If you own a business of any kind, or even those who don’t, then you are very much aware of the importance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s upcoming basketball playoff system. Or as it’s more commonly referred to: “March Madness” or “The Final Four”. Everyone will be gathered around televisions, computers, and other mobile devices during the next few weeks for practically every hour during the day (even work days) watching these basketball games.

If you are a business owner, this can be a possible nightmare if your workers would rather see a slam dunk than slam a sale, catch a bounce pass rather than pass along information, or look for a timeout rather than look to put time in. In fact, the first two days of March Madness will cost businesses $134 million in lost productivity, according to the firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. An estimated three million employees will spend three hours watching the games at work. Not such an ideal model for profit and revenue for the next month, is it?

However, as a small business owner, you can certainly use this next month to capitalize on the “hoopla” surrounding the college basketball postseason and gain valuable customers, retain existing goodwill, and increase your revenue. In all likelihood, your small business will not be able to run a national commercial during the championship game broadcast all over the world. A 30-second TV spot in the men’s championship game has a price tag of about $1.5 million, while a similar ad during the Final Four costs under $1 million. Last year, March Madness generated $1.15 billion in ad revenue, according to research firm Kantar Media. Although, there are a few other creative ways that you can draw attention to your business and reach out to customers in your community. Below are a few examples:

  • Consider creating a #hashtag for your company’s social media accounts during the games (Examples: #LayUpLawyerUp #SlamDunkCase #McMasterLawFirm)
  • Offer special promotions, discounts, giveaways, etc. to loyal customers, new clients, or within the community (especially those in local food and services industries)
  • Host a party or networking event with a basketball theme, broadcast the games at your event, and promote your company at the event
  • Invite a potential client to meet you at a place that will be broadcasting the games
  • Host an office bracket pool to promote goodwill and improve morale in the office (Although be careful concerning actual money pools, which may be considered gambling or cash gifts – a violation of certain regulations within the Federal Government and perhaps company bylaws)
  • Be very careful with your use of terms and images, such as “March Madness”, “Madness”, “Final Four”, etc., as these terms are trademarked by such entities as CBS and the NCAA.

Please note that these suggestions do not constitute legal advice on how to generate business revenue or business marketing, but are simply a few creative ideas that you can use for a starting point when marketing your own business during the NCAA basketball playoff system. Use this opportunity to generate valuable goodwill for your business, instead of losing to your competitor during the “hoopla”. Please let us know how your business intends to market during this time and what ideas work for you!