My brackets may be busted but that doesn't mean I'm out of the game. I'm still a huge fan of March Madness, because for me, it's one of the best times of the year.
March Madness is all about the thrill and excitement of college sports: sixty-eight college teams battling it out for the NCAA Basketball Championship. College kids from across the country, hitting the courts with one goal in mind: bring home the win. And it's not just for their own bragging rights, but also for their colleges and universities, families, friends and fervent fans everywhere.
And, I mean everywhere. About 140 million people tune into March Madness, and that's just on TV. Millions more are watching the hoopla online and via their mobile devices, from home and at work. A report from research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that "companies stand to lose at least $1.2 billion for every unproductive work hour during the first week of the tournament," but also cautions "not to clamp down on March Madness" as it could impact employee morale.
Whatever the cost, March Madness is worth it. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, and avid Creighton Bluejays fan, sure thinks so and he even put up money to prove it. He offered $1 billion dollars to anybody who could get a perfect bracket. Two rounds into the tournament the contest was over, but Buffett has vowed to make winning a little easier next year.
March Madness rakes in more than a billion dollars in TV advertising revenue. The championship is the biggest post-season sports moneymaker anywhere: bigger than post-season football, pro-basketball, baseball and hockey. No, it's not the pros that get paid millions to play scoring a billion post-season ad bucks -- it's these college kids. The ones who have to score three-pointers on the court, and make the grade on their homework too.
When it came to my brackets, I did my homework, and thoughtfully put together what I hoped was a winning bracket, or two, or three. Sixty million Americans filled theirs out also hoping for a slam-dunk. Of course, I went with my heart rather than my head on a couple of choices.
But that's one of the best things about college basketball, it's anyone's and everyone's game.
Peace Love Profits,