Congratulations Villanova and Nicole Grundhoffer for winning the respective NCAA Championship and the annual office bracket challenge at The Garrity Group. Each year, it is estimated that nearly 70 million Americans submit a bracket in some form to pick their winners and losers through the sweet sixteen, elite eight, final four and eventual national champion.
March Madness is a great example of marketing done right. The contest of 64 teams reinforces successful public relation approaches. Here are two PR best practices from this year’s tournament:
Be ready to share your story – Loyola-Chicago went into the game as an 11-seed. The Catholic university went to the Final Four and busted a lot of brackets in the process!But Loyola-Chicago was prepared to tell its story about their Chaplin Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt (a.k.a Sister Jean).The marketing machine positioned Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt as a human-interest story and the media followed! Here is the profile that Loyola-Chicago posted about Sister Jean on their website: https://luc.edu/sisterjean/ . I like how simple the approach of telling her story and connection to the program.
Be authentic – Another Cinderella Story is 16 seed University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Their basketball team gained international recognition and walked into the book of “first’s” by becoming the first 16 seed to defeat a 1 overall seed, Virginia. The victory was a ey part of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account attracting nearly 25,000 followers in just one hour, and more than 100,000 in the three days that followed. Their content, however, was solid! It wasn’t a carefully thought-out content calendar (which we do recommend) but it was also an authentic voice of a millennial becoming a cool kid on the block and not changing its voice. UMBC went all in with cleverly funny tweets, continued to be their team’s #1 fan, engaged players, and strategically lured in some big mentions from top media and influencers.
About Andie Mirabal
Andie Mirabal is an Account Executive at The Garrity Group. She is a visual media enthusiast with a love for telling stories. To learn more about Andie, click here.