Focus sur le Final Four de la NCAA


Je vous parlais récemment du championnat universitaire de basket-ball et de son tournoi plus communément appelé March Madness. C'était LA compétition sportive la plus suivie du mois de mars aux Etats-Unis et durant un weekend, les 4 équipes finalistes se sont affrontées lors du Final Four à Detroit pour, au final, sacrer l'équipe masculine de l'Université de North Carolina, équipe où a figuré il y a un certain temps, un dénommé Michael Jordan…

March Madness et son Final Four offrent donc de bonnes raisons pour communiquer auprès d'un public captif et jeune, sans foncièrement prendre en considérations les critères ethniques vu la popularité du basketball. Le cabinet d'étude Nielsen a publié le "Guide to March Madness" regroupant toutes les informations et chiffres clés autour de l'événement (consommateurs, média, annonceurs, etc.)

Une des premières conclusions de ce rapport est l'augmentation assez conséquente des recettes publicitaires pour le diffuseur, CBS, qui a vu ses gains augmenter de 34% en 5 ans pour maintenant atteindre les 580 millions de dollars. La hausse est encore plus significative pour la finale et il faut maintenant débourser plus d'1 million de dollars pour un spot de 30". 

Du côté des annonceurs, General Motors garde la tête depuis 5 ans avec 317 millions de dollars en dépenses publicitaires avec près de 65 millions investis rien que pour l'édition 2008. Le constructeur automobile a largement devancé l'opérateur de telecommunications AT&T (36.5 millions), la National Collegiate Athletic Association, la NCAA, organisatrice du tournoi (24.1 millions), Coca-Cola (23.2 millions) et le Gouvernement Américain (21.7 millions). Nike est relégué à la 7ème place avec 17 millions de dollars dépensés en 2008, juste derrière Stitching InBev (faisant partie d'Anheuser Busch). 

Gatorade (via son agence TBWA\Chiat\Day) s'est, une fois de plus, distingué à travers son spot TV réalisé dans la lignée de sa première vidéo annonçant le rebranding de la marque (What's G?) La boisson énergétique du groupe PepsiCo a décidé de mettre en scène l'ancien coach de UCLA, John Wooden, en train de lire un poème alors que des images d'époque nous montrent Kevin Durant, Dwayne Wade, Candice Parker et… Michael Jordan, tous sous contrat avec Gatorade et le tout avec la bande son et les couleurs (noir et blanc) qui vont bien.

Mais, est-ce que March Madness et le Final Four permettent réellement aux annonceurs de toucher leurs cibles? Il semblerait que oui puisque que selon une étude de Scarborough Sports Marketing (une joint venture entre Nielsen et Arbitron), un fan de NCAA est généralement un homme, marié, diplômé d'université et donc disposant de revenus annuels supérieurs à la moyenne. Par rapport à l'Américain moyen, un fan de NCAA a 17% de chances en plus de posséder 3 voitures ou plus, 33% de chances de plus d'avoir consommé une bière le mois précédent, et 37% de chances d'avoir visiter un fast-food plus de 10 fois durant une semaine moyenne. Ces chiffres viennent donc appuyer et valider les investissements conséquents de la part des annonceurs comme General Motors, Stichting InBev ou encore Toyota.

A l'instar de son aîné, la NBA, la NCAA possède moins de sponsors autour de son événement phare qu'est le Final Four du tournoi de basket-ball masculin. Sur les 7 événements en marge du tournoi final, seulement 4 d'entre eux ont des annonceurs comme sponsor titre de l'événement (2 événements pour AT&T, le fan park géant pour Coca-Cola et des sessions d'entraînement sponsorisés par vitaminwater). Dommage car cet événement représente une opportunité très intéressante pour des marques voulant communiquer auprès des jeunes et de leur famille via des opérations terrain qui coûteront sans doute moins cher qu'une opération durant le All Star Game de la NBA.

A quand un tel engouement pour le basket-ball en France?

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