Marketing & Growth

4 Clever Ways to Utilize March Madness in Your Business

By Anna Eschenburg

The NCAA college basketball championships draw almost as many viewers as the Super Bowl, and it can be extremely profitable for a business to capitalize on the excitement generated by these games. As millions of viewers gear up to watch the tournament, it’s the perfect time to promote your product, service or brand. Even if your small business is not directly involved with the NCAA, there are ways to attract more business during March Madness month.

1. Host a Bracket Contest
One of the most popular activities during the tournament is predicting the final winner. Create a bracket contest and invite visitors and customers to your business to fill out entry forms to predict the champion. Offer a jersey or other NCAA-related merchandise as a prize to attract entrants. Social media channels are a great way to encourage your prospective customers to drop in for a visit and promote your March Madness contest or giveaway. “No Purchase Required” will conform to most state regulations regarding contests, but you could offer an additional entry form for each share on your favorite social media channel.

2. Support Your Local Team
If a local team is participating in the tournament, take this opportunity to market your business to the team’s fans. Use team colors in your advertising campaign to generate excitement for the games. Decorate your store with coordinating streamers, balloons, and other items, and make sure that your team colors can be seen from the street or mall. Step outside your comfort zone and chat about the games via your social media channels several times each day. You don’t always have to promote your brand on social media.

3. Create Promotional Items
Order basketball-themed promotional items from suppliers and use them as giveaways to promote your business. Laws prevent you from using the NCAA name, but you can order generic basketball items, such as toy foam basketballs and hoops, keychains, stickers, and magnets, which won’t infringe on any trademarks or copyrights. These token promotional tools can be offered as gifts with purchases to increase sales during the games.

4. Host Mini Events
If you don’t own a restaurant or bar where you can hold a tournament watching event, organize mini events in your store or small business to attract basketball fans. If you have connections, invite players in for a meet and greet. Encourage fans to wear their favorite team colors to qualify for discounts on products or services. Create some fun party games to keep your customers entertained for an hour or two, such as a toy basketball hoop and dunk game. Offer prizes for the winners.

What are you doing to attract more customers to your business during March Madness? Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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