March Madness has become one of the best events on the sports calendar.
The upsets, Cinderella stories, buzzer-beaters, and different contests all add to the excitement of the NCAA Tournament.
People make so many college basketball picks for the tournament that features 68 teams and crowns a champion in three weeks.
It is different from any other sporting event in that every game is won or goes home. It is what makes the buzzer beaters more memorable.
The event also allows money to be made on so many different levels.
There are businesses that profit, the NCAA and its member schools that make money, television networks that make money, and then all of the smaller competitions among friends, families, coworkers, and more.
Here is a breakdown of the different ways March Madness is a profitable affair.
Fun And Games
It is all fun and games for those who like to kick back and watch the games.
The first weekend has overlapping games that interrupt morning meetings and afternoon commutes in the United States.
Fans become so much more invested, either because their alma mater or favorite teams are competing, and everyone has an equal chance.
But the games within the games are what make March Madness a great spectacle.
It has long been popular to fill out a bracket and enter it into a competition.
Each wins racks up points, and there are so many methods for filling out brackets.
Some will do it based on colors, others will pick by mascots, and there are always brackets based on analysis.
Each will be entered in free national contests and tighter office pools or among friends and family that may have friendly wagers or entry fees per bracket.
This is one of the ways people can profit-off the event, and it gives them another reason to cheer for specific teams.
There are other games as well, such as a survivor contest. Picking four teams per round to win and, if they do, maintaining four selections until there is a winner is a way to play a game.
The kicker is that once a team is selected, it can not be used again. Each pick will also generate a number of points based on which seed and what round.
Another popular game is March Madness squares for the championship game.
Similar to the Super Bowl, paying out winners at halftime and the end of the game based on a scores grid with squares that are sold makes for another great fundraiser.
There are plenty of other games and contests, but these are just a few of the popular ones.
Corporate Level Wins
The National Collegiate Athletic Association was designed to rule over its member institutions and run national tournaments.
March Madness is the breadwinner. It generated $1.15 billion in revenue in 2021.
A large sum of that comes from the contract it has with CBS, which broadcasts games on TNT, TruTV, TBS, and its flagship station.
Of course, the network stands to profit because of the commercial packages it offers and the mass content they have at all hours.
There are different host cities across the three weekends. Dayton, Ohio, always hosts the first four games.
Then the first and second rounds are hosted in larger markets, often in NBA arenas.
Then the regionals and Final Four will move to larger cities in domed football stadiums.
All of the hotels, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venues on days off stand to profit from the thousands of people who attend the different weekends.
Finally, Player Profits
It is funny how long it took for the NCAA to allow players to profit-off their name, image, and likeness.
A great example is St. Peter’s reached the Elite Eight in 2022, and guard Doug Edert got a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial and was able to sell t-shirts with his image on them.
That was the first year that it impacted college basketball and its staple event. Imagine how much money Bryce Drew would have made by making an iconic 3-pointer for Valparaiso that elevated their brand nationally.
Those buzzer beaters and Cinderella stories, and the popular players who will be in commercials during the tournament stand to make plenty of money by playing a game they love.
Here you can learn more about March Madness when you read out our article about how players are finally able to make money during march madness. Enjoy!