SOURCE: Gigunda Group

GIGUNDA GROUP LEADS ACTIVIATION OF NATIONAL BRACKET DAY, BRACKET LOUNGE ON BEHALF OF TURNER SPORTS A

March 14, 2011 13:32 ET

Gigunda Group Leads Activation of National Bracket Day, Bracket Lounge on Behalf of Turner Sports and NCAA

MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - With this year's NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament being expanded to 68 teams, and starting on a Tuesday as opposed to the traditional Thursday, fans wanting to fill out brackets only have one full day between when the tournament field was announced on March 13 and when the first round games (now known as the First Four) tip off on the 15th. 

To help spread awareness for this shortened window, as well as to let fans know about the new broadcast schedule (games will be spread across TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV, after nearly 30 years of being exclusively on CBS), Turner Sports has proclaimed Monday, March 14, as National Bracket Day™. The day is being marked by the opening of The Bracket Lounge in New York's Time Warner Center, and the deployment of street teams to distribute brackets in major cities and on college campuses across the country. Brand engagement agency Gigunda Group is handling activation for both the lounge and the street teams.

"NCAA March Madness has become such a huge part of American culture that it's practically a national holiday," said Ryan FitzSimons, Founder and CEO of Gigunda Group. "Through the Bracket Lounge and National Bracket Day we're allowing people the opportunity to celebrate college basketball and have a place to enjoy the games together."

The Bracket Lounge, which is open from the 14th through the conclusion of the Sweet 16 on Friday, March 25, serves as a hub for fans to follow the tournament. The lounge includes:

  • Four large screen TVs showing the tournament
  • Eight computer kiosks for access to NCAA.com
  • Breakdowns of matchups by region
  • A bracket projection screen which will be updated digitally each day
  • Video highlights showing great moments in NCAA March Madness history
  • Interactive basketball shooting games
  • "You Call a Play," which allows visitors to make their own play-by-play call of a famous moment in tournament history, and then have their call emailed to them
  • Photo opportunities with virtual images of Turner announcers

To kick off National Bracket Day™, WFAN radio personalities Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton broadcast their "Boomer & Carton in the Morning" show live from the lounge. In addition, NBA Hall-of-Famer and TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley conducted media interviews from the lounge, including an appearance on CNN's American Morning.

Also on the lounge's opening day, the NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) Show -- a one-hour program with host Jason Horowitz, analyst Marques Johnson and social media correspondent Kaylee Hartung previewing the tournament and its match ups -- was broadcast on NCAA.com live from the lounge.

Street teams were dispatched in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., as well as on college campuses including Duke University, University of Kansas, San Diego State University and Ohio State University, to distribute brackets.

Gigunda also created National Bracket Day™ Bracket Boss Survival Kits to help fans manage their own brackets. The kits included a welcome letter, instructions, leader board poster, commissioner badge, winner's trophy and winner's t-shirt. Kits were available for order free of charge at NCAA.com/bracket the first week of March.

About Gigunda
Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, Gigunda Group is an innovative experiential marketing agency known by the Fortune 100 and their other clients as being idea instigators and insight experts. Founded in 1994, Gigunda is the strategic, creative and execution engine behind some of the most complex and game changing campaigns in the industry, such as the award-winning Charmin Red Cross of Restrooms, Tide Loads of Hope and Make-A-Messterpiece brought to you by Bounty. In addition to P&G, Gigunda's client roster also includes Activision, GlaxoSmithKline, GM, Kellogg's, Nike, Mars Snackfood, Pepsi, Sony, Stanley, State Farm, Toyota, Turner Networks and Yahoo.

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