The 2017 March Madness college basketball tournament kicks off March 14 and, according to Yahoo, this is a huge moment for marketers. Indeed, conventional marketing wisdom dictates live sports may very well be the last place advertisers can find viewers consuming live content.
Here’s a look at how brands and marketers can get in on the action this year.
Yahoo said the #1 related search the week prior to the 2016 tournament was “March Madness 2016 Bracket.”
That, in turn, means savvy advertisers can capitalize on interest with both display advertising and related content that provides useful information.
But it is CPG, QSR and retail brands, in particular, that stand to benefit the most as fans search for snack ideas and do their shopping in the days leading up to the tournament, Yahoo said.
“Be there early when grocery shoppers are making their choices by finding creative ways to integrate your brand within the game experience and make your brand top of mind for the big shopping days,” Yahoo said.
For what it’s worth, Yahoo data shows food-ordering basketball fans prefer wings over pizza: During the tournament, wing orders were 24% higher than during the same number of days prior while pizza orders were 17% higher, Yahoo said.
And, notably, rather than searching for specific brands, Yahoo said the top two queries for pizza on the day of the tournament were “order pizza” and “order pizza online.”
This marks a big opportunity for brands to increase search advertising and drive higher online orders, Yahoo added.
What’s more, searches for sponsor brands increased 33% on the first day of the tournament versus the week prior, Yahoo said. And retailers can drive further awareness – and even purchases – by retargeting fans with search ads while they look for gear from their favorite teams.
What’s more, a significant number of fans are consuming tournament content on mobile devices – and these consumers, in particular, are highly engaged. In fact, Yahoo said tournament dates represented the highest volume of app sessions for both Yahoo Fantasy Sports and Yahoo Sports during the first half of the year. As such, Yahoo recommended advertisers extend their campaign messaging across apps with targeted native and native video ads to maximize brand engagement.