BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is a 67-game ATM not only for its competing schools, but for the host cities lucky enough to get a bit of their fans' ticket, hotel and beer money.
Just last year, the NCAA reached a new 14-year, $10.8 billion television agreement with CBS (CBS) and Time Warner's (TWX) Turner Broadcasting to show every game live on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. In the past 10 years, the tournament has pulled in $4.8 billion in advertising revenue from 281 different sponsors, according to Kantar Media.
While that television money gets split among the schools, the tournament also comes with a built-in stable of well-heeled supporters just looking to plaster some lucky city's billboards with their branding, hold youth clinics and fan parties in local parks and parking lots and take up every available "event space" with parties, functions and other corporate networking disguised as a night at the game. NCAA's nine corporate partners alone include The Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG), Lowe's (LOW), Nissan's (NSANY) Infiniti, Unilever (UN) and UPS (UPS), while its three heavy-hitting "Corporate Champions" are AT&T (T), Capital One (COF) and Coca-Cola (K).
The 14 cities hosting this year's Big Dance are all too aware that they've landed a piece of the second-biggest source of sports playoff revenue in the country -- generating $614 million in ad spending last year compared with the $793 million brought in by the NFL playoffs and the $417 million rung up by the third-place NBA playoffs. If tournament teams are coming to your town, here's some idea what kind of scratch they'll be bringing in once the brackets are scrawled out:
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