NCAA To Brand Women’s Basketball Tournament As ‘March Madness’

The NCAA has announced the The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will now use March Madness marketing and branding beginning with the 2022 tournament.

This comes after a recommendation from a comprehensive external review of gender equity issues in connection with NCAA championships, including issues that arose during the 2021 Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships.

“Women’s basketball has grown tremendously over the past several years, and we remain focused on our priority of enhancing and growing the game,” says Lynn Holzman, vice president of women’s basketball. “The brand recognition that March Madness carries will broaden marketing opportunities as we continue that work to elevate the women’s basketball championship.”

Members of the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee released the gender equity report on Aug. 3, expressing their desire for substantial changes. The committee unanimously supported women’s basketball adding the March Madness brand and sees this decision as one of the first steps to achieving greater equity between the women’s and men’s championships.

“This is just the start when it comes to improving gender equity in the way the two Division I basketball championships are conducted,” says Lisa Campos, chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and director of athletics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. “Adding the March Madness trademark to the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will enhance the development and public perception of the sport, and the oversight committee looks forward to its work to address other recommendations through the governance structure to continue those efforts.”

The 2022 NCAA DI Women’s Basketball Championship culminates with the Women’s Final Four from April 1-3 in Minneapolis. Details of how the March Madness brand will be incorporated into the Division I women’s basketball tournament are still being developed.

Steven Boero