Companies cash in on bracketology
March 17, 2011 at 7:49 AM ET
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Companies are jumping on the NCAA bracketology bandwagon in an attempt to score with customers.
If you dream of winning more than just your office pool, plenty of contests exist for the bracket-obsessed. And if college basketball isn't your thing, there's no reason why you can't embrace the marketing overload and have some madness fun.
Here are some of our favorite promotions and contests:
- If a No. 16 seed shocks the world and upsets a No. 1 seed in the second round — something that's never happened in the history of the tournament — Pizza Hut will distribute free slices at designated locations.
- Diamond Foods is offering two chances to win $10,000 with an underdog contest and a standard top-seed bracket.
- The Consumerist is running a bracket-style contest for readers to select the Worst Company in America. There are no prizes, but you it might be smart to avoid the "winner."
- Reese's is sponsoring a "Pick the Perfect Play" contest on the NCAA website. The winner will win a trip to the 2012 tournament and will get a chance to shoot for $1 million.
- Betty Crocker launched the Betty Bracket, a single-elimination contest where consumers can vote for their favorite of 64 game-day recipes, many inspired by the top college basketball hometowns.
- Domino's Pizza created a Facebook page where pizza lovers can vote for their favorite style. Sixteen pizzas will enter and only one will win.
- Applebee's and ESPN's Round by Round Pick 'Em game lets players make selections for the most immediate round — and accumulate points along the way. The winner will receive a trip to ESPN's headquarters.
- T.G.I. Friday's has a special menu and is promoting game-watching parties and food and drink specials.
- UPS is promoting a "Print Madness" deal for cheaper color prints.
If you think your bracket picks are good enough, you can win cash the old-fashioned way: betting. For a longer roundup of contests, click here.