Visual Content Madness: How the NCAA Tournament Does it Right

by Jayme Nelson

It’s time once again for the NCAA Tournament, where underdogs get their chance to shine on the big stage and you get to feel the annual pain of yet another busted bracket. The first rounds of the tournament (March 17-20) border on national holiday with their exciting games and school spirit bringing the country’s productivity to a screeching halt.

It’s an event that never fails to deliver excitement for fans.

Some fans are even lucky enough to travel to cities across the country to watch their favorite schools in action. NCAA Tournament officials and their host cities are tasked with welcoming, guiding and entertaining fans during their stay. But this isn’t their first rodeo. Tournament officials, city organizers and business owners all know the best way to connect with fans through every step of the madness is with visual communications.


Basketball game welcome sign

Photo credit: Galt House Hotel

As fans invade their destination city, they’re welcomed with banners. Lots of banners. At the airport, on public transportation, at the hotels and through the streets, cities plaster the area with NCAA advertising. These events are a major boon for local economies, and it’s important for fans to know they are welcome guests.

Check Out the City

Fans have checked in to their hotels and are ready to get the party started. But many are unfamiliar with their surroundings. If they’re lucky, their hotel will provide a digital concierge to get them acquainted with all of the area’s attractions. These digital tools can give fans more detailed information and some local knowledge before they set out for the first time.

Game Time

Fans approach the arena, where they are met with the spectacle and pageantry of a big-time sporting event. Huge digital screens stand outside the arena to welcome fans, show live games and promote future events. And a massive corporate banner hangs from a nearby building as part of the NCAA advertising effort.

As fans enter the arena, wayfinding signage directs them to their seats. They pass through the short tunnel until they see the NCAA court, stripped of any advertising and boldly promoting the NCAA logo with huge basketball floor graphics that can be read from the top row. Now all that’s left is to cheer their team on to victory.

Postgame Celebration

Basketball celebration signs

Photo credit: Atlanta Eater

Victorious fans stream from the arena in search of a spot to celebrate the victory (or soothe a loss). This is prime time for bars and restaurants, and they will be featuring basketball game signs inside and outside their establishments. Flags and banners hang from the ceiling to show patrons that win or lose, this is the place for basketball fans to be throughout the weekend. Some bars are even designated specifically for each fanbase.

As many fans will tell you, the NCAA Tournament experience is more than just the basketball game. Signs throughout the event create an all-encompassing environment that makes the occasion exciting, comfortable and most importantly, organized. It’s an experience that benefits the visiting fans, tournament officials, city organizers and business owners alike. Now it’s time to embrace the madness on the court and let visual communications take care of the rest.


Related Articles

5 Best Fan Signs at Sporting Events

3 Tips for Making a Sign that Will Get You on TV

The 5 Most Famous Signs in Baseball