium in Houston. The women’s tournament kicks off tomorrow and will see another 67 games played from Greenville, SC, to Seattle to the championships in Dallas, TX.
One of the most critical aspects of entertaining the fans on-hand is the custom content that will be playing on every screen across the more than 20 arenas and stadiums. Once teams are selected, the work begins to create custom graphics packages for all 136 men’s and women’s teams heading to the Big Dance. Tune in to see our work!
Men’s 2023 March Madness tournament schedule:
- First Four: March 14-15 on truTV
- First round: March 16-17 on CBS, truTV, TBS and TNT
- Second round: March 18-19 on CBS, truTV, TBS and TNT
- Sweet 16: March 23-24 on CBS and TBS
- Elite Eight: March 25-26 on CBS and TBS
- Final Four: April 1 on CBS
- NCAA championship game: April 3 on CBS
Women’s 2023 March Madness tournament schedule:
- First Four: Wednesday and Thursday, March 15-16
- First round: Friday and Saturday, March 17-18
- Second round: Sunday and Monday, March 19-20
- Sweet 16: Friday and Saturday, March 24-25
- Elite 8: Sunday and Monday, March 26-27
- Final Four: Friday, March 31 on ESPN
- The national championship game is at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2 on ABC
The Power of Sports Marketing in College Basketball
In the early weeks leading up to #MarchMadness, conference tournaments attracted massive audiences both in-person and through various media channels. (Did we mention Van Wagner also produced the Pac-12 and Big Ten basketball tournaments this year too?) Basketball’s passionate and broad fanbase offers advertisers a powerful opportunity to reach millions – including multiple generations of engaged fans. As a result, leading brands recognize the value of tournament sponsorships to promote their products and reach their marketing goals.
This year, Van Wagner’s College Team, the leader in strategic multi-media rights and campus marketing, negotiated Title Sponsorships for all nine of the D1 NCAA Conferences the team represents. These opportunities deliver exponential brand visibility and ROI. According to a recent article published by On3.com “A title sponsorship can be an extension of a corporate partner’s community engagement as it seeks to promote brand awareness or reach a targeted demographic.”
Sponsorships Deliver Value to Brands
First and foremost, the title sponsor of a basketball tournament is often the most prominently featured brand. The tournament’s name and logo are typically associated with the sponsor’s brand name, making it highly visible at every touchpoint. The result is significant exposure and awareness among a broad audience, including basketball fans, media outlets, and other companies looking to align themselves with the tournament.
As we’ve seen over the past two weeks, conference tournaments also provide unique opportunities for brands to engage with their target audience. As the title sponsor, a brand has opportunities to leverage the excitement and passion of the tournament to create meaningful interactions with fans. For example, at the CIAA and Sun Belt Conference tournaments, sponsors hosted pre-tournament events and fan zones during the tournament, where fans were able to engage directly with brands and messaging. These activations help build brand loyalty, foster positive associations, and create memorable experiences for fans.
Beyond the Arena: TV-Visible Signage Amplifies Your Reach
The power of advertising sponsorship extends well beyond the tournament itself to social media and TV audiences too. Basketball tournaments generate a significant amount of buzz across social platforms, and sponsors can capitalize and grow their online audiences by creating social media campaigns that leverage the tournament’s popularity and following.
Even more impactful, in-venue branding multiplies brand exposure to TV and streaming audiences. Opening-round and quarterfinal games in many conference tournaments are distributed on streaming platforms, like ESPN+. The semifinals or championship games are available on linear TV channels, such as CBS Sports Network or ESPN, providing national exposure. Van Wagner, the industry leader in TV-visible signage, negotiated LED signage courtside and on basket stanchion arms across tournaments, positioning brands in the heart of the action. According to NCAA.com, the 2022 NCAA Men’s Tournament averaged 10.7 million total viewers for its 67 live game telecasts.
The power of advertising as a basketball tournament sponsor is significant. Sponsors can create meaningful interactions with fans, generate significant brand exposure, and reinforce their industry authority. As basketball tournaments continue to grow in popularity, businesses that take advantage of these sponsorship opportunities stand to benefit greatly.
Thank you to our conference tournament sponsors for bringing the madness to March this year!
The Hercules Tire & Rubber Company