The NCAA Tournament, March Madness, is one of the most celebrated sporting events in the U.S, providing a tremendous opportunity for advertisers to reach a wide and relatively affluent audience.
Nielsen's Guide To March Madness, tracks a range of consumer and media information surrounding the event including advertising trends and demographic reach of the multi-week event. Ad buys for CBS's coverage of the NCAA Tournament have risen steadily over the last five years - from $434 million in 2004 to $580 million in 2008 - a surge of almost 34 percent. Spending for the Final Four Championship game has grown 47 percent over the last five years. Last year's final game saw $97.5 million in advertising, with the cost of a 30-second commercial over $1 million.
Over the last five years, General Motors has spent the most on ads with a total of $317 million. Last year, the auto company was the top spender, with $64.7 million in spending.
The automotive category was the top-spending category for each of the last five years. Last year, automotive was top, followed by financial - investment services, fast food restaurants, wireless phone services and beer.
Are these advertisers reaching their targets? According to Scarborough Sports Marketing, a joint venture between Nielsen and Arbitron, the answer is a resounding "yes." Viewers and listeners of the tournament are likely to be male, educated and married. They have higher than average annual household incomes and and a wide range of interests, hobbies and consumer preferences:
Download Nielsen's complete Guide To March Madness