Nothing screams “productivity” like March Madness and social media.
The NCAA knows how to harness the power of social media. The three days after Selection Sunday, there were over 135,000 tweets with #MarchMadness in them. In 2012, @MarchMadness had 38,000 followers and this year they have over 223,000. Last year’s NCAA championship game drew 23 million viewers, second only to the Super Bowl. During the 2013 tournament there were over 16 million tweets about the games in a three week span and the championship game generated 3.3 million tweets on its own.
This year, the NCAA has included ties with Vine, Instagram, Facebook and tablets from Amazon and Microsoft. It is the first time fans will be able to watch live games using an Amazon Kindle Fire, Microsoft Surface and smartphones with Microsoft Windows 8 operating systems. The NCAA is also allowing people to access the March Madness Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram sites without leaving the NCAA website this year.
The big upset is one of the main attractions of the tournament that draws even the most casual of fans. This year has not disappointed and the upsets came early and often starting with the Cinderella story of 2014, Dayton beating Ohio State on the first day of the tournament. Riding that momentum, they were able to upset Syracuse Saturday which even caused a shout out from The White House and Barack Obama.
One team you can almost always count on to show up for the tournament is Duke, but not this year! Mercer took them out on Friday, which if you somehow had Dayton beating Ohio State then this was probably your bracket buster. This was the second consecutive year that Duke was upset in the tournament. They lost to Lehigh last year, who tweeted out to Mercer after their victory.
Warren Buffet and Quicken Loans made the biggest news this year. In January, Quicken and Buffet announced they would reward $1 billion to anyone who fills out the perfect bracket.This is almost an impossible feat. The odds of picking a perfect bracket are about one in one billion, but should someone be lucky enough to win, they would be entitled to $25 million annually for 40 years or an immediate sum of $500 million. What would you choose? Unfortunately, it only took three days for the last perfect bracket to fall. Thanks to Dayton and Mercer, the final bracket was busted when Memphis beat George Washington on Saturday night.
How’s your bracket doing? I had Wichita State winning it all so you can imagine how I feel today. Let’s talk sports and social media on Twitter!