The Score Marches on with NCAA Madness

The channel launches its multi-platform coverage of the famed NCAA basketball tournament with sold-out inventory and a roster of sponsors including Toyota, Lowe's and Budweiser.

Like the big Games before it, The Score is going all-out in its NCAA March Madness coverage this spring.

Supported by a promotional campaign over the past month across its media properties, the channel is launching its coverage of the famed US basketball tournament across its regular, HD, mobile, satellite radio and online properties starting with last-night’s pre-tournament play. Advertisers on board include Toyota in the title sponsorship, Budweiser and Lowe’s as first-tier sponsors, and Enterprise, Burger King, Mr. Sub, and Warner Brothers on board as well. The tournament officially starts Thursday March 18 and runs through April 5.

Although this is the fourth year The Score has held the Canadian rights to March Madness, this year marks the biggest push they’ve made to engage users through their mobile and online properties, Sam Nasrawi, VP, creative services, The Score, tells MiC. ‘That’s really where we’re going to be focusing most of our promotion and coverage,’ he says.

March Madness is one of the biggest sports events of the year for The Score, Nasrawi says, and the goal this year was to build a seamless cross-platform media experience for the channel’s fans.

‘[The Score] is not just about the television station anymore. We look at ourselves as a media company and it’s important that our online supports our TV, our TV supports our mobile, and so on. It’s a big robust push from us to get all the platforms talking together and March Madness is where we really excel in that.’

The tournament includes 64 games, which will be shown all or in part across The Score’s media properties, on-demand on Rogers and Shaw, and a selection of games on Sun TV as well. The promotional campaign behind the tournament started mid-February with spots on The Score featuring an 84-year-old woman in full fan regalia and the tagline ‘Get Mad.’ The creative concept was extended to a wild postering campaign around Toronto and recently, on the co’s giant billboard at King and Peter St.