March Madness Marketing...(& the Money that is Made)

Call it what you may...March Madness..."The Big Dance"..."The Tournament"..."One Shining Moment"...The Marketing Mecca...

Since 1939, the NCAA has hosted its greatest revenue generating machine (Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament). From the First Four in Dayton, OH to the Final Four in a destination city, it presently comprises of 68-teams that compete for a National Championship throughout a brief three-week span with the action culminating on a global venue. This year's benefactor is San Antonio. With a majority of the nearly 100,000 fans attending from out of town, the projected economic impact for the host city is mind boggling:

  • Visiting fans are expected to spend more than $18 million on alcohol alone during the championship event...with a total estimated economic activity at a staggering range of $180 to $350 Million dollars!
  • The State of Texas will see nearly $14 Million of it as a result of taxes and the City of San Antonio should directly benefit nearly $7 Million from taxes alone.
  • With 4-night minimums, at an average of $300/night, hotels welcome the guests with open arms.
    • Other categories seek to benefit as well as the average person spends nearly $600 per day on a variety of items while attending the Final Four:
      • Food & Beverage:  $112
      • Entertainment & Shopping:  $146
      • Rental Cars:  $40 
  • Other numbers worth consideration?
    • $10 Billion in TV broadcasting rights paid by CBS and Turner Sports
    • $1+ Billion is annually generated in TV ad revenue
    • $200+ Million distributed in participating conferences
    • $8+ Million distributed to participating Final Four schools
    • $100+ Million in profits for those wagering bets in Las Vegas during the tournament
    • $9+ Billion in total bets
    • $3+ Billion in illegal betting
    • $2+ Billion in lost workplace productivity

Whether you’re in the gambling, entertainment, lodging, memorabilia, tax collecting, ticketing, sponsorship, event hospitality or beverage industry, one thing is certain; with the economic engine of college sports, there are many winners, regardless of a favorite team’s outcome.