ESPN Tournament Challenge Marathon: Continuous Content & Lack of Sleep Lead to Largest One-Day Record Total of Brackets

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ESPN Tournament Challenge Marathon: Continuous Content & Lack of Sleep Lead to Largest One-Day Record Total of Brackets

Downloadable ESPN Images:

ESPN Front Row with the Greenberg’s:; Matt Berry / Mike Golic, Jr.:

Virtual toteESPN’s inaugural 24-hour Tournament Challenge Marathon – from the network’s Bristol, Conn., and Los Angeles studios, plus a set presence from Las Vegas on Monday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 14 – featured a variety of Tournament Challenge-themed programming, constant original content, over 30 ESPN personalities and very little sleep for everyone involved.

By the end of the Tournament Challenge Marathon, ESPN had collected more than 10 million brackets and had its largest one-day total ever with 4,211,200 on Tuesday, beating the previous mark of 3,830,222 brackets set on Monday.

Working through a blizzard in Bristol, to late-night antics in Los Angeles, to a roof-top set in Las Vegas, the Tournament Challenge Marathon provided valuable bracket-building information across television shows, ESPN Digital, ESPN Stats & Information, ESPN Social and much more, while highlighting the new and improved ESPN Tournament Challenge App.

A few highlights (too many to choose from!):
Live Content & Interviews:

  • “Fantasy Island” with Mike Golic, Jr. & Reese Waters Giving Trippy #BracketTips:

Pre-Produced Content:

  • Over 24 VSA’s or “Vitale Service Announcements” interrupted live content:

ESPN’s Tournament Challenge
ESPN TC 20th Anniversary LOGOESPN’s Tournament Challenge game returns for its 20th season and will again be free for entrants to submit up to 25 entries each for the Men’s and Women’s tournament at or the ESPN Tournament Challenge App for iOS and Android. New features in the ESPN TC App include the ability to pre-fill brackets before Selection Sunday, Group enhancements to make play with friends and family easier, an all-new News tab, advanced Bracketcast design and functionality, better ESPN Insider integrations, and improved push notifications for up-to-the-second bracket, news and video updates.

Last year, the Men’s Tournament Challenge game was once again the most popular bracket game in the nation, with 13.0 million brackets, a new all-time mark that surpassed the previous year’s record of 11.6 million. At the peak period of entries leading up to the Round of 64 last year, fans registered 18,503 brackets per minute (308 brackets per second).

At the end of the tournament, all Men’s Tournament Challenge entries finishing in the top 1 percent will be entered in a random drawing to win a trip for two to the 2017 Maui Invitational and a $10,000 Amazon Gift Card prize. In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries finishing in the top 1 percent will be entered in a random drawing for a $3,000 Amazon Gift Card. Entries for the Men’s Tournament Challenge game will be accepted until just prior to the tip-off of the Tournament’s first game on Thursday, March 16. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Friday, March 17.

When fans log in to fill out their brackets and throughout the tournaments, they will have the ability to donate to the V Foundation and enter for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the 2017 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, which fields top-caliber matchups, pitting UConn versus Syracuse and Gonzaga against Villanova, in a doubleheader on December 5.  The prize package includes two tickets, airfare, accommodations, a signed basketball from all four coaches, and a $400 gift card. To enter the sweepstakes, visit: No donation is necessary to win.

Also new the Tournament Challenge this year, ESPN will award an ESPYS Grand Prize Package to the winner of a random drawing from among entries finishing in the top 1 percent of the five largest Celebrity Groups. The prize includes tickets and travel to Los Angeles for the 2017 ESPYS in July.






Rachel Margolis Siegal

A part of the Internal Communications team at ESPN, I began with the network in 2010 as part of the College Sports PR team. Always an avid sports fan and not an athlete – I grew up a huge fan of the Hartford Whalers, while also watching my brother compete at different levels. I became the manager of several high school sports teams and continued that hobby into college. While at Quinnipiac, I worked in the Sports Information Department, which led me to a summer internship at the New Haven Ravens, a AA baseball team, and an eventual job with the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. After my five-year stint at Connecticut, I spent six years as Director of Communications at the BIG EAST Conference in Providence, R.I. before joining ESPN.
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