March Madness Reportedly Generates $410M of In-Game Brand Exposure

    • March Madness delivered more than $410 million worth of media value for featured brands in telecasts, according to a report.
    • NCAA corporate partners, equipment companies and apparel brands benefited the most.

The brands featured during this year’s NCAA Division I basketball tournaments received multimillion-dollar platforms — even outside of commercials.

Men’s and women’s March Madness delivered more than $410 million worth of media exposure value for featured brands in telecasts, according to a report by Elevate Sports Ventures and Hive. 

That’s more than double the delivery for Super Bowl LVI, which generated an estimated $170 million.

  • The companies that benefited the most included NCAA corporate sponsors, apparel brands, and equipment providers. 
  • Together, Capital One, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Nike, and Spalding earned 56% of all media value.
  • Capital One led the women’s tournament with 13 hours and 25 minutes of exposure, while AT&T led the men’s with nine hours and 13 minutes.

In all, companies received about 187 total hours of exposure during all 134 men’s and women’s games.

A previous report noted that men’s games generate more value than women’s, as viewership numbers — and therefore the cost of a spot — is higher. This year’s women’s ratings skyrocketed, with the championship game peaking at almost 6 million viewers. It averaged 18% more than 2021, and 30% more than 2019.

Early-Round Value

From the last day of the women’s second round onward, both tournaments generated $245 million in exposure. Elevate and Hive found that up to that point, $165 million had been generated.

An early-round winner for product placement was the basket stanchion arm, which helped Spalding earn the most exposure time of any brand during early rounds.