Eager to start picking their brackets, Facebook users have begun flocking to the leading bracket applications by the thousands since the beginning of the month. The three most popular applications are developed by Citizen Sports, Watercooler, and CBSSports.com each have distinct business objectives from one another. The applications have driven over 500,000 visitors so far this month.
While the traffic to all the applications have most likely come from cross-promotion and Facebook advertising, March Madness is always an extremely active event on the Facebook Platform. It’s the result of a long history with Facebook, which began with the company developing their own internal application which was later branded by CBS Sports.
March Madness was the center of controversy on Facebook in 2008 as CBSSports was granted access to premium promotion spots in addition to being granted 100 invites per user per day, far more than any other application. Last year there was far less drama surrounding the applications, although they were extremely popular as usual.
In late February, users began flocking to March Madness applications, at which point Watercooler had already attracted over 111,000 users to their application. This year is comparable to last year. Right now Citizen Sports has almost 400,000 users, while Watercooler has around 100,000 users via their application, and CBS Sports has around 50,000 users. Of all the applications, Citizen Sports has no shame when it comes to promotional partners.
Both Miller Lite and Sports Illustrated have partnered with the company for this year’s brackets. Miller Lite also has a promotional fan button to drive new fans. This is similar to last week’s Bing promotion on FarmVille which drove over 400,000 fans in a day. While this promotion hasn’t driven as many fans in a single day, Miller Lite could definitely see a huge fan conversion as March Madness proceeds.