Basketball Resources

Publish date: Dec 2, 2010

Alcohol Advertising

The NCAA is concerned about alcohol abuse linked to intercollegiate athletics events. As a result, the Association strictly limits alcohol advertising during championship events and works to educate student-athletes and fans about the abuses of alcohol.

As with all NCAA policy, this is one principally determined by leadership from the NCAA membership. The NCAA provides its members with resources to assist in educating student-athletes and creating and maintaining an environment that promotes healthy choices about alcohol.

NCAA Championship Policy

  • The NCAA has for years banned sales and advertising of all alcohol in the venues of its championships. Host venues are required to cover up any ads for alcoholic drinks.
  • The NCAA does not control the regular season in any sport, nor does it run the postseason for the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Individual schools and conferences oversee the regular season, including game operations, broadcasting and advertising. The postseason for Division I Football Bowl Subdivision is controlled by the Bowl Championship Series and individual bowl committees.

Advertising Policy

  • The NCAA's Advertising and Promotional Standards applicable to all NCAA championships limits alcohol advertising in any form (e.g., television, radio, Internet, game publications) in association with any NCAA championship to malt beverages, beer and wine products that do not exceed six percent alcohol by volume. Further, such advertisements shall not compose more than 60 seconds per hour of any NCAA championship programming nor compose more than 14 percent of the space in the NCAA publication (e.g., game program) devoted to advertising. Also, such advertisements or advertisers shall incorporate "Drink Responsibly" educational messaging, and the content of all such advertisements shall be respectful (e.g., free of gratuitous and overly suggestive sexual innuendo, no displays of disorderly, reckless or destructive behavior) as determined by the NCAA on a case-by-case basis.
  • In August 2008, the NCAA Executive Committee affirmed the Association's alcohol policy, including for advertising, describing it as very conservative and appropriate. Moreover, there have not been any proposals from the NCAA membership to change the Association's alcohol advertising policy.

Men's Final Four Viewership/Advertising Details

  • According to Nielsen, the median age of the 2011 Division I Men's Basketball Championship viewer was 48. Nielsen's viewers' percentage for those 21 and older was 90 percent for the 2011 tournament.
  • For the 2011 Men's Final Four, alcohol advertising comprised of approximately six percent of the total ad inventory for the three games (Final Four and Championship).

Women's Final Four Viewership/Advertising Details

  • In 2011 and for the ninth consecutive year, ESPN broadcast all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. It marked the 16th straight year (since 1996) ESPN has been the exclusive television home of the championship.

For the 2011 tournament, ESPN averaged a 1.44 cable rating, up 14% from 2009's 1.26 cable rating. The 2011 average was the third highest average on ESPN since ESPN began broadcasting the tournament in 1996.