Everything fans and viewers see at the NCAA Tournament is carefully curated.
NCAA officials are hawkish, making sure official brand sponsors and partners are front and center, going as far as making players, coaches, and media change their paper cups when moving into visible areas.
March Madness, indeed.
The basketballs (made by Wilson) and the backboards (Spalding) are a few of the more obvious partnerships, though they go way deeper.
Here’s a look at some of weirdest NCAA sponsors that are sure to flash across TV screens everywhere.
Fiskars scissors have been the official net-cutters since 2008, with the partnership extending beyond basketball to ice hockey, women’s volleyball and lacrosse. Winning teams get to keep their 9.5-inch special edition scissors with serrated, gold titanium blades that are etched with the NCAA logo.
See a mop wiping the court? It’s a Hillyard SureFoot Game Day Mop. The cleaning instrument is a “large articulating mop designed to quickly and completely remove sweat and moisture from playing surfaces.”
That’s right – even referees have to gear up correctly. Smitty Officials Apparel is the exclusive uniform supplier for the Elite Eight and Final Four.
Werner provides custom, special-edition Podium Ladders for the NCAA tournament designed to keep players safe with “a wider platform and taller guardrail.”
Benches and Chairs
When a coach or a player sits on something with NCAA, March Madness, Elite Eight, or Final Four branding, it’s from Spec Seats – the official supplier for portable seating (folding chairs and benches) at tournaments and championship events.