Thursday, March 21, 2013

Water Cooler Talk: March Madness Money

Today is one of the best days of the year, the first day of the NCAA Tournament.  This has become a huge stable for the month of March.  Millions of people will fill out brackets including the Barak Obama.  All of this leads to so much money for many different people.  The people that benefit the most are the NCAA, the teams and the conference the team is from, and bookmakers.

March Madness is a huge TV event.  Fans try to watch as many games as possible over the next couple weeks.  Just like last year I will be setting up multiple TVs to watch every game that is on.  This excitement has led to huge TV deals for the NCAA.  Recently the NCAA signed a deal with Turner and CBS that will last until the 2024-2025 season.  This deal is worth about $775 million a year.  This money represents most of the money that the NCAA will generate in a given year.


Teams that do well in the tournament not only draw national recognition but also gain money for their respective conference.  This doesn’t matter as much for the Power Conferences but for teams from a one bid conference this can be a big deal.  Each game played earns the conference about $2 million.  This money can represent a huge portion of a team’s revenue for the upcoming years.  Since 2007, the Final Four teams from last year, Louisville, Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio St., have earned their respective conference over $4 million.

Finally, Las Vegas does very well over these next couple weeks.  The Super Bowl is the biggest betting day of the year for Vegas but the NCAA Tournament is a close second.  During the first two weekends of the tournament the betting money can range from $90-$100 million.  The numbers cannot be tracked but bracket pools with friends and coworkers probably add in a few more millions of dollars.  

This tournament will benefit so many different people but the most important people that do not benefit are the players.  They are the reason the games have become what they are.  All of this money is generated for their school and they see none of it.  Hopefully sometime in the future college athletes will be compensated for everything they do for their schools but until than they will continue to receive no money for all of their hard work.


Greg Monforte is a Drexel University Sport Management pre-junior from South Jersey.  Currently he works at Not Just Pizza in Sicklerville, NJ and Daddis Fight Camps in Philadelphia where he has social media and marketing responsibilities.  Greg is also the SMTSU Director of Marketing & Outreach.  Follow Greg on Twitter @Greg_Monforte.

Connect with Greg Monforte on LinkedIn.

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