Mastering the (March) Madness: Lessons for Advertisers

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March Madness is a crazy time of year for sports fans. If your team made the Big Dance, there is the hope that this is the year where you make a run to the Final Four and win it all. And even if your team didn’t make the tournament (there is always next year), bragging rights are on the line to have a better bracket than your friends, family, and coworkers. But for advertisers, March Madness offers an opportunity to connect to basketball fans all month long.

In advance of March Madness 2024, LG Ad Solutions wanted to look at tournament viewership trends for both the Men’s and Women’s Tournament using our Automatic Content Recognition (ACR), which uses privacy compliant technology to identify what households are watching.

march madness audience

First of all, more than 1 in 3 March Madness watchers tune-in to both the Women’s and Men’s Tournament. Not only does this audience represent super College Basketball fans, but advertisers have twice as many opportunities to connect with them!

In addition to understanding fandom, LG Ad Solutions wanted to look at tune-in trends across both tournaments.

march madness men

march madness women

Across both the Women’s and Men’s Tournaments, a few common themes materialize:

  • The selection show has higher tune-in relative to either the First Four or the Round of 64
  • Tune-in then gradually increases each round…
  • Before culminating at the National Championship

So how can advertisers use data-driven insights to “Master the Madness of March?”

  • Identify & Target the Super Fan: From the above, more than 1 in 3 watch both the Women’s and Men’s tournament. In addition to ACR, Connected TV allows advanced targeting by incorporating a combination of first, third, and advertiser-specific data points.
  • Consider the Home Screen: Predicting the specific game fans tune-into can be tricky given schedules aren’t announced until Selection Sunday. Even then, the round of 64 has 32 different games a fan can watch across multiple days and times. Instead, take advantage of the 82% who prefer watching Sports on a TV and deliver a quality connection on the homescreen when a viewer turns on their Connected TV.
  • Pace Your Ads: The road to the Final Four happens one game at time. Similarly, advertisers should match their pace of spend based on both their specific goals and the gradually increasing tune-in trends.

Ready to learn more about streaming sports? Make sure to check out our Stadium to Screen: Streaming Live Sports in 2024 story. Good luck this year and may your brackets be unbustable!