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Banking On March Madness Advertising And Demographics Scorecard
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Banking On March Madness Advertising And Demographics Scorecard

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.

Scoring With Fans?

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:

An NCAA Fan Is…

  • 10 percent more likely to have visited a casino in the last year
  • 17 percent more likely own three or more vehicles in their household
  • An avid fast food consumer, and is 34 percent more likely than the average adult to have visited a fast food chain 10 or more times in a week
  • 33 percent more likely to have consumed any beer in the last month, with Bud Lite, Budweiser and Corona the leading brands in the light domestic,  regular domestic and imported categories.

Download Nielsen’s complete Guide To March Madness