The NCAA Tournament was one of the first major sporting events to take advantage of digital distribution, so it should be no surprise that it is also dominating social media. The NCAA Tournament’s presence can be seen on Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and it is creating new benefits for its partners and schools.
Facebook is doing something similar to its activation around the All-Star game by using Facebook Live and former college stars to such as Grant Hill to increase traffic to the social media site. Facebook also worked with the NCAA’s digital team to have temporary team profile filters. Twitter has tourney specific emojis and is one of the biggest places to find real time reactions to the tourney. Snapchat is expanding its sports presence providing footage at the games and Snapstories.
This is important for the tourney as it expands more into social and digital media. NCAA Tourney overnights were down the first day of the tournament. There could be a few reasons for this including St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but social media allow March Madness to maintain exposure to people while they are out checking their phones. It allows sponsors and partners another activate outside of traditional television.
As digital distribution continues to expand and become more mainstream, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see social media more integrated into the digital player. This will allow advertisements to become more personal and allow for the tournament’s partners to focus on potential customers who the brands may be more likely to convert into fans of their products.
March Madness was already talking over the weekend on television but now it will be taking over social and digital media as well.
Michael Colangelo is Managing Editor of The Fields of Green and Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute.