Money Moves: March Madness

How much money is involved in the tourmament?

March Madness is one of the biggest times for professional sports each year. 

This is during the month of March when collegiate basketball teams are competing for the NCAA Championship. 

Given that this is such a big time for sports you can only imagine how much money is involved.

According to The American Gaming Association estimated that fans wagered more than $10 billion on last year’s tournament, both legally and illegally, and according to CBS News, this year will be about the same with over 50 million Americans betting. 

This is an enormous amount of money. The bad thing about this is that a majority of it is illegal so it does not help the United States economy. 

More than 70% of the money being wagered is through illegal gambling so the only people it will help is those who win. 

Aside from the money being wagered during March Madness there are so many other aspects where money is involved that one may not think about. Given that this is such a popular time to watch basketball on television, many workers will slack off during the day to pay attention to the games and their brackets, so much so that studies say March Madness is responsible for at least a $4 billion loss in worker productivity each year.

This is a major detriment to the United States economy. 

Losing that much each year really damages the industries as well as the United States as a whole because the economy is cyclical, so if there is a major loss like this one then consumers buy less meaning producers make less and it affects everyone.   

Though many industries see a loss in worker productivity there is one industry that thrives due to the tournament: the beer industry. 

Brewers increase their production, and in some areas beer sales increase by as much as 26 percent, according to Upserve, a maker of restaurant management software.

Another area where the March Madness tournament can mean a major raise in pay is for the coaches of successful teams. In Kentucky, the highest earner of public employees is John Calipari, who coaches the University of Kentucky’s basketball program. 

Calipari is making $7.99 million in total pay for the current season.

Given that this tournament is highly televised, the NCAA finals rival only the NFL Super Bowl as a major advertising event according to Kantar Media. 

Spending on ads during the college tournament goes up by up to 5 percent per year. In 2018 companies spent $1.28 billion on commercial time during March Madness. 

This tournament that goes on for an entire month is one of the most watched tournaments every year. 

Though the name is March Madness it seems like money madness given how much money is surrounded by it each and every year.

~Taryn Hannam-Zatz, Staff Writer~

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