The 2021 March Madness Tournament was welcomed back with open arms by players, schools, networks and sponsors after the cancellation of the 2020 tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s 2021 NCAA Tournament even saw an appearance by Grand Canyon University, a school that is connected to publicly traded Grand Canyon Education Inc LOPE via a revenue share deal for education services.
Here is a look at stocks that could be impacted by the Final Four in the NCAA March Madness Tournament.
ViacomCBS Inc VIAC: The Final Four and NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship games will be aired on CBS, a network owned by ViacomCBS Inc. CBS, along with networks from Turner Sports, has aired all of the games in the tournament.
The Final Four games will air on CBS Sat. April 3 and Mon. April 5. A concert featuring Miley Cyrus will be part of the programming Saturday, airing between the two Final Four games.
Nike Inc NKE: Apparel company Nike is a big sponsor of college sports teams.
Nike is the sponsor of seven of the eight teams that made the Elite Eight and sponsors three of the Final Four teams. The lone team it did not sponsor is UCLA, which will become a Nike-sponsored school later this year.
Fans tuning in will see Nike logos on jerseys, shorts and likely on many of the shoes worn by players in the tournament. This creates millions of dollars in media exposure for a company like Nike.
Under Armour Inc UA: This company isn't going to do as well as it had hoped in this March Madness.
The lone school in the Final Four and from the Elite Eight that was not a Nike-sponsored school is UCLA. UCLS is returning to the Elite Eight for the first time in nearly 15 years and yet its shirt sponsor Under Armour is missing out on the media exposure.
That's because Under Armour's 15-year $280 million sponsorship deal with UCLA is now the subject of a lawsuit from the school, after the apparel company decided to lower its sponsorship spending.
Players on the UCLA team are covering up the Under Armour logos on their jerseys, and many are wearing Nike shoes. This is costing Under Armour up to $35 million in media exposure, depending on how far the team makes it, according to Apex Marketing. Under Armour has already missed out on $12 million in media exposure through the Elite Eight.
Coca-Cola Co KO: One of the Corporate Champion sponsors for the NCAA March Madness Tournament is Coca-Cola. The company is using the tournament to launch a new advertising campaign for a brand it owns, Powerade, the official sports drink for the tournament. Called “POWER in Numbers,” the ad campaign celebrates all athletes.
In a move similar to what Coca-Cola did by offering names on bottles of its signature carbonated sodas, Powerade is offering bottles with numbers 0 to 99 to coincide with jersey numbers for athletes.
AT&T Inc. T: Corporate Champion sponsor AT&T Inc. could see a strong return from the NCAA March Madness Tournament.
The company owns Turner Sports, which has aired several of the games throughout the tournament. Turner Sports also works with CBS and NCAA in the streaming of games through the NCAA.com website.
Viewers have likely seen AT&T commercials offering the same deals to both existing and new customers.
This could lead to some new accounts for AT&T and also possibly keep existing customers from making a switch to other deals.
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