Coke Zero is challenging NCAA Basketball devotees to brainstorm ways to enhance the fan experience. The 64 most-innovative concepts will compete during NCAA March Madness for a chance to win $10,000.
Atlanta-based Coke has launched a Department of Fannovation section on the Coke Zero Web site where people can submit creative ideas through March 14 and to see the crazy ideas that others have. The site was created by Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Once NCAA March Madness arrives, Coke Zero will announce the 64 most original submissions to compete head to head in the first-ever "Brain Bracket." Fan voting will then determine which ideas advance to the ensuing rounds, with the "Brain Bracket" syncing up with the actual NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The final 16 submissions will earn $1,000 each for their creators, while the top four finalists will also earn a trip for two to the 2011 NCAA Men's Final Four in Houston. The creator of the top idea, to be announced April 6, will be crowned the "Brain Bracket" champion and will receive a check for $10,000.
Coke Zero has partnered with CBS Sports college basketball studio analyst Seth Davis to help promote the Department of Fannovation. Davis will be featured on the Web site and will make appearances at colleges and universities to inspire students to submit their own ideas at CokeZero.com/NCAA.
The promotion will be supported with ads on CBS during the network's coverage of men's NCAA basketball. One spot touts Mascot Cam, a new form of coverage developed with CBSSports.com, allows fans to see the game through the eyes of the mascot. At the campus level, Coke Zero is offering its own fan enhancement -- Row Zero -- at men's and women's NCAA basketball games at select schools. Row Zero awards lucky fans the chance to drink up all of the game action from plush courtside Coke Zero-branded rockers.
Coca-Cola is an Official NCAA Corporate Champion, the Official Fan Refreshment of the NCAA and a partner with the NCAA in an 11-year association that includes beverage marketing and media rights to 88 NCAA championships.
To support its positioning that fans are constantly thirsting for new ways to enjoy their NCAA basketball experience, Coke Zero commissioned Ipsos to conduct a survey of college basketball fans to explore this phenomenon while highlighting what the most popular fan enhancements have been in recent memory. Seventy-five percent of fans still feel that there could be even more enhancements to the college basketball experience. From a list of seven enhancements, the three most frequently cited favorite enhancements to the fan experience in the past 10 years are: greater availability of online content (74% of respondents), more college sports television networks on the air (58%) and the live streaming of games (53%).
Other than the Super Bowl (35% of respondents), college basketball fans would rather attend the NCAA Men's Final Four (24%) than other collegiate or professional sporting events, including the NBA Finals (16%). Seventy-five percent of fans feel that playing the NCAA Men's Final Four in a dome venue adds to the overall fan experience at the event and 53% of college basketball fans have missed work or class to watch an important college basketball game. Half of fans would rather get the flu (49%) than have their favorite team lose to its main rival (51%).