NCAA will also use 'March Madness' slogan for women's basketball

The lucrative marketing slogan “March Madness,” long used by the NCAA to mark its Division I men’s college basketball tournament, will a...


The lucrative marketing slogan “March Madness,” long used by the NCAA to mark its Division I men’s college basketball tournament, will also be used next year to promote the best women’s tournament.

The change, announced Wednesday, was a response to widespread criticism that the NCAA had neglected its women’s tournament for years, creating a gender divide within college sports that has hampered the growth of women’s basketball.

The inclusion of “March Madness” in the marketing of the Division I women’s tournament was one of the recommendations of an external review of the NCAA Championships that was prompted by complaints at the 2021 men’s and women’s tournaments.

The tournaments were held simultaneously in tight environments due to the coronavirus pandemic – the men played in and around Indianapolis, while the women’s tournament was centered in San Antonio. In most years, the first two rounds of the women’s tournament are played in the arenas of the top teams, while the men play these rounds on neutral venues.

The report, released in august and prepared by the office of civil rights lawyer Roberta A. Kaplan, said:

“The broadcast deals, corporate sponsorship deals, revenue distribution, organizational structure and culture of the NCAA all prioritize Division I men’s basketball over everything else in a way that creates, standardizes and perpetuate gender inequalities. At the same time, the NCAA does not have structures or systems in place to identify, prevent or correct these inequalities. “

The use of the term “March Madness” has long been one of the most visible differences between men’s and women’s tournaments, both for its use on CBS broadcasts during men’s tournament matches and its presence on the site. NCAA web and social media platforms to describe men’s games only. (The women’s basketball tournament is televised by ESPN.)

David Worlock, NCAA media coordination director for the men’s basketball tournament, said the association hopes to create a “March Madness” logo for the women’s tournament that is similar to the men’s tournament logo but with accolades so that it is easy for fans to identify each tournament as they are promoted.

Worlock acknowledged that the rebranding was made in response to the gender equality report, and said the NCAA and its staff are “looking at all the different factors that have been raised in the report.”

A $ 600 million drop in revenue due to the cancellation of the men’s tournament in 2020, the report said, prompted NCAA officials to focus heavily on how the men’s tournament would rebound, to the detriment of the women’s tournament. .

Prince Sedona of Oregon sparked criticism of the inequalities between tournaments when she complained about the lack of weightlifting equipment in Texas, comparing the offers with what was planned for men.

Investigators also found differences between tournaments in the quality of food, lounges, and even gift bags provided to players.

Following the public scrutiny, NCAA officials apologized for his missteps, and its chairman, Mark Emmert, recognized later that he had also used cheaper and less reliable coronavirus tests for the women’s tournament.

The NCAA has said it also plans to change the way tournaments are funded. Instead of working from the budgets of previous years, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will start from scratch to determine which expenses to approve each year. The NCAA said it hopes the move resolves differences in the allocation of funds and makes the two championships more “financially fair.”

In March, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association – made up of the top female college basketball coaches – met with NCAA leaders to discuss how the association promotes women’s basketball. Danielle Donehew, executive director of the organization, said in an email that the “March Madness” brand was among many concerns the organization raised with the NCAA at the time.

“This is an important first step in uniting the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Basketball Championships under one powerful and exciting brand,” said Donehew.

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Newsrust - US Top News: NCAA will also use 'March Madness' slogan for women's basketball
NCAA will also use 'March Madness' slogan for women's basketball
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