How to Sell a College Basketball Contest


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The college basketball tournament will arrive at in March, and with it bracket fever. Although the tournament lasts only three weeks, it can pack a huge promotional punch and the revenue potential is immense – our partners have generated upwards of $40,000 from college basketball contests!

There are 14.3 million avid college basketball fans in the US – predominantly men between the ages of 18 and 34. Combine that with the fact that 2 out of 5 internet users visit sports websites and that college basketball fans spend an average of 90 minutes per week on basketball sites, and you have an audience ripe for college basketball online promotions.

To learn more about how to succeed with a bracket of your own, watch the How to Sell a College Basketball Contest webinar recording or check out our top takeaways from the presentation:

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  • Julie
  • We are going to heavily engaging Twitter throughout the webinar.  If you aren’t following the SecondStreetLab go right to twitter and do it now.  We’ll be using hashtagSecondStreet throughout the webinar to tweet out some great bonus information about some of the nominees and winners throughout the webinar and we encourage you to jump in and tweet to that Hashtag as well.We are recording the webinar and we will send out an email with links to the recording and slide deck.
  • The Second Street Promotions Lab is the source for original content about the world of online promotions for the media industry.The Lab features insights, analysis and actionable content from Second Street’s team of deals and contesting experts and other industry insiders covering trends, best practices and real-world case studies.
  • Julie
  • Matt
  • Matt: YOU Keep all the revenue! You secure local sponsors and you keep the ad revenue.
  • college basketball is a fantastic demographic - you can maximize on the excitement. Primary Audience of Men 18 - 34In March 2012, 2 out of 5 internet users visited sports websitesThe NCAA estimates there are 14.3 million working people who consider themselves avid basketball fans. These fans spend 90 minutes a week (or roughly 13 minutes a day) looking at basketball websites. Ad sales across all media “were up 2.6% in the first quarter of 2012Sports TV programming was “the prime mover behind year-over-year gainsTwo-thirds of the rise “came from TV spending on the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and the NFL post-season games.” The auto category “continued to be the largest with well over" $3.5B in spending (, 6/17).
  • The Welcome Tab now has 8 modules that you can arrange in any order you like. You can also disable any of the modules you don't wish to use.1) Countdown clock - this will countdown to the start of the contest. 2) The Welcome Text - This is a freeform HTML field where you can insert text, images, videos, etc to promote your contest and your sponsors, by default the social networking icons are enabled.3) VIPs - clicking on any VIP will present the viewer with that VIP's picks for the current round.4) Local Leaders - displays the top scorers from your local pool of players5) Local Prizes - if you are offering local prizes they can be displayed on the welcome tab. 6) Fan Gallery - the latest images submitted by users from around the nation7) Mobile - a link you can send to a mobile device either via email or SMS message so one can play on a smartphone8) Latest Talk - the most recent post on the message boards
  • By using all of the tools(Television, in-news mentions, website, social media, text and email) we are able to get a lot of players participating giving the sponsors a lot of exposure. Social Media is the newest tool in our arsenal and it was instrumental in making the 2012 basketball tournament contest a success. having five different sponsors enabled me to generate over $40,000 in revenue from a contest that lasts only three and a half weeks. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to work with new advertisers and create relationships that will last beyond the tournament.The better the prize, the more contest entries you will receive. The first year we gave all of them to the first place winner. The second year we split them up into first, second and third place winners. We found that worked better because it gave more players chances to win and kept them playing longer. Since the college basketball tournament is short, heavy promotion is key. Promote your contest heavily both on air and online, and include both the upfront and round-by-round challengesWhile I have found that adhering to these principles leads to college basketball bracket success, you could also apply this blueprint to other sports contests, such as Auto Racing or Football.
  • The Onion Beer Bracket: to uncover the finest brew in the land., Capital Newspapers – 29 participants were awarded prizes, including a mountain bike, brewery growler club membership, and lots of $25-$50 gift cards.According to Jeffery Roll at it  became their most popular and fun contest to date.  They promoted on the radio, in print, online , facebook and distributed via twitter (where a hashtag held the conversation). said “we dare anyone to find a contest more fun and inviting” Key Takeaway: Doesn’t have to be for sports. RIGHT NOW get out in your market and sell a bracket contest to complement what you’re doing for College Basketball Brackets.
  • Julie
  • Julie
  • Remember to check out the LAB!
  • Julie
  • How to Sell a College Basketball Contest

