The decision to host the tournament in a controlled environment was part of a detailed process to put the safety of student-athletes, team personnel, coaches, fans, volunteers and the community at the forefront during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Not-for-profit organization Indiana Sports Corp, the nation’s first sports commission, played a pivotal role in bringing the premier sporting event to Indiana, managing many of the moving pieces necessary to pull off an event of this magnitude.
Due to COVID-19, fan and staff attendance at the 2021 March Madness games were severely reduced. With a limited number of tickets to watch the games in person and a national, weeks-long spotlight soon descending upon the city, ISC focused on developing the ultimate fan experience outside of the arena. This was an opportunity to not only showcase Indianapolis, but its unique ability to host an entire March Madness tournament as well as future major sporting events.
Engaging with audiences, giving them a glimpse into tournament life in Indianapolis, and creating a sense of community became top priorities for ISC, and the organization knew a well-thought-out social media plan was necessary to accomplish these goals.
ISC needed a partner who not only specialized in social media, but who knew the city of Indianapolis inside and out. This partner would run social media channels for both ISC and the NCAA Men’s Final Four accounts throughout the duration of the tournament.
It was time to find an agency to help Indianapolis shine as the sports capital of the nation.
After a diligent search, Dittoe Public Relations stood out from other agencies as the best partner to manage social media for ISC and the Men’s Final Four. The engagement included management of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for both organizations.
Prior to Dittoe PR, ISC managed its social media presence in-house. It lacked a well-developed strategy and only posted as opportunities presented themselves, missing out on many engagement opportunities that aligned with its mission. In addition to creating and executing a proactive social media plan, Dittoe PR was equipped to respond to real-time questions from fans about game locations, start times, ticket offerings, ancillary events, safety protocols and more.
Throughout March Madness, Dittoe PR was responsible for executing two different social media strategies in tandem without on-site access to the tournament games, due to the pandemic protocols.
“Dittoe PR provides strategic advice surrounding social media, the use of social media platforms, and how they should be used for corporate brands,” said Brett Kramer, director of public relations for ISC. “They are experts in the field and have a wealth of knowledge on ways to connect social media content to align and complement our marketing, communications and public relations campaigns.”
Social media efforts for ISC focused on the activities fans could participate in across the city, including pop-up art exhibits, musical performances, spoken poetry and more. For Men’s Final Four, Dittoe PR shined a light on what student-athletes were doing when not playing in the tournament and showcasing the fan experience during the games.
By leveraging video content provided by Butler University students working with the NCAA, video performance for ISC and Men’s Final Four increased drastically. Video content ranks as the most engaging content across all social media platforms, and with the introduction of features like Instagram Stories, Reels, IGTV and Fleets, sharing a variety of video content was important to fully engage with NCAA Men’s Basketball fans.
From Selection Sunday through the Championship confetti cannons, Dittoe PR engaged with teams, fans and media posting about the tournament and the city of Indianapolis. The team provided support from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on game days, working after the final buzzer to crop, watermark and publish creative assets and celebrate the advancing teams with their fans. On non-game days, the agency focused on engaging with tournament fans and visitors, encouraging them to participate in offsite events and social media campaigns, and sharing real-time updates about the nature of the tournament.
Following the conclusion of the 2021 March Madness tournament, ISC extended its partnership with Dittoe PR and remains a client today. Dittoe PR continues to drive community engagement and participation for ISC through paid and organic social media campaigns, compelling video content on Instagram Reels and staying on top of current social media trends.
Dittoe PR was responsible for executing two different social media stratgies in tandem without on-site access to the tournament games.
By leveraging video content provided by Butler University students, video performance for ISC and Men's Final Four increased drastically.
Social media efforts for ISC focused on the activities fans could participate in across the city, including pop-up exhibits, spoken poetry and more.
Indiana Sports Corp Results
Live-tweeting 67 games on top of sharing ongoing content about youth programs and community impact across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook required a full-court press from the Dittoe PR social media team. In the end, it was an incredibly successful and rewarding engagement between Dittoe PR, ISC and Men’s Final Four.
ISC March Madness Project
From February 22-April 15, 2021, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Dittoe PR achieved the following results for Indiana Sports Corp:
NCAA Men’s Final Four Project
From February 22-April 15, 2021, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Dittoe PR achieved the following results for Men’s Final Four:
ISC Partnership to Date
From February 22, 2021-June 30, 2022, across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, Dittoe PR achieved the following results for ISC:
“Beyond the exponential growth in social media metrics and impact, Dittoe PR has provided our team with a group of experts in corporate social media. The extended brainpower and idea generation that we get with their team is invaluable, especially coming from an outside perspective. Dittoe PR has allowed us to stay consistent and generate impact through our social media channels, which was not previously done at a high level.”
INDIANA SPORTS CORP
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