Back in this post, we said you could expect an exciting Super Bowl. We were wrong. If you were one of the 100.7 million people tuning in, you were probably left wanting more. You maybe even changed the channel. In fact, this year’s Super Bowl fell to the lowest ratings since 2008 1 . Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long for thrilling sports. Along with much awaited spring weather, March Madness is right around the corner.
The Making of a College Basketball Fan
March Madness presents the rare opportunity where US television viewers can tune in over a period of three weeks to see their favorite athletes compete. Unlike the Super Bowl, the NCAA tournament fosters a strong communal feeling because there are more than two teams involved.
When it comes to March Madness, most people have a college they went to, or a coach they follow, or a regional conference, or it could be there is a college team just down the road. Everyone has a rooting interest. – Joe Lunardi, Resident Bracketologist, ESPN
Even if you’re not a fan of college basketball, you may be trying your luck with an office bracket. “Nearly 24 million people, which is approximately 10 percent of the American adult population, participated in college basketball pools in 2017, accounting for nearly $3 billion in wagering.”2. The office bracket keeps us tuned in, as unexpected losses and wins determine who will go home with the pool. Every game ultimately matters and every team has a story that fans can connect with.
NCAA Viewers Are on eBay
The passion and community fostered by March Madness can also be found on eBay. Last September, ESPN and eBay announced a partnership making eBay’s sports equipment, fashion apparel, memorabilia, and collectibles more discoverable on ESPN.com web and mobile web. With eBay reaching 53.4% of all sports enthusiasts online3, the ESPN/eBay collaboration was a no brainer.
There are few things people are more passionate about than sports, and the apparel, memorabilia and collectibles associated with our favorite athletes and teams have become an important part of sports fandom. – Suzy Deering, Chief Marketing Officer of eBay Americas
Sports enthusiasts spend an average of 33 minutes 4looking through over 1.2 billion active listings 5 during the March Madness timeframe. Many of them are searching for sports related products. Brands like Nike and Callaway garner much of the spend 6. NCAA basketball related items also do well during March Madness, purchased at a rate of every 15 seconds 7. With eBay’s expansive reach, brands attempting to connect with both the dedicated and casual sports fan, will reach them on eBay.
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