March Madness: How to Run a Bracket Challenge

March means the return of flowers, longer hours of daylight, St Patrick’s Day – and March Madness. The annual bracket challenge basketball tournament is known to basketball fans and non-fans, on TVs in bars and in homes across the country, where people talk about their picks to win it all. A bracket challenge like the March Madness tournament can be a fantastic promotion vehicle for your business, and you can run it during March or anytime throughout the year. Here are some tips to follow for creating your own bracket challenge.

march madness bracket challenge

Make it legal.

Sweepstakes and contest laws apply for any bracket challenge that give away prizes. So be sure to have an official set of rules drafted by a promotional marketing expert, make sure your promotion meets all state and federal requirements, and be sure that if you have a purchase requirement to enter, you also have a free method of entry.

A bracket challenge can be complicated, with tiers of picks that need to be tracked as the game progresses. Make sure you have a way to track the selections your players make. A technical solution may be the answer, but you can also have a method in place to do it manually. Just be sure your method is thought out and can meet the legal requirements.

Another thing to be mindful of is copyright infringement. If you don’t have a paid sponsorship with a brand or team, then you cannot run a promotion that uses that brand or team without permission.

Make it your own.

Your bracket challenge does not have to be about basketball. The bears on the Brooks River in Katmai National Park have a yearly Fat Bear Week. You don’t need exotic animals, but you can make it a dogs or bunnies bracket challenge. Or if you are a restaurant or bar make it a specialty cocktail or menu item that goes head-to-head, with the sales of that item that night determining the winner of each round. Make it fun. Be creative!

Don’t overcomplicate it.

The more complicated you make your bracket challenge, and the harder you make it to win, the less people will want to participate. Keep it simple by giving away lower-level prizes or discounts with every correct pick as your game progresses. Don’t let it drag on too long as people will lose interest. And establish ahead of time how the ultimate winner will be determined. Correctly picking the tournament champion is a given, but use things like the total number of correct picks, weighted points for those picks (with games deeper into the tournament counting for more), and even the total score of the championship game, to serve as tie breakers.

Ready to create a bracket challenge for your business and need help? Contact us! We can help you create a bracket challenge that will entice new and current customers.

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