This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

In Ad Dollars, March Madness Is Bringing It to the Hoop

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- March Madness is a weeks-long wonderland of marketing opportunities for companies who want to connect with college basketball's audience, but how close is it to becoming the biggest game in town?

Closer than you think.

Last year, the NCAA men's tournament's Final Four brought in $183.8 million in advertising revenue for broadcast partners CBS (CBS) and Turner Sports, according to Kantar Media. That's a March Madness record and a big part of the reason those broadcasters paid $10 billion for the rights to broadcast the tournament through 2024.

It was still well shy of the $262.5 million the 2012 Super Bowl brought in for NBC (CMCSA), but much better than the $153 million in ad money that the San Francisco Giants' four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers earned for Fox (NWS) back in October. It's a big deal for the Final Four, which has been running in third place since 2009 after bringing in just about $9 million less in ad money than the Super Bowl back in 2008.

That year, the Super Bowl generated only $186.3 million in ad revenue for Fox, which is about $2 million or so more than the Final Four is making right now. Look at it from a complete postseason perspective, however, and the Final Four is gaining on the NFL's big game a lot more quickly. In 2011, the last year for which Kantar had data available, the entire NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament yielded $738 million in ad money from NCAA sponsors including General Motors (GM), AT&T (T), Coca-Cola (KO), Capital One (COF), Nissan (NSANY) and Lowes (LOW). Other heavy hitters such as Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and SAB Miller, which can't partner with the NCAA because of its alcohol policy, also contributed nearly $50 million on their own.

That total trailed only the $900 million made by the Super Bowl, but pulls more players into the game than the 30 or so parent companies that buy ad time for the NFL's championship matchup. Roughly 80 companies advertise during the tournament each year, though even that number is down from the 125 companies that kicked in for March Madness ad time in pre-recession 2007.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs