ESPN Debuts Tournament Challenge Campaign “Anyone Can Bracket”

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ESPN Debuts Tournament Challenge Campaign “Anyone Can Bracket”

ESPN’s Tournament Challenge game continues to be No. 1 with fans

Another March is coming, and that means the men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments are near. Over the years, millions of college basketball fans have turned to ESPN and their No. 1 Tournament Challenge game to fill out a men’s and women’s bracket.

If you’re a fan who hasn’t filled out a bracket, the question is, why not? ESPN’s latest marketing campaign around the tournaments in collaboration with Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSSP), “Anyone Can Bracket,” speaks to just how unpredictable the tournaments and Tournament Challenge really are. You can be a scientist, a cat connoisseur, or even close your eyes and just make your picks. Anyone or anything can do it and have a pretty good shot at success.

“ESPN Tournament Challenge is the No. 1 bracket game for a variety of reasons, but one of them is that ESPN encourages fans to be part of the excitement that March college basketball brings,” said Seth Ader, Vice President, Brand Marketing at ESPN. “Any easy way to do that is to fill out a bracket. It can be data-driven, random selection, or as simple as making picks based on a favorite color. Anyone can bracket…and anyone can win.”

“Anyone Can Bracket” will run across broadcast, streaming, digital, audio, OOH and social.

Said Robyn Tenebaum, Creative Director at BSSP: “This goes down as one of my favorite campaigns we’ve created with our friends at ESPN. It’s got this hard-to-achieve subtle humor, it’s highly crafted, and most of all it really drives the message home: filling out an ESPN Tournament Challenge bracket is so fun and easy, anyone can do it even if you have zero sports knowledge or an actual human brain. It was really fun to extend this campaign beyond just film too. It’s socially and digitally led so people can actually follow each character’s brackets throughout the tournament, IRL.”

Continued Growth:
Last year’s ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge collected more than 20 million completed brackets before the start of the tournament, the most ever for the No. 1 college basketball bracket game. At the peak period of entries shortly before the start of the first game, fans registered more than 26,000 brackets per minute.

On the women’s side, the ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge saw a 41% increase in total brackets in 2023, part of a significant upward trend in the popularity of women’s sports and women’s basketball in particular.

To play, sign-up for the men’s and women’s games today!

John R. Manzo

Based in New York City, John Manzo is a Communications Manager for ESPN with a focus on ESPN BET, sports betting, consumer marketing and corporate citizenship. He is a Michigan native, Detroit sports fan and proud Central Michigan University graduate.
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