Fan interest in women’s college basketball is more intense than ever, and this season’s excitement continues to catch the attention of brands as Disney Advertising has sold out of in-game sponsorship opportunities for the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, airing exclusively across ESPN Platforms from March 15 – April 2.
One of the most anticipated events in collegiate athletics, the 68-team tournament, has attracted 15 broadcast sponsors and nearly 100 advertisers across various categories, with Aflac, Great Clips, Intuit QuickBooks, OOFOS, Under Armour, and U.S. Army joining in the action.
“Inclusive sports storytelling is a business imperative for Disney. As the exclusive broadcaster of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, we always look forward to connecting brands with one of the most exciting collegiate athletic events of the year,” said Theresa Palmieri, VP, Disney Advertising Sports Brand Solutions. “We are thrilled to see our sponsors and advertisers lean into our continued commitment to women’s sports and have flocked to these offerings.”
To tip off the madness, Capital One and new co-presenting sponsor, Nissan, have joined as the Women’s Tournament Challenge sponsors.
Capital One will also have a presence in coverage of the tournament on ESPN networks, along with several other brands. The financial corporation is returning as the presenting sponsor of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, the Selection Special, and Women’s Final Four pregame shows on March 31 and April 2, with numerous feature integrations throughout each telecast. In collaboration with the NCAA and Learfield, Invesco QQQ is back as the presenting sponsor of the WBCA Coaches Trophy, promoted throughout the tournament and culminating with the trophy presentation taking place after the national championship game on April 2 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Back by popular demand, AT&T returns as the presenting and halftime sponsor of The Bird & Taurasi Show second screen viewing option of the Final Four and Championship game featuring women’s basketball legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi – providing fans with a one-of-a-kind perspective of the final matchups, all airing on ESPN2 and simulcast on ESPN+.
Other brands returning for the competition on linear include Buick, CarMax, Indeed.com, Nissan, Unilever and Werner Ladder. Each will have custom feature integrations throughout the telecast.
Addressable brands, including Nissan, Principal, Wendy’s and Xfinity, will sponsor live digital shows that are focused on or include women’s basketball such as Bracketology, Champ Week Live, Women’s Final Four coverage on-site in Dallas, and Basketball Bonanza, respectively.
Across social, digital sponsors such as AT&T, Buick, Intuit QuickBooks, Nissan, U.S. Army and Wendy’s will have custom integrations on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube giving fans exclusive access to the tournament.
The 2022-23 NCAA women’s college basketball regular season on ESPN averaged over 190 thousand viewers, making it the most-viewed regular season in nearly a decade. The property garnered two billion minutes of viewership, the most on record and up 35 percent compared to last year.