NCAA Wrestling Goes All In On March Matness
The month of March has long belonged to college basketball. The popularity of the tournament has been incredible over the years, but it’s not the only collegiate sport making an impact this month. NCAA wrestling has worked hard to grab some of the national spotlight and its “March Matness” marketing campaign has been impressive in driving interest and visibility to this weekend’s Division I championships.
In order to reach a new audience this year, NCAA wrestling leaders launched a major social media campaign leading up to the start of the tournament that begins Thursday. With the championships taking place at historic Madison Square Garden, it wasn't hard to get excitement built around the site. A major component of their social media campaign has featured the heralded NCAA Championship trophy in all of New York City's iconic attractions. Additionally, the promoters have taken advantage of the new gif feature on Twitter to further modernize their marketing.
After releasing the brackets on their own show, the tournament officials opened a poll on social media that allows fans to vote for the main event that will conclude the finals on Saturday night. Along with a celebrity endorsement from actor Billy Baldwin, the tournament is shaping up to make an even bigger splash in a month typically owned by college basketball. There have even been aggressive marketing promos on ESPN to showcase the live coverage on the channel. Baldwin has again been the pitchman behind this, drumming up additional interest for the primetime coverage that will take place on Friday and Saturday.
The use of social media is a big step for wrestling to gain prestige in the month of March. Wrestling's next step toward relevance will likely be to continue use its former NCAA standouts who now compete in the UFC to promote the sport. This list includes superstars like Daniel Cormier, Johny Hendricks, Chris Weidman and Chad Mendes, to name a few. But with plenty of eyes on the mats in NYC, a new star may be born this weekend.
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