The time has come once again. An entire month when it is totally acceptable to have basketball on at all times of the day. It’s March Madness — a month where 68 amped-up teams face off for the ultimate prize – eternal glory in the college basketball hall of fame. And for us less-athletically gifted spectators, we take full advantage of the epic deals while smack talking our friend’s (obviously terrible) brackets.
Domino’s 50% Off
One of the heavy hitters, Domino’s has always been easy to spot in the assembly of ads. Rather than going with their “Pick to Win” strategy utilized the last several years (think – Road to Domination campaign), Domino’s decided to make all pizzas 50% off from March 16th – 22nd. The catch? The deal is only applied when orders are made using Domino’s digital ordering channels, in an ongoing effort to ramp up their digital presence.
Being one of their busiest times of year (Domino’s sold over 1.7 million pizzas during last year’s Final Four and Championship games alone), Domino’s doesn’t necessary need to gamify their promotion to make a huge impact during the tournament. And hey, who doesn’t like half off pizzas?
Pizza Hut Million Dollar Half-Court Shot
Not to be outdone, Pizza Hut is giving away $1 million to the customer who can make a half-court shot backwards on April 9th at the legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. As part of their effort to promote their Stuffed Crust pizza, Pizza Hut will use the original marketing campaign, featuring NBA legend David Robinson and anchorman Dick Vitale, which encourages customers to eat their pizza backwards. Using the hashtag #StuffedCrustShot, Pizza Hut is reintroducing the old favorite for the original price of $9.99.
With a chance to win $1 million and take a shot on the prodigious court, we think this contest will definitely garner attention among young hopefuls.
Yahoo! Celebrity Bracket Challenge
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition. Except maybe some celebrity competition, like All-Star players Paul George and Skylar Diggins, Hollywood celebs such as Alyssa Milano and Jeremy Piven, Pro-Bowler Stephen Gostkowski, and so many more. To sweeten the deal, each celebrity pool has different prizes for their respective winners. The prizes may not measure up to the 2014 Warren Buffet and Yahoo $1B Perfect Bracket Challenge with infinitesimal odds of winning, but they do include awesome autographed gear, guitars, gaming consoles, tablets, meet-and-greets, and more!
ESPN 2015 NCAA Bracket Challenge
This year, ESPN has brought back their Bracket Challenge, sponsored by Best Buy and All State, with a prize package of about $30,000 going to a randomly selected, top 1% bracket performer. With one of the highest participation rates in bracket challenges, you’ll either have to be the luckiest person in the U.S. or a professional bracket guru to even be entered into this challenge. But hey, it’s free to join, so why not try your odds? And in the words of beloved Hunger Games fanatics, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
Buffalo Wild Wings GameBreak
The pinnacle of March Madness promotions, campaigns, and games. On March 7th, Buffalo Wild Wings released their first of many ad campaigns, featuring Steve Rannazzisi from The League. And yes, this is definitely poking fun at large pizza chains offering online ordering and delivery deals.
This year, B-Dubs has rallied behind the hashtag #WingWisdom and hired “guest captains” to change the channels, offer beer and sauce samples, and encourage people to play trivia games in-store. The Guest Captains will be used solely to promote the sports – beer – wings centered brand. Already having trivia and games on tablets at each table, B-Dubs will roll out letting customers order on the devices to eliminate misunderstandings in the loud sports bar arena. The restaurant chain also started a tournament tracker microsite to offer real-time game scores, schedules, and company commentary on games and social media content. And don’t forget the topical GIFs to capture major moments throughout the tourney. Using the in-store GameBreak platform, B-Dubs will offer mini-games and bracket challenges with prizes in real-time.
CBS Bracket Challenge
This CBS Bracket Challenge is giving away a grand prize of four 2016 NCAA Final Four Game tickets and $6,000 in cash prizes. With slightly higher odds for the randomly selected winner of the top 10% bracket performers, perhaps now is not the time to be planning your 2016 spring break trip.
So whether you’re more excited for the actual basketball or the killer promotions, March is an exciting month for fans and players alike.
And finally, as we say in the WCC, Go Broncos (our copywriter went to Santa Clara University).