March Madness Advertising Data Toplines: Week 1


After one year off from college basketball due to Covid-19, NCAA March Madness has returned with a vengeance, and so have advertisers trying to garner attention from the hours of TV Americans will watch over the next three weeks till the championship game on April 5th

March Madness Ad Trends

With the conclusion of the first and second round of the tournament on Monday March 22nd, and hours of basketball related programming stretching across 96 hours, and 4 different channels, we have recorded a surprisingly high volume of ads for the opening weekend.  Here are the advertising data toplines from the first official week. 

Across all CBS stations on broadcast, we have already recorded 238K ad occurrences from 1,860 unique advertisers.  

The top advertisers so far are CBS, Geico, and Progressive Insurance with 10K8Kand just under 7K airings respectfully.  

The top airing creative is this classic ad from Geico featuring NBA Hall-of-Famer Dikembe Mutombo, which had aired in various March Madness tournaments from 2013 through 2016, and has been rebooted for this year’s tournament. 

The top markets for advertising so far in the tournament this year have been Waco-Temple-Bryant, Texas with almost 3K ad airings, and Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia with 1,300 airings.   

We expect top markets for these games to fluctuate greatly between rounds, based on what teams continue to advance and where their fan bases are located.  

The top advertisers on national cable for all games running on TBS and TNT are Nissan, Geico and Samsung. Three different insurance companies, Geico, Allstate and Progressive all are in the top 6 advertisers across national cable.  

At the end of each round of games every week, we will recap the advertising data toplines to see what trends have changed and whether activity creeps up as we get closer to the championship game on Monday, April 5th 

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