Now that March is here, March Madness will soon begin. March Madness refers to the NCAA men's basketball tournament that attracts a huge audience. It is an exciting tournament that starts with 64 teams with one team crowned nation champion. Each year around this time sports fans create brackets and predict what teams will beat who and which team will finally win the tournament. Last year facebook set up an online bracket, which made it easy for students to make their picks. They allowed groups of people to compete against each other to see who made the best picks. They also had a Facebook-wide competition for the best picks. This year they brought back the brackets, which were reintroduced to Facebook today.
This year facebook has four tournament sponsors that include Geico car insurance, Champion sports apparel, Borat the DVD, and a movie called Disturbia, which is coming to theaters April 13th. These sponsors have taken advantage of a known target audience in a medium with vast exposure. This year they are giving away large cash prizes for the contestants with the most accurate brackets. This gives students more of an incentive to enter the Madness if they were not previously inclined to do so. This gives the sponsors an even greater reach with their advertising. Some of the advertising costs put in my the sponsors goes to the $25,000 grand prize.
Geico is a company that young people can relate to. They have funny commercials and high recall. Champion is a less popular sports brand. However, they are trying to integrate their sports apparel with a sporting event, which should work well for them. Borat was a hit movie in 2006 and it is advertising its highly anticipated DVD release. This is also a good opportunity for Disturbia to advertise because the the movie comes out soon after the conclusion of March Madness. Facebook makes up the target market that all of these sponsors are seeking. All four sponsors work well in this medium.
Here is a link to Facebook's March Madness page with the sponsors displayed down the right hand side. Unfortunately, people who are not members of Facebook will be unable to see the link.