ESPN Leverages New March Madness Branding to Grow Women’s Basketball Audience

This is the first year the NCAA women’s tournament can use the iconic name

March Madness has arrived—and not just for the men’s tournament.

For the first time ever, the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament is able to utilize the March Madness branding this year, a privilege that was previously only reserved for the men’s tournament. That gives ESPN and brands a new opportunity to capitalize on the surging interest in women’s sports among audiences and advertisers.

ESPN, which has the exclusive rights to the tournament, will air all games across its national slate of networks, including ABC, and shifted the championship game to primetime on ESPN on April 3.

“It’s important from a recognition perspective to be able to officially associate the March Madness brand with the tournament,” said Michelle Berry, ESPN’s senior director of sports marketing.



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