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March Madness Cause Marketing

It’s conference tournament time in college basketball in the lead-up to March Madness, the best sporting event in America other than the Super Bowl. Soon the NCAA Tournament seedings will be announced and brackets will start rolling off of office printers nationwide.

In homage to the Madness, here’s a cause marketing promotion you could run next year in conjunction with the Tournament. It features local celebrities, a sweepstakes component, and numerous possible extensions.

Here’s how it could work: local celebrities are pitted against each other in something like a NCAA Tournament bracket. Then people vote on who they’d like to see advance based on the parings on Facebook or at the website. If there’s no seedings, it’s basically a straight popularity contest. The person who picks the most brackets correctly wins a cool prize; perhaps tickets to March Madness.

Local businesses are the sponsors of the brackets. In addition to selling the brackets, you’ll need to get permission in your market to use the names of 64 local celebrities. Alternatively, you could use corporate names.

If the brackets were filled with company names, you could ask for a donation to participate in the brackets. A donation of $250 from 64 companies, which is in-reach for even small businesses, would generate $16,000!

Or you could seed the companies based on their donation amount. Perhaps a $1,000 donation gets you a #1 seeding, while a $500 donation gets you a #8 seeding and so on.

In a lot of states, although not mine, you could ask for a fee to submit a bracket. It’s not so different from bingo. Get 500 participants at $10 a bracket sheet and that’s an extra $5,000. At $50 a bracket sheet that’s an extra $25,000 your charity tourney takes in.

There are too many other possible wrinkles to mention. But plainly this idea is Madness.

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