March Madness from A(ffinity) to Z(ion)

Mar 28, 2019 • Aaron Goldman

‘Tis the season when the NCAA college basketball tournament costs American businesses $13 billion in lost worker productivity.

At 4C, we have the games streaming in our offices but of course it’s all part of the job. From Sport Sync ­– where our platform automatically triggers ads on the second-screen based on in-game events – to TV Monitoring – where commercial spot airings are logged – to Brand Compass – where brand and sponsor affinities are displayed – there are any number of reasons why we need to be keeping an eye on the tourney.

Speaking of affinities, we assessed the top seeded schools in the men’s tournament and which brands, shows, and athletes had the highest engagement with official team handles.

Looking at the top brands, it’s clear all the promotion from Capital One throughout the season is having an impact. In terms of top shows, the sports obsession of these fans clearly shows. And the athlete affinity is quite striking with all 3 schools not named Duke engaging heavily with Duke phenom Zion Williamson.

As our Marketing Data Scientist Ashley Tomzik (who herself played Division One college basketball) put it, “He’s a beast and it’s almost as if they know how good he is, they respect him, and they’re scared to face him.”

All season, Zion has stepped up – shoe blowouts be damned – and he’s built on his legacy in the tournament with a 32 point performance and late basket to help his team advance to the Sweet Sixteen. As I noted last month in Adweek, the sponsorship battle over Zion among brands is shaping up to be as fierce as the competition on the court.

As we tune in for the final rounds these next couple weeks, it’ll be all eyes – and social posts – on Zion as he chases the prize of a national championship before cashing in as the #1 pick of the NBA draft and earning hundreds of millions in sponsorship deals.

Now it’s time for a productive look at the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Read 4C’s Insights Newsletter Volume 152 here.