Marketing Midnight Madness
With the announcement today that marketing titans IMG, the Yankees and the Cowboys are teaming up to market college athletics, it should come to no one's surprise that NCAA Hoops' Midnight (or earlier) Madness has also become not just a ticket sales play, but also an increasingly popular value-add for athletic program partners throughout the country -- and their fans.
SB Nation's Sean Kelley says of Syracuse's 7 P.M.-Madness title sponsored by AmeriCU Credit Union, "It's not just a night to celebrate student loans, there's Syracuse basketball to rejoice over as well. According to Syracuse's release, Carrier Dome festivities will include a performance by the Skyriders Trampoline Team, presented by AmeriCU Credit Union, a dunk contest and a 3-point shoot-out, sponsored by Heritage Lincoln. The AmeriCU Credit Union’s Midnight Madness is free to the public, but requires a general-admission ticket limited which can be picked up while supplies last at AmeriCU Credit Union branches around campus.
At Maryland last year, Gary Williams ushered in the season by driving an Under Armour-emblazoned armored truck onto the court! Seriously. Watch...
Across the country, the Arizona Wildcats will kick things off with a Royal Buick Shootout, with the chance for a contestant to win a car and a $10,000 Shootout sponsored by Alltel and local radio station, KRQ.
In Kentucky, which hosts one of arguably the most sophisticated MM celebrations, there was so much anticipation around Jim Calipari's debut at Big Blue Madness that tickets sold out in a record 45 minutes.
Sweetening the pot for some sponsors, ESPNU last year televised four hours of live Midnight Madness coverage showcasing events at Davidson, Kansas, Georgetown, Gonzaga and Indiana.
And after all of this, in many cases Midnight Madness doesn't even apply anymore because schools have started hosting the promotional practice in prime time or at sunrise, rather than at the stroke of midnight. Dunkin' Donuts Morning Madness & Dunk Contest?