Granted, the NFL's broadcast partners can charge nearly $4 million per 30-second ad during their big game, while CBS and Turner have to settle for less than half of that. The nearly $1.5 million that the NCAA championship game fetches, however, is still better than what sponsors pay for college football's championship ($750,000), baseball's All-Star Game ($575,000), the NBA Finals ($435,000) and the World Series ($421,000).
College football, baseball, basketball and, certainly, hockey don't have anything on the Big Dance. Even the Oscars, which bring in stunning $1.6 million per ad for
(DIS - Get Report)
ABC, have never topped $85 million in ad revenue.
So why college basketball? Well, the two weeks of games including 68 teams don't hurt. The breakdown of regions into four major market areas in the South, East, Midwest and West aren't so bad, either. Advertisers such as
State Farm Insurance
Buffalo Wild Wings
can hit audiences in key NCAA markets and not blow a lot of money on large national campaigns.
Meanwhile, all of those teams playing in a very confined timeframe build fan anticipation and a television following that the pros just can't put together in such a confined bracket during more than a month of playoffs. Super Bowl spectacle aside, it's easy to lose patience when you're not invested in the games, either as a fan, through office brackets or otherwise.
Plus, college basketball's audience reaches its peak among 18- to 35-year-olds who've either just graduated or are rooting on their school while finishing up the payments on their student loans. According to sports entertainment and marketing firm
The Marketing Arm
, it's a renewable source of youthful passion that doesn't diminish from year to year. It can survive a few years of blowout championship games and can be patient until a small school such as Butler eventually takes the title.
The Super Bowl isn't slowing down, but the tournament hasn't slipped much, either. The NFL would need a lot more than a lopsided matchup to lose the title, but college basketball's advertisers are willing to wait.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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