Marketing has quickly evolved over the past decade due to the rapid expansion of the Internet and web technologies in general. Quite a while ago, the traditional promotional mix was composed of advertising, PR, direct response marketing, sales promotion, personal selling, and according to some definitions, sponsorship. As of today, online marketing has cemented its position within the promotional mix either as its own component or an alternative platform to traditional marketing (outside of the web). Due to online marketing becoming a far more effective vehicle for brands to generate awareness and revenue, inbound marketing in particular has become far more efficacious than traditional outbound marketing to accomplish certain objectives.
Every year, basketball enthusiasts, passive sports fans, and even the average Joes make an effort to fill out a bracket that indubitably busts within the first day of the Men’s NCAA Basketball tournament. Even this year, there has been a significant amount of upsets, with traditional powerhouses such as Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Kansas falling before making it to the Sweet 16. Upsets within the early rounds are expected to occur, but it never ceases to amaze basketball fans when some of the bigger teams from power conferences are upset by the tournament’s Cinderellas.
This is why Warren Buffet’s idea to create the $1 Billion NCAA Bracket Challenge was a stroke of genius. Dangle a prize big enough to reel in even the most casual of sports fans and you have yourself a campaign that will market itself. With the allure of the biggest prize ever for any sports contest, almost 9 million people completed a bracket on Yahoo!. This lead to a massive amount of user data collection and the opportunity to generate revenue from strategic remarketing of selected offers. Assuming a $5 million dollar estimated cost, the estimated profit clocks in at $9 Million, with potential revenue generating from the following sources (data from the EZAds123 infographic below):