March Madness and Your Gym: How Buzzer-Beaters Bring Buzz to Your Business


For one-day sporting events, the Super Bowl still reigns supreme. But for sustained drama, last-second shots and a David vs Goliath “anything can happen” mentality, there’s nothing like the annual NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. It’s called “March Madness” because 64 teams (once the play-in games are complete) have a shot to win it all. Well, at least that’s the popular sentiment; truth be told, the ultimate winner will most likely be a top seed from a traditional power basketball school like North Carolina, Duke, Kansas or Arizona.

Still, the chance for big upsets and the sheer number of teams involved make March Madness a television event unlike any other in American sports. On the downside for employers, Bracketology also equates to budget-busting lost productivity at work. In fact, a story from U.S. News & World Report put a monetary figure on the damage: for every hour spent watching streaming b-ball games or discussing brackets on the job, American employers lose over $1 billion every hour.

So, it sounds pretty grim from a “get-stuff-done” standpoint. However, March Madness can actually be a basketball-fueled boon for gym owners, health club managers and other fitness club proprietors. Can the nation’s largest, most popular tourney translate into extra members and more activity for March and the first week or April? Well, it’s certainly worth a shot. With 65 total games scheduled, the trick is finding out how to make TV time and a few well-timed contests work for your business.

Want to generate some extra interest in your gym this month? Try this starting lineup of potential slam-dunk ideas:

Run a Bracket Contest

Offer a March Madness bracket for all of your members. Devise a scoring system (most correct picks, greater emphasis on games deeper into the tourney, etc.) that’s fair. Once you have the entries, offer bonus points for doing gym workouts during the games. For the winner(s), give away a free month or similar prize (watch cash prizes, as they’re technically illegal). You’ll be surprised how many extra patrons will stop by the gym for extended lunch hours, weekends and more.

Play the Alumni Card

Are any of your members alumni of those aforementioned b-ball powerhouses? Advertise your own March Madness-themed events, especially toward associates who are already basketball junkies.

Expand Broadcast Capability

Do your TVs need a drastic upgrade? Invest in a few big-screen behemoths for added viewing pleasure. Watching a basketball game on a treadmill or stepper can be tough on the eyes. And remember, your TVs will offer year-round return on investment, not just for March & April.

Know the Schedule

Think of March Madness as 3 separate tournaments. The first 2 tournaments run Thursday through Sunday (all four days for each), while the 3rd and final one is held on Saturday and Monday. The NCAA has to get 64 teams down to 2 in a relatively short amount of time. The result is one weekend to whittle the field to 16, another to generate the fabled Final Four, and the last round to determine the national champion. For 2015, the key dates to remember are March 19th through March 22nd, March 26th through March 29th, April 6th (two national semifinal games) and April 8th (national championship game).

Bonus idea: if your gym has a basketball court, run your own “March Madness” tournament alongside the real thing. Do a 3 v 3 tourney, shooting contests and other fun b-ball bracket contests. Your health club associates might not be headed for a Division I scholarship or the NBA, but who cares? With some extra fun, all participating members will have a blast.

Thanks for reading the Used Gym Equipment blog. With our value-priced, professionally-rebuilt exercise equipment, we can take the “Madness” out of your next fitness machine purchase or sale. Contact us today by calling (800) 884-1446, or check out our contact page to drop a line. We look forward to hearing from you. And good luck with those brackets!