LifeAlert Wins Big In March Madness Buzz

Some brands pay big bucks as official NCAA March Madness sponsors -- and then there's LifeAlert, the emergency response system for the elderly, which has unexpectedly attracted March Madness attention thanks to Georgia State's coach Ron Hunter falling off his chair after his son R.J. Hunter hit the winning shot against Baylor.

Some 10% of all March Madness digital consumption on March 19 has been related to Hunter's chair moment -- the largest that  single moment thus far -- and LifeAlert has been associated with Ron Hunter 6,248 times on Twitter, largely around a parody ad publication that Bleacher Report posted on the platform, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence, which tracks what people are “seeing” and “reading” around the 2015 NCAA tournament, as measured by their proprietary “Consumption” metric. There were also 38,691 Tweets around Ron Hunter in total on March 19 around the tournament. 

Official sponsorship during the tournament does not guarantee brand awareness. Only four of the 18 brands with the most March Madness related consumption - Buffalo Wild Wings, Bing, AT&T, and Buick -- are corporate sponsors of the event. 



Among official sponsors, Buffalo Wild Wings has been the brand most associated with March Madness due to its multifaceted involvement. In addition to in-restaurant and on-court presence, the food chain is also heavily advertising during the game, with its popular "Overtime" campaign, an ad that’s only shown on TV if a tournament game goes into overtime, an occurrence that has happened twice so far this year. 

Search engine Bing and its brackets promotion comes in second in terms of media awareness, with 89% as much March Madness-related online consumption compared to Buffalo Wild Wings, between February 19-March 19. 

AT&T, which is one of only three NCCA Corporate Champion level sponsors, only received 41% as much association with March Madness as Buffalo Wild Wings between February 19-March 19; mainly around a series of tournament-themed ads featuring basketball greats Shaquille O'Neal, Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner. 

On the other end, the top brands associated with March Madness that aren’t corporate sponsors are Nike, Samsung, Nationwide, Gatorade, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Among these non-sponsor winners, Nike and Samsung have garnered as much consumption as official sponsor AT&T. Nike, of course, outfits many of the teams in the tournament and Samsung's frequent advertisements help to spike their awareness.

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