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WBB Gets ‘March Madness’ Brand Power

  • On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that it will use the branding for the 2022 Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. 
  • The decision comes months after criticism mounted for inequities -- one of those criticisms being a Wall Street Journal report about March Madness branding.
Photo: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

On the hardwood in Indiana, the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament featured the “March Madness” logo. But in Texas, it said only “women’s basketball.”

That’s finally going to change. On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that it will start using the branding for the 2022 Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. 

  • The decision comes months after outcry related to inequities at the basketball tournaments sparked the NCAA commissioning a Gender Equity Review.
  • A Wall Street Journal report specifically found that the governing body refused to use “March Madness” branding for the women’s tournament. 
  • The Gender Equity Review, released in August, suggested that one way to ameliorate inequities is to allow the women’s tournament to use the branding. 

“Women’s basketball has grown tremendously over the past several years, and we remain focused on our priority of enhancing and growing the game,” Lynn Holzman, VP of Women’s Basketball, said in a statement. 

“The brand recognition that March Madness carries will broaden marketing opportunities as we continue that work to elevate the women’s basketball championship.” The NCAA promised to address other recommendations, too.

But while the governing body has announced this change, it hasn’t provided details on how to implement it. 

The NCAA’s statement said: “Details of how the March Madness brand will be incorporated into the Division I women’s basketball tournament are still being developed.”

Perhaps it can start with designing new decals on the hardwood.

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