With COVID-19 and a growing pandemic, March Madness is drawing huge advertising spend. The second session of the tournament starts at 9:20 p.m. ET with games between five seed Connecticut and 12 seed New Mexico State. The fourth seed Arkansas will face the 13th seed Vermont, while No. 15 South Dakota will play No. 16 Utah. The first two sessions will end at 1:00 a.m. ET and will be followed by the first four games.
With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the United States, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament could see some cancellations or postponements. The tournament has been affected by the virus, which has killed an estimated 20,000 people worldwide. The NCAA is trying to ensure that teams play close to home, while also considering the location of each team. The tournament could also have its biggest controversy yet, since the virus has interrupted several other NCAA tournaments.
The NCAA tournament should have been delayed by a week or ten days, but it was not. The NCAA tournament has several teams affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the tournament schedule is already changing. The second weekend of the tournament will be shortened as teams compete in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, respectively. The Final Four will begin on Thursday, so fans will have plenty of time to get their tickets to the Final Four.
Fortunately, the NCAA has contingency plans in place for such situations. Instead of replacing teams in the middle of a game, they can send in a replacement team before the start of the tournament. Without a replacement team, the NCAA would have to make up the games if the teams affected by COVID-19 did not win. If a team is not eligible to participate because of COVID-19, they would lose because of the no-contest rule.
The full 2021 NCAA tournament was held in Indiana, to temper the COVID-19 pandemic. Duke and Kansas pulled out due to COVID-19 issues, but all 31 conference championships went ahead. Now, the leagues will try to make sure the tournaments will be held in San Antonio in 2022. There are also many other stipulations that should be in place, but if we can’t have the NCAA tournament, it won’t matter.
The NCAA has also altered the date of the NCAA Tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the tournament will be held in Indianapolis, where extra time is required for quarantine protocols and testing. The NCAA was forced to postpone the tournament due to the pandemic last year. Because of this, the NCAA didn’t want to lose two years of tournament revenue. They opted for player safety over risking the infection.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some issues in the pro and college sports world. Both the NBA and the NFL have shortened quarantine periods for vaccinated players. Some people wondered if the college game would follow suit. However, college basketball is different from the pro leagues, and limiting the testing of vaccinated players is not an appropriate approach.
ad spend around March Madness up 21.4%
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament prompted record national TV ad spending in 2016. The tournament is one of the most valuable franchises in televised sports, and it provides brands with a unique platform for integrating their brand into the games and tournaments. The tournament offers advertisers a variety of opportunities for branding integration, including paid advertisements, social media conversations, branded placements, and experiential events.
Major sponsors include several companies that are NCAA corporate sponsors. In 2016, more than 90 companies purchased ad time during the tournament. Of those, the top ten companies accounted for one-third of the total ad spending. These companies have long-standing affiliations with the event; eight have participated for more than ten years. In addition to sports, travel advertisers and auto companies also participate.
The tournament has also become a lucrative outlet for advertisers. The average 30-second ad during the tournament is up double-digits from 2021 rates. Even though early games typically fetch a few hundred thousand dollars, the title game draws more than two million dollars for a 30-second spot. While CBS and Turner executives won’t confirm if the $1 billion total ad sales mark is the highest ever, they say it is in the range.
Notre Dame in first four of ncaa tournament
If Notre Dame wins tonight, it will face the sixth-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Fighting Irish, who won a double-overtime game over Rutgers, are capable of shooting the ball well and controlling possession. They rank 28th in the nation in points per game, and they have a high-volume freshman phenom in Blake Wesley. Notre Dame’s defense has been a big advantage this season, as they have kept opponents from scoring more points than they did.
The Irish are an experienced team that has made 37 NCAA Tournament appearances. They are led by a veteran coach in Mike Brey, who has been at Notre Dame for 22 seasons. The squad features a solid freshman in Blake Wesley, who was inserted into the starting lineup six games into the regular season and has since helped the Irish turn around their season. Notre Dame’s other key players are Paul Atkinson Jr. and Blake Wesley.
The Irish had a streak of three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2015, Notre Dame reached the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year, and then missed out on the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday after falling to Davidson. In the following season, Notre Dame went 3-15 and was ranked 69th on the NCAA Tournament’s 1-68 list. The ACC has only five teams in the field this season, the fewest since 2013. Rutgers and Notre Dame have played one another three times during the past 22 seasons, with the last meeting in 2013.
The Irish were the only team in the First Four that did not advance to the Final Four. Despite their lack of a better seed, the Irish had the talent to advance. After defeating Kentucky and Miami in league play, the Irish finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This was a surprise to many, but the Irish were confident they’d earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They did not need to look far for a success story in the First Four. UCLA defeated Michigan State in Dayton and went on to reach the Final Four.
Despite Notre Dame’s tough first-round matchup, the Irish can use Atkinson’s NCAA Tournament experience to their advantage. Rutgers finished fourth in the Big Ten but lost in the conference tournament to eventual champions. The Scarlet Knights will need to rebound from their sub-par shooting performance in the Big Ten Tournament to reach the first round. They will then face No. 6 seed Alabama in San Diego.
Rutgers could be sloppy with the ball and make a lot of free throws. Notre Dame is a great defensive rebounder and shooters can exploit defensive breakdowns. However, Rutgers cannot afford to give the Irish too many second-chance shots. So, they’ll likely lose this game, but the Irish can take advantage of it and take them to the finals.