March-Adness: Spending Tops $1 Billion Mark
Ad dollars for March Madness topped the $1 billion mark for the first time last year, as games aired on CBS and three Turner networks. That was nearly a 40% increase over
2011, the first year CBS shared the games with the Time Warner unit.
The figures include pre-game and post-game coverage, per Kantar. The $1 billion in 2012 was up from $728 million in 2011. The figure was $500 million in 2006.
The nearly 40% increase in total ad dollars for the 2012 tournament outpaced the rate of increase for the championship game, which was 8%. The average 30-second spot cost grew to $1.2 million. That’s higher than the $1.1 million for the BCS Championship Game.
Even as games have aired on four networks versus one over the past two years, the number of advertisers in the tournament has decreased markedly from 2008 when there were 102. Last year, Kantar reports there were 85.
The largest spender was General Motors at $83.2 million, followed by AT&T at $54.2 million, Anheuser-Busch at $31.9 million, Coke at $31.7 million and Capital One at $28.4 million. All but A-B are official NCAA sponsors, according to Kantar.
March Madness, which features 67 games, is the leading sport in terms of post-season ad revenue, topping the NFL. Even with the Super Bowl, Kantar reports the NFL brought in $976.3 million in ad dollars in 2012.
The NBA, where the playoffs offer loads of games, was well below March Madness’ $1 billion at $536.9 million, with the NHL fourth at $101.1 million.