NCAA, Turner Sports, CBS Sports, Google Promote March Madness Through Fan-Experience

Google is coming together with the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports through a campaign that that will bring fans even closer to the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The collaboration will bring the event to the fan’s fingertips, including a March Madness destination site, as well as first-of-its kind fan access through Google+ Hangouts featuring CBS Sports and Turner Sports talent.

The campaign debuted on Selection Sunday and can be found at www.google.com/trends/marchmadness.

Launching on Selection Sunday and running throughout the tournament, sports fans can discover all the NCAA March Madness digital products through Google, notably NCAA March Madness Live™, the Capital One March Madness NCAA Bracket Challenge™, the NCAA On Demand YouTube channel and the NCAA March Madness Google+ page.

Additionally, there will be a number of NCAA March Madness related Google+ Hangouts On Air for fans to interact with Turner Sports and CBS Sports on-air talent, launching from NCAA.com/hangouts or the NCAA March Madness Google+ page including a Selection Sunday conversation featuring Turner Sports studio host Matt Winer and NCAA vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt, with additional hangouts planned leading into the Final Four®. A previous Google Hangout+ On Air involving Seth Davis and Grant Hill also took place during NCAA Media Day on Tuesday, March 11.

To enhance the campaign, NCAA, Turner Sports, CBS Sports and Google will feature March Madness related search insights in Google Trends. These search trends will highlight the topics and teams that are popular on Google Search. Fans can also follow-up a “Google Bracket” that will rank teams throughout the tournament based on Search interest, and can check back for more updates. In addition, Turner has integrated Google sign-in technology into the NCAA Bracket Challenge game, making it easy for fans to login and share their interactive March Madness posts online.

“Millions of fans will focus on NCAA college basketball for the next few weeks so we felt it was important to work with Turner Sports, CBS Sports and Google on developing a fan destination site where they could continue to talk about the games and get information on their favorite college and university teams,” said Keith Martin, NCAA managing director of championships and alliances.  “Technology and creativity continue to evolve and we want to make sure our fans are at the forefront of getting what they need, and more importantly, what they want when it comes to March Madness.  Working with Google, a world leader in technology, on a special project like this made sense.”

“As we continue to look at new ways to engage fans around this massive event, it makes sense to align with an innovator like Google,” said Christina Miller, senior vice president, strategy, marketing and programming, Turner Sports. “Through this collaboration, we are able to bring the reach of the tournament to new levels and interact with more fans in more ways than ever before, while sharing deeper insights.”

“We’re excited to work with Turner, CBS and the NCAA to bring an interactive and timely March Madness experience for college basketball fans. Through the Google Trends experience, people can see the teams and topics that are most popular on Google, and the interactive Google+ Hangouts On Air give fans a front-row seat with their favorites,” said Jake Hubert, product manager for Google Trends.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will once again provide live, full national coverage of the tournament’s 67 games across four networks – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV – as well as NCAA March Madness Live, beginning Tuesday, March 18, with the NCAA First Four on truTV presented by Northwestern Mutual. The Final Four on Saturday, April 5, will be televised on TBS – the first time in the event’s 76-year history it will be televised on cable – with “Teamcasts” or team-specific telecasts presented via TNT and truTV. The National Championship on Monday, April 7, will air on CBS for the 33rd consecutive year.