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The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers wo...

UT Lady Volunteers women's basketball team with President George W. Bush: '08 Championship (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, this article is about the Men’s NCAA Basketball finals last night, but just had to sneak in a photo of our home state Lady VOLs for fun. Plus, why aren’t the women’s games getting more advertisers anyway?

But back to the main event, over the past 10 years (1998-2007), advertising during the NCAA tournament has translated into $3.83 billion of network TV spending from nearly 300 different marketers. The three leading advertisers of the tourney GM, Coke & AT&T paid dearly for lead sponsorship status. Since the audience of the championship is mostly men, movie, car and car insurance ads went for the slam dunk. Even Shaq drove a Buick last night while in earlier games he sold Dove Men+Care with his mom.

The big insight we gather from the March Madness tourney dictates further investment in marketing the event to women. According to Forbes this past March, women account for 85% of all consumer purchases include everything from autos to healthcare so it only stands to reason that the most powerful ambassador a brand can have is a woman. With this dynamic, the NCAA should think of some creative ways to increase viewership among women especially moms.  What about some pre-event advertising similar to P&G’s ad at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics or even Target’s new Avengers ad with the children as heroes? Or how about a social media campaign with Mommy Bloggers?

We are looking forward to more analysis once the final demos for the TV and Internet viewership are announces. Meanwhile, what do you think? Are you happy Kentucky won?

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