How Do You Pick Your March Madness Winners?

March 19, 2015

3:00 pm

Nobody has ever gotten the $1 billion bracket. If you’re unfamiliar, there’s a challenge every March Madness season that stipulates: if you can call every game perfectly you win $1 billion.

But there are so many moving pieces in a March Madness bracket, not to mention unforeseen variables and the ever present element of human nature that helps orchestrate gigantic upsets. In fact, this year you only have a 1 in 1,610,543,269 chance of calling every game right. We all know what Han Solo would say to that:


However, this year there’s an extra variable that we can all take into account, courtesy of Buzz Bracket: social engagement hype. From March 16 through 18 Buzz Bracket collected data on social engagement surrounding each team and their matchups for the tournament. They have measured and compared the online buzz around each team and projected winners based purely on that data.

Buzz Bracket partnered with AddThis, an industry leader in marketing personalization, to help power this system. To date AddThis’ technology has been adopted by over 14 million websites worldwide, reaching over 1.8 billion users monthly. Or you could say it this way: AddThis helps predict consumer behavior on the web.

The idea for this project came from the minds of a few sports fans and stat geeks at Viget, an independent digital agency with offices in DC, Boulder, and Durham. They bring together strategy, design, and development to help clients create a better future, and they also partnered with AddThis and Buzz Brackets.

You might be eager to dismiss this data, but that’s the opposite of what you should do. Consider: if you’re generating a gigantic buzz on the internet via social engagement you’re going to have more fans supporting you, you’ll get more attention on TV, and it’s a huge confidence boost to the team, coaches, and individual players.

In a tournament that’s famous for massive upsets, that social engagement takes on a whole new visage and carries a lot of weight. This could be the factor that helps you finally win your local bracket.

This might even be what gets you the $1 billion prize for a perfect bracket. Regardless, we’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’re tapping this data!


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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America’s Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He’s the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he’s off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing…or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach.

Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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