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IMG College Represents 52 of the 68 Teams Competing in NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Broadcasting 150 Games on Radio

Mar 18, 2013

Bubble Teams. Buzzer Beaters. Cinderella Stories. It’s no wonder these terms are most closely associated with the unpredictable march to crown a college basketball champion this special time of year.

IMG College, the leading multi-media, licensing and brand management agency in college sports, represents 52 of the 68 teams participating in this year’s NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, which begins tomorrow in Dayton, Ohio.

IMG College’s coverage of this year’s Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament features more than 150 game broadcasts, totaling more than 700 hours of coverage on the IMG Audio Network, the nation’s largest independent sports radio network. More than 200 IMG College personnel will be working in the field and at the company’s Winston-Salem studios to bring these games, including national broadcasts for the ACC, Big East and SEC, to more than 2,100 affiliates across the U.S.

New to IMG’s tournament productions this year is “Bracket Guru” Mark Freidinger, a former college coach, current NBA Scout, and analyst on the IMG Audio Network. Each day of the Tournament, The Dinger’s updated bracket projections and commentary will air across the IMG Audio network. Already, Freidinger has correctly predicted all 68 teams to make the Tournament as well as all one and two seeds.

IMG College Publishing is producing the official program for every site hosting the Men’s and Women’s tournament, through the Final Four, for both tournaments. This effort includes publishing four Men’s NCAA Tournament Digital Guides (Pitt, Syracuse, Gonzaga and Florida) and the Men’s NIT Tournament Digital Guide for Baylor.

The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), an affiliate of IMG College, administers the NCAA Championship event licensing program, which includes Championship merchandise with trademarks including NCAA ® March Madness ®, NCAA ® Sweet Sixteen ®, The Big Dance ®, NCAA ® Final Four ®, among others. CLC also provides local marketing support to retailers in participating team markets and game locations.

Retail sales of licensed team merchandise during the Championship are estimated to exceed $10 million, making the tournament a big target for counterfeiters. Participating institutions and the NCAA receive a portion of the sales of officially licensed merchandise through royalties.  As such, CLC enforcement teams will be working with law enforcement agencies at each regional tournament site, as well as the Final Four, in search of counterfeit merchandise and any other unauthorized use of trademarks owned by the NCAA or participating institutions.

The NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament is now the most lucrative playoffs in sports. In 2012, the Tournament surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time, making it the largest post-season sports franchise as measured in ad revenue, surpassing the NFL playoffs, according to Kantar Media. Over the past two years, the rate of ad spending during the Tournament has increased by 64%, Kantar reported.

In 2012, more than 176 million people tuned to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship. In addition, NCAA.com/March Madness Live, CBSSports.com, truTV.com, TNT.tv, TBS.com and SI.com had more than 220 million visits across online and mobile platforms from the First Four through the Final Four, an 11% increase from 198 million in 2011, according to Turner.

The Tournament is truly a cultural – and workplace – phenomenon. In a 2012 MSN survey, 86% of people planning to watch the games claimed they would devote time during their workday to check scores or brackets online. One quarter of this group said they’d spend one to two hours at work following games on the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament.