Ever watched something amazing on television and wondered what everyone’s reaction to it was? In older times, people would have water cooler talk at the office to get those reactions, or people would have to be called individually.
With the development of social media, people can now react and then move on to the next thing. That is an incredible development for the big events that occur during the March Madness schedule.
It is one of the greatest events on the sports calendar because it takes 68 teams and places them in a bracket, and crowns a champion in three weeks’ time. That first weekend is particularly amazing because most games are scheduled 30 minutes after one another, and it leads to multiple games happening at once.
Scorebugs on the screen show if one game is closer than another, and it shows if there is an upset brewing. It is particularly great to see how people are reacting to the buzzer beaters, bracket busters, and Cinderella stories at a moment’s notice.
Here are other ways that social media plays a part in the March Madness buzz.
Most of the bigger college basketball programs have put together creative teams to churn on content specifically for social media. Whether those are long-form videos, instant highlights, or footage that takes fans behind the scenes.
It creates a valuable experience for fans, both the diehards and casuals, as some of that footage is from the locker room with a priceless reaction, a memorable end to a season, or a teary-eyed speech.
Other ways to generate content and engage fans are by creating graphics and photo galleries throughout the games. Statistical updates are other pieces that help engage an audience and can add to whatever conversations are happening.
Where Context Lives
Another element of being behind the scenes is where journalists are allowed to go and get comments from coaches and players of both teams. Being able to hear the explanations for key moments of the game gives fans needed context.
It also can create memorable moments when losing teams have their seniors reflect on their college careers. An exciting win can create an extra drama based on the emotions of a player who just hit a big shot and cemented a moment he will never forget.
The quickest way to get that feedback is by flipping on social media and finding the videos or quotes in the different tweets.
Meeting The Consumers
For brands, it is even more important to live on social media. While advertising packages can be looped in across all weekends and become expensive, an ad on social media can really target a different demographic.
But those same advertisers can run the 30-second commercial they normally would in a sponsored tweet or Instagram post, or Facebook post and potentially reach more people. The ability to share those posts and hit different regions or age groups are incredibly powerful and overlooked by so many.
There are different ways to market people, too. Whether that is creating videos with those teams and players or finding a way to have a spokesperson who is recognizable to the desired demographic, there are important elements to consider.
How Players Benefit
When name, image, and likeness legislation went into effect on July 1, 2021, it changed the game, particularly in the NCAA Tournament. Those players who hit iconic shots – think Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew draining a 3-pointer to beat Ole Miss – can then use those moments to profit off themselves.
Some players use that to their advantage and take a signature move or saying and put it on t-shirts, coffee mugs, and other sellable items. Others were able to appear at local businesses or for local businesses on social media.
When St. Peter’s went to the Elite Eight in 2022 after slaying giants Kentucky and Purdue, their players became instantly famous. Fans will remember Doug Edert, the mustached, floppy hair, and headband-wearing sharpshooter, for his antics.
They will also remember – at least some focused on business will remember – Edert appearing in a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial as the tournament went on. This was the perfect use of name, image, and likeness, and it carried forward on social media for a while.