As a college basketball fanatic, the apex of my sports consumption is March Madness. The best part of March Madness is filling out your tournament brackets. The FBI estimates that over $2.5 billion is gambled on the NCAA each March.
I’ve been thinking. Why are brackets so fun? What is the obsession? How can they be used to organize and predict other information?
Brackets are great because it is an easy and fun way to compete against others. There are almost limitless combinations of results, and following your unique brackets allows for a rooting interest for certain outcomes. Yes, there is a lottery element of a big payday but choosing teams and then watching the games make the lottery method of picking numbers seem incredibly boring.
So why not take the bracket and turn it into a marketing tool? Use brackets on websites for contests, promotions and build user participation and community. There are obviously tremendous opportunities in sports (playoffs, statistics, and tournaments). Looking beyond sports, entertainment (movie ticket sales, awards shows, tv ratings), gaming (tournaments), advertising, investing and many other industries can present and sort there information in a bracket contest form.
A company could provide software and services in creating bracket solutions. It can have a bracket widget to allow any company or individual to set up a simple online bracket. It can make customizable solutions that integrate new kids of brackets, user-feedback, and the ability to vote on outcomes that need to be decided by the community.
As this expands there should be advertising and sponsorship opportunities as brackets target an audience of active participants. Brackets can also organize information and work as a tool for understanding markets. If a company is trying to figure out the right product mix, or understand a certain market it can create a bracket and analyze the results.
I guess this is an idea where you have to have a total fascination with the bracket and an open mind. Would love to hear what you think.