Mobile is Already March Madness’ Big Winner

By: Kahuna | March 31, 2016 | Mobile Marketing


We’ve all done it. You’re watching something on television, an act that once held your attention for hours, and you reach for your smartphone to research something you just saw, answer a text message, follow a television star on Instagram, or a million other things that pop into your head.

The phenomenon is known as “Second Screen.” And it’s more common than you’d believe. According to a report from Accenture last year, 87 percent of consumers use a second screen device while watching TV. 87 percent!

There is a huge opportunity for marketers to use mobile messaging channels to reach their customers during this time and provide targeted and relevant marketing messages. While it’s hard to know exactly when a mobile user is using their phone as a second screen vs. everyday use, it becomes a little easier during television phenomena like this month’s March Madness basketball tournament. If you know your customers are basketball fans, it’s a safe bet, they’ll be watching the tournament.

Google trends published research on just how mobile the average March Madness fan really is, and the data may surprise you.

Mobile Search

Mobile searches related to the tournament are on the rise. Google saw a 45 percent increase year over year in searches related to predictions. Users were likely using these mobile searches to help them build their brackets. As the tournament progressed, viewers search for much more specific topics. During the sweet sixteen and elite eight, the most popular topics among viewers were the following:

march madness mobile stats

If you are in the sports industry, imagine the power in delivering a score or standing update right when it happens. If you’re in retail, imagine the response you’d receive from a discount on a particular players jersey after they’ve had an incredible game. You can see the influence of the second screen for marketers begin to take shape.

Mobile Video

March Madness fans are also watching mobile videos at a far higher rate than the average Youtube user. They are 16X more likely to watch sports news videos and 13X more likely to watch videos pertaining to coaching or training.

So far this tournament, people have watched more than 3 million hours of March Madness videos on Youtube. Google looked at the activity around one particular team to explore this trend over time. As Villanova progressed through the tournament, just look at the rapid rise of video consumption, 65 percent of which happens on mobile.

march madness video

The Mobile Opportunity

As you can see, there is a lot of time spent with phones in hand during March Madness, and these large cultural events are not as rare as you think. The World Series. The Super Bowl. Even the Olympics are only a few months away. And that’s just the sporting events.

Delivering valuable content, messaging, entertainment, and information on mobile during these events is a great way to engage with users, build relationships, and drive value for both sides. That’s a win-win.

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