Will March Madness Be Another Big Winner for Digital Advertising? – Kevin Blake

March Madness, March 15 – April 6, is one of the largest sporting events in the country. According to this interview with, Will Funk, Turner Sports marketing integration captain, “…March Madness is a cultural event that goes beyond sports. It gets casual fans engaged.” (Funk) This tournament brought in $1.1 billion in TV revenue in 2014 and is expected to see higher gains once again this year. With the games appearing on a mixture of four channels on an average of 3 or 4 days of the week, adjusting to the digital realm seems like a practical need for the tournament. The article writes, “He[Funk] predicts a record-breaking year for revenue, adding that online inventory will be sold out this week, as 19 brands have nabbed roughly 60 percent of all available promos through category-exclusive sponsorships while various companies are buying up the rest.” (Funk) Advertising is a big part of the digital experience and March Madness is set on delivering more opportunities for their digital advertisers to reach their fans. Funk explains, “…[last year] we did 45 million livestreams on mobile alone, which was up 71 percent from the prior year.” (Funk) To me this is an event that is tailor-made for digital viewing. Of course, the championship games will mainly be seen on Television, but with so many games on during the day on Thursday and Friday, there is just too much content for most fans to see. I can remember running the hallways of my High School for soccer practice with a radio blaring of the games being played. Most of us don’t have the time to watch a lot of the games. By allowing fans to see the games on their devices at their own convenience they would gain many more viewers. Along with these digital games comes much more digital advertising spots to sell. It’s a win, win.



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