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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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2023 Women’s March Madness Ad Inventory Sells Out

  • On Tuesday, ESPN announced that it had filled all "in-game sponsorship opportunities" for the women’s tournament.
  • In total, the network has galvanized 15 broadcast sponsors and close to 100 advertisers.
Mar 5, 2023; Greenville, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard Zia Cooke (1) between Tennessee Lady Vols forward Karoline Striplin (11) and Tennessee Lady Vols guard Jordan Horston (25) in the first half at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Advertising inventory for both the Division I men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments is sold out. 

On Tuesday, ESPN announced that it had filled all “in-game sponsorship opportunities” for the women’s tournament. Theresa Palmieri, VP of Disney Advertising Sports Brand Solutions, said that advertisers have “flocked to these offerings.”

In total, ESPN has galvanized 15 broadcast sponsors and close to 100 advertisers, from Aflac and Under Armour to the U.S. Army. 

Advertisers aren’t just interested in the 67 games, however. The women’s tournament has also sold opportunities for its pregame shows for the Final Four semifinals and championship game to Capital One. AT&T has bought into the Final Four MegaCast featuring Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi for the second year in a row. 

ESPN is likely looking to prove its ability to elevate the women’s tournament ahead of media rights negotiations for the product — as well as other NCAA championships. The current deal, which ends in 2024, pays out about $34 million a year. But experts have predicted that the women’s basketball tournament alone could be worth $112 million in 2025.

Men’s March Madness

CBS and Warner Bros. Discovery also “virtually” sold out of their advertising inventory for the men’s tournament, the networks told AdWeek earlier this month. 

They earned more than $1 billion, more than they did for the 2022 tournament.

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