March Madness Demographics: Who are college basketball’s biggest fans
- March 13, 2023
- Jessa Morris
Brands continue to show love for NCAA’s college basketball tournament, and the payoff is real for both advertisers and players, many of whom are starting to cash in on NIL deals.
As with any good sponsorship strategy, getting to know your target audience is mission-critical. As part of our ongoing tracking, we surveyed US residents across the country who’ve engaged with the March Madness tournament to find out more about them.
Turns out, March Madness pulls a crowd bigger than major sports properties including the US Open, MLB All-Star Game, and the NHL.
But, who exactly are the fans tuning in?
Keep reading to find out which demographic groups are most engaged with March Madness.
Nearly 1 in 2 US residents have engaged with NCAA March Madness
When it comes to engagement, 46% of US residents have engaged with the March Madness tournament in the past 12 months.
Only 6% fewer Americans engage with March Madness than they do the NBA, which is the 8th most engaged with property in the USA (across sport, entertainment, and cause)!
The majority of fans are male
61% of NCAA March Madness fans in the US are male, while 39% are female. The tournament is most popular among Americans ages 35-44 years old, 26% of US residents in that age range have engaged, while 20% between 25-35% have engaged.
Here’s the full demographic profile on NCAA March Madness fans in the US:
61% of March Madness fans are male
39% of March Madness fans are female
37% of fans live in the Southern US
13% of fans are Hispanic
15% of fans are African American
20% of fans make between $70-99K per year
35% of fans make between $100-199K per year
59% of fans have kids in the household
10% of fans identify as LGBTQ
What does fan engagement mean for sponsors?
People are tuning in, and we know more about them than ever. So how does increased fandom impact sponsors?
In our latest Impact Report, we surveyed Americans ages 18-64 who engaged with the 2023 March Madness Men’s and Women’s Tournaments to find out which sponsors were top of mind.
Whether fans tuned into the Men’s or Women’s tournament, all 6 sponsors we measured were well ahead of average awareness. Among the top 3 brands that came to mind were Coca-Cola, Capital One, and AT&T.
Short-term categories in quick service restaurants, sports bars, and beverages climb to the top in driving brand preference through sponsorship of March Madness, highlighting opportunities for brands to play an active role in creating unique moments tied to viewing, and enjoying the fan experience at retail and on-premise.
Ready for more insight?
At SponsorPulse, were on a mission to bring transparency to sponsorship. We do this by speaking with real fans to understand their passion points and purchase behavior.
Get your free copy of our NCAA March Madness Sponsor Impact recap now:
Download your copy of the report here.
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