Turner Sports wants March 14 to be all about the brackets.
Working with the NCAA, Turner will tip off a series of initiatives to promote what's being billed as the first-ever "National Bracket Day." The efforts, celebrating the upcoming NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, will urge fans to fill out their brackets before the first round of March Madness begins on Tuesday, March 15 on TruTV. Turner and CBS signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal for rights to the college basketball tournament, which for the first time will see national windows for all games. CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV will cover all the action from the expanded 68-team field.
"National Bracket Day is a rallying cry to fans of one of the most exciting and participatory sporting events of the year to use their time on March 14 wisely before the celebration of March Madness tips off the following day," said Christina Miller, senior vice president of Turner Sports strategy, marketing and programming, and a member of Multichannel News's 2011 Wonder Women class, ina statement.
The nationwide National Bracket Day outreach will feature street teams distributing brackets in major markets and on key college basketball campuses around the country, expert tips on a live one-hour bracket special on March Madness on Demand on NCAA.com and a larger-than-life Bracket Lounge inside New York's Time Warner Center. Brackets and expert breakdowns of each region will also be available online via NCAA.com, SI.com and CBSSports.com.
As part of the activities, street teams will be dispatched in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and a number of college campuses, including Duke University, the University of Kansas, San Diego State University and Ohio State University.
At noon on MMOD, Jason Horowitz, analyst Marques Johnson and social media correspondent Kaylee Hartung will previewing the tournament and its match ups with special guest analysts to join during the hour show.
Starting March 14 and continuing until the conclusion of the Sweet 16 round on March 25, the Bracket Lounge will serve as a hub for fans to follow the tournament, with four large screen TVs. There will also be eight computer kiosks for access to NCAA.com, March Madness On Demand and bracket games, updated brackets, interactive basketball shooting games and photo opportunities with virtual images of CBS Sports and Turner announcers.
Also on National Bracket Day, the Bracket Lounge will house special celebrity panel featuring a cross-section of folks interested in the Madness, including HLN's Jane Valez-Mitchell, who will serve as the host, along with Turner Sports and CBS Sports studio analyst Charles Barkley, among others. This group will converge to discuss their thoughts on the tournament and tips for fans in attendance on filling out brackets.
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