What Makes March Madness Brackets So Popular?

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It’s really a head scratcher isn’t it? With brackets for the NHL, the World Cup and other college sporting events, why is it that the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament has the biggest bracket season?

The first NCAA bracket pool was started in 1977 in a Staten Island bar with 88 participants and each paying $10 in a winner-take-all format. Since then the bracketing game has expanded to over 60 million participants and potentially over $1 billion spent in gambling. To reach that kind of engagement this bracketing season must have a “pull” that other bracketing seasons just don’t have.

These are 3 reasons why the NCAA college basketball men’s tournament bracket has a “pull” that no other bracket can mimic:

 1. Money

The amount of money associated with the March Madness bracket is astounding. There are so many different forms of brackets from small time to big time, from free to mid-range to expensive. It has become, almost, a sport in itself. The amount of money gambled on these March Madness bracket challenges entices non-basketball fans to participate, simply for the chance to win thousands or millions of dollars. Money becomes one of the biggest encouragers of participation with this bracket challenge.


2. Repeated Viewership

 March Madness is typically a pretty exciting tournament and a long one at that. With 64 teams pitted against each other, there are going to be unexpected turns, big wins, bigger losses and unbelievable plays to excite fans and players alike. People who have been fans of the tournament since they were kids have turned their friends and family onto the tournament as well, turning them into fans while they, themselves, continue to be friends for years and years. This guaranteed repeated viewership is something that womens’ sports tournaments or tournaments that occur less regularly like The World Cup don’t necessarily enjoy and is something that ensures this tournament’s popularity for years to come.


3. Media

Especially in recent years media has increased their involvement in March Madness brackets and gaining their own profits from the tournament’s and it’s bracket’s popularity. Brands utilize the bracket format in their digital advertising or marketing strategy during the tournament, increasing engagement with the world of bracketology. Sporting brands create shows, apps, streams and other interactive digital tools to encourage participation in this tournament’s bracket and make sure you get all the information you need to make the best educated predictions. Now, you can know everything there is to know about the players, coaches, games, stats, etc. This, arguably, makes it even more challenging and exciting to fill in this tournament’s bracket. When it’s March Madness season there are brackets everywhere and it’s because multi-media outlets and brands have adopted bracketology practices and truly made them their own.

Bracketology continues to grow in popularity and continues to draw its inspirations from NCAA’s March Madness. But how are you going to let the world of bracketology and the March Madness season inspire you?



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Posted in brackets, ncaa, March Madness, bracketology

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