    1. 1. H O W T O S E L L C O L L E G E B #secondstreet A L L A S K E T B 2 0 1 3
    2. 2. THE PRESENTER Julie Foley Director of Affiliate Success @julie_foley #secondstreet
    3. 3. TWITTER & QUESTIONS Follow @secondstreetlab on Twitter! Want to win an exclusive prize? Be the one who tweets the most with our hashtag #secondstreet Note: We are recording this webinar and you will receive an email with links to the recording and slide deck. GoToWebinar ™ Questions Panel #secondstreet
    4. 4. #secondstreet
    5. 5. WORK WITH THE PROS The oldest, most trusted online contest provider To date, UPICKEM has executed • More than 80,000 contests • On more than 1,800 local media sites • More than 16 million players have participated #secondstreet
    6. 6. BENEFITS• Build Audience, Page Views and Awareness• Generate Sponsorship & Ad Revenues• Build User Database for Email Marketing• Power your Social and Mobile Strategy #secondstreet
    7. 7. AGENDA• College Basketball Bracket Contest Overview• New Features for 2013• Revenue Models• Additional Tactics• Q&A #secondstreet
    8. 8. CONTEST OVERVIEW #secondstreet
    9. 9. CONTEST OVERVIEWDates• Contest ready to add to your site: January 14, 2013• Sales Kit available: January 10, 2013• Brackets Released: March 17, 2013 – The brackets will be populated with teams and be open for picks no later than 8 pm EDT on March 17, 2013.• 64 Team Tournament begins: March 21, 2013 approx 12 pm EST – The upfront bracket will close for picks 20 minutes before the start of the first game.• Championship Game: April 8, 2013 9 pm EST #secondstreet
    10. 10. CONTEST OVERVIEW• Upfront and Round by Round Challenge• Choose winners for each game• Estimate final points for tie- breakers• Score points for correct picks• Play Anywhere! • Website, Mobile, Facebook, Tablet #secondstreet
    11. 11. CONTEST OVERVIEW• National prizes for both upfront and round by round games are provided• Ability to add local prizes• Players can create private/public groups• Turn key solution managed by Second Street• All the revenue is yours to keep! #secondstreet
    12. 12. CONTEST OVERVIEWDemographics• Primary Audience of Men 18 - 34• 14.3 million avid basketball fans• Ad sales were up 2.6% in Q1 of 2012 #secondstreet
    13. 13. NEW FEATURES 2013 #secondstreet
    14. 14. WELCOME PAGE • Countdown Clock • Welcome Text • VIPs • Local Leaders • Local Prizes • Fan Gallery • Mobile • Latest Talk #secondstreet
    15. 15. PRIZESIn both the Upfront and Roundby Round Games:• Perfect Bracket (Upfront and Round by Round) – $1,000,000! – $10K for 1 or 2 wrong picks – $1K for 3 wrong picks• The Overall National Prize – 16GB iPad Mini• The National Prize for each Round – NCAA Fathead of winners choice #secondstreet
    16. 16. PLAY ANYWHERE #secondstreet
    17. 17. CASE STUDIES #secondstreet
    18. 18. CASE STUDY: UT SAN DIEGO2012 Results• College Hoops Bracket Challenge• Earned $20,000 in revenue• Two sponsors – Midway Auto Dealer – Sycuan Casino• Attracted more than 1,100 local players #secondstreet
    19. 19. CASE STUDY: UT SAN DIEGOKeys to Success• Sold as a category exclusive sponsorship• Multimedia contest (web, mobile, facebook and tablet version all enabled)• Heavy promotion of the contest online, in print, and via social media• eBlasts sent before the contest began to promotional database and past contest players• Hall of Fame basketball player and San Diego native Bill Walton participated as the “face” of the game #secondstreet
    20. 20. CASE STUDY: UT SAN DIEGOPackage Details• (6) 3 X 4” ROP ads at a special package rate on Monday 3/12, 3/13 3/15, 3/19 3/22 and 3/26• 300,000 leader board ads promoting your business on online• Inclusion in promotional ad schedule in print and online encouraging player participation• 500,000 online ad impressions• 129 inches or ROP ads in print• Exclusive contest micro site• E-mail database blast to 65,000 players 3 times during the contest• Complete contest administration including prize fulfillment #secondstreet
    21. 21. CASE STUDY: UT SAN DIEGOPlan for 2013• Book $50k in revenue• Bill Walton to participate as a true VIP• Use Twitter and Facebook accounts to further promote #secondstreet
    22. 22. CASE STUDY: WKYT2012 Results• Earned $40,000• Four sponsors• Attracted 10,500 players• Promoted both upfront and round by round challenge• Expect to increase revenue significantly in 2013 #secondstreet
    23. 23. CASE STUDY: WKYTKeys to Success• Integrated campaign• Multiple sponsors• Heavy promotion• Offered multiple local prizes #secondstreet
    24. 24. DUNK THE COMPETITION! #secondstreet
    25. 25. ADDITIONAL SUCCESS TACTICS• Add to Facebook• Custom Emails• Identify media partners• Secure prize partners• Extend bracket mania #secondstreet
    26. 26. FACEBOOK• Add to your Facebook page• Add to your sponsor’s Facebook page• Add Like-Gate for both you and your sponsor• Power your social strategy! #secondstreet
    27. 27. CUSTOM EMAILS• Initial invite to your promotion database• Invite to all past contest players• Reminder emails to registered players• Winner emails sent after each round• Results/wrap up email after final round #secondstreet
    28. 28. SECURE MEDIA PARTNERSIdentify Promotional Partners• Approach other local media to help promote your contest• Offer display, online or on-air ads every week, recognition as sponsors, and VIP spots• Ask for display or on-air mentions from your partners each week to help promote your basketball contest #secondstreet
    29. 29. IDENTIFY PRIZE PARTNERS Weekly Prizes Secure Prize Partners • Offer advertising and VIP pick in exchange for each round and grand prizes • Announce weekly winners online, through eBlasts, on-air or in print Grand Prize #secondstreet
    30. 30. EXTENDING BRACKET MANIA• Madison, Wisconsin• The Onion Beer Bracket – Revenue: $7,000 – Registered Users: 1,283 – Page Views: 41,925 #secondstreet
    31. 31. RESOURCES• Scope of game document• Print & web ads• Advertiser & sponsors to consider• Sales Pitch PPT #secondstreet
    32. 32. SUMMARY• Build Audience, Page Views and Awareness• Generate Sponsorship & Ad Revenues• Build User Database for Email Marketing• Power your Social and Mobile Strategy #secondstreet
    33. 33. #secondstreet
    34. 34. Q&A Julie Foley Director of Affiliate Success julie_foley #secondstreet