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Why CTV Advertising Is a Slam Dunk for Brands During March College Basketball

The annual NCAA men’s college basketball tournament is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year. It’s not known as March Madness for nothing – despite unprecedent fragmentation among TV audiences, the championship game delivered over 18 million viewers in 2022, making it the most-watched final in the history of the tourney and a 4% increase over the previous year. Overall, the games drew the highest share of total TV viewers since 1994.

The Challenge for Advertisers This March

Just as importantly, the tournament was a slam dunk for advertisers, with ad inventory for the three-week event selling out weeks before tip-off and total sales adding up to more than $1 billion, according to CBS Sports, another new record. Spots during the title match-up cost over $2 million per 30 seconds, while each spot in games in the earlier rounds cost advertisers in the six-figure range.

With viewership and ad prices expected to be skyhook-high again in 2023, how can brands, products and services from categories like athletic apparel, food and beverage, consumer technology, automobiles, financial services, entertainment and online betting reach college basketball fans outside the games themselves? The answer is streaming and CTV.

Fans Are Watching Streaming TV Ads

While sports like college basketball continue to attract massive amounts of eyeballs to linear TV, streaming is now the single most popular channel for TV consumption in the U.S. overall, according to Nielsen. It attracts more viewers than not only traditional broadcast and cable, but also more time spent than social media, gaming and music. And when it comes to advertising, adults in the U.S. pay more attention to streaming TV than another media channel, eMarketer found, thanks to the full-screen presentation, immersive experiences and non-skippable ad formats.

How CTV and Streaming Advertising Can Help Advertisers Reach Basketball Fans in March

Streaming and connected Television (CTV) advertising combines the reach of traditional television with the targeting capabilities of digital advertising, allowing advertisers to reach a large and diverse audience with a high level of precision and efficiency.

What’s more, streaming and CTV offer advertisers specific capabilities that are superior to other media, such as addressable targeting, deterministic measurement, campaign flexibility and speed, performance-led optimizations, cost-effectiveness and audience engagement.

And when it comes to return on investment, streaming TV delivers a 30% higher ROI than all other marketing channels, including digital video, digital display, paid search and social, according to Analytics Partners. Streaming and CTV advertising can also provide a more premium, safe environment for brands, which can help build trust and credibility with potential customers.

How CTV and Streaming Advertising Complements Existing Digital and Social Strategies

But CTV advertising isn't just effective on its own. Streaming and CTV campaigns can be a cost-effective complement to an existing online, social or digital advertising strategy or media buys targeting college basketball fans. By using a multichannel approach, brands can reach potential customers through a variety of platforms, increasing the chances of their message being seen. Additionally, CTV advertising can provide measurable results, allowing advertisers to track the effectiveness of their campaigns and adjust them as needed, making the most of their advertising budget.

Simulmedia’s Unique CTV Advertising Solution for March College Basketball Fans

Simulmedia’s TV+© is the only streaming TV advertising platform designed to prioritize an advertiser’s needs. Here’s how we can help you create campaigns that reach your audience — whether it’s before, during or after college games:

  • Our technology allows us to build your audience target by who they are, how they’re watching and what they’re watching so we can confidently reach them at the most high-engagement, high-attention moments and at the most efficient cost.
  • Our direct integrations with virtually every ad-supported streaming service, publisher and app (plus every linear network and channel) allows us to place your ads in premium, brand-safe environments with full transparency into where you’re running – including specific high-visibility programming related to March college basketball.
  • To ensure maximum results with minimal waste, we deduplicate audiences and manage frequency across ad-supported streaming services so you’re not overdelivering your message to the same viewers.
  • Our team of experts and TV veterans manage all aspects of your campaign from start to finish.
  • We provide more granular measurement of the KPIs that matter to you than you’ve ever enjoyed before while our dedicated Simulmedia team optimizes your campaign for continuous improvement throughout your flight.

In summary, CTV advertising can be a valuable opportunity for advertisers to reach college basketball fans in March, as it allows them to target specific demographics, create a sense of urgency, and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. With the rise of streaming and cord-cutting, CTV advertising is becoming more popular and accessible for advertisers, and it's a great way to reach a large and engaged audience of sports lovers.

Find out how Simulmedia’s unique TV+® platform for TV and streaming advertising provides unified access to premium linear and CTV inventory across all networks and publishers. Request a demo or email us at advertise@simulmedia.com.