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Marketing Like March Madness

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Thought Leadership: David Kemp

Over three weekends every March, America catches a fever. March Madness is back, in full swing, and if the latest ratings are any indicator, fans are watching college basketball like never before.

Naturally, brands, marketers, and advertisers will seek opportunities to cash in on March Madness. Still, it is thousands of fans packing the stadiums where the real marketing lessons are taking shape. As David Kemp, Healthcare Marketing Lead at MarketScale, puts it, there are 30,000 fans in the stands creating content, spreading the word, and creating experiential opportunities that should make marketers take note. “They’re taking out their camera; they’re recording their experience,” Kemp said.

“They’re sharing about the awesome experience they’re having connected to a product they’re passionate about. So, in a way, those 30,000 fans have become 30,000 marketers for that school, the NCAA, and the entire March Madness ecosystem in B2B.”

Kemp raises a critical question for B2B marketers.

  • Are you taking full advantage of the potential companies’ customers, fans, prospects, and passionate evangelists they could bring to your brand?

  • Is there fantastic content waiting for creation beyond what a small marketing department can produce?

Need proof? Just ask the Savannah Bananas.

The Savannah Bananas is a minor-league professional baseball team with a major-league attitude regarding fan engagement and content creation. And it’s through their experiential marketing approach that’s won them global fandom and recognition.

Marketers can take a page from the Savannah Bananas and March Madness to generate customer loyalty in 2023 through content. Why have one Pied Piper leading the charge when a company could have many? Personalized content that’s valuable and engaging provides solutions to customer problems and helps them learn new things will keep them coming back for more.

Kemp says, “Unlock the voices of your best and brightest. In that small team of marketers, elevate them to conductors of the music, where they can request and unlock the voices of the experts, executives, partners, and fans, so that small marketing team now becomes a team of a few thousand, just like they’re doing with March Madness.”

Call it a hack for generating ROI and making a company’s marketing team more powerful. The fans do the marketing by turning everybody connected with one’s company into an evangelist. And boom, there goes the dynamite.


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