March Madness: Battle Of The Brands [Infographic]

Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

It’s no surprise these days that brands go the extra distance to get themselves involved and noticed at big events that capture a large audience. Right now, that event happens to be the NCAA March Madness tournament.

The tournament captures the attention of basketball fans around the world who are looking out for who the next big NBA star may be. The largest audience is of course in the United States though, as the tournament is compromised of college teams from around the US and people always want to see their current school or alma mater take the championship. Because of this, it’s no wonder that brands that advertise and do business in the United States also want to get in on the action.

As the tournament has whittled down from the original 68 contenders into what is known as The Sweet 16 in the past week, we wondered how 16 tournament’s official sweet sponsors were doing in that same time period.

Using our Sysomos social intelligence engine we analyzed 16 March Madness official sponsors to see how many times and with what sentiment they were being mentioned in conjunction with March Madness or NCAA across social media channels.

The results are highlighted in the infographic below:

March Madness Battle Of The Brands Infographic

Many brands seem to be getting quite good recognition for their participation and sponsorship of the tournament, but the really interesting part happens to be from the two brands with the least amount of mentions.

The brand at the bottom of our infographic is Unilever, but there is likely a good reason for this. Unilever is a enormous company with many subsidiaries, most of which are likely more well known than the parent company. However, because Unilever as a whole as a sponsor, they are likely advertising a bunch of their brands during the tournament which will be recognized and talked about, but it leave the Unilever name with very little mentions itself.

The other interesting thing that we uncovered was that both brands with the least amount of mentions also happen to have the highest favourable rating in terms of sentiment. This may seem strange to some people, but in fact, it makes perfect sense. Yes, there may be less people talking about these brands, but it also means that there will be a lot less negative talk about them. So are Unilever and Nabisco not doing well in terms of their sponsorships? Not really. Sure they may be less chatter about them, but all the mentions they are seeing are coming out positively.

Have you been following the tournament? How about the sponsors? Let us know your favourite thing you’ve seen one of these sponsors do during the tournament in the comments.

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