8 Creative Revenue-Driving Ideas for Sponsored Voting Brackets

by Liz Huff Second Street

Top Wings Bracket

Brackets are a really fun way to showcase a sponsors’ products or services. For instance, from backpacking equipment to dog beds, from hair products to appliances, brackets provide a fantastic opportunity for any advertiser to generate awareness and learn more about their consumers preferences.

KFIN-FM created this Saucy16 bracket to promote their local Buffalo Wild Wings and their delivery service. Each round, users voted for their favorite wing sauce. This was fun for the stations’ audience and, in addition, it provided the advertiser with great consumer information of flavor favorites.

KFIN-FM Buffalo Wild Wings bracket

Best Pizza Bracket

Voting brackets around food are always a huge hit. Everyone has their favorites, and they are passionate to see them through to the winners’ circle.

Lawrence Journal-World cooked up this fun bracket to give their audience the chance to vote for their favorite local pizza restaurant in head-to-head matchups. The paper secured six local restaurants to sponsor the bracket. Each restaurant provided a prize for an accompanying sweepstakes. To further promote the sponsoring advertisers, they included Facebook Like Buttons for each business on the registration page. Plus, they featured the businesses in campaign-related emails to encourage users to place an order online.

Lawrence Journal-World Best Pizza Bracket

Local Athlete Showdown

Tap into local sports-fan passions with a bracket! Highlight local athletes, teams, events or even special moments with a bracket to attract and engage your audience of sports-fans.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked readers to vote for their favorite local athletes with this STL Sports Showdown bracket campaign. They secured Kenrick’s Meat and Catering to sponsor – they provided both a grand prize of a stocked chest freezer and also four $25 gift cards to random participants. The sponsorship package included an email opt-in and Facebook Like Button on the entry form, as well as three lead-generation questions. Nearly 45,000 votes were cast throughout the campaign. And by including email opt-ins, the paper also grew their own newsletter database.

St Louis Post-Dispatch Sports Showdown Bracket

Favorite Local Attractions

No matter where your company is located, there are undoubtedly tons of aspects and attractions that make your city special. A bracket is a fantastic way to showcase those fantastic elements.

Phoenix Magazine created this creative bracket campaign to let their readers decide the best attraction of 48 great things that make Arizona unique. Grand Canyon West, a local tourism site, sponsored The Uniquely Arizona bracket and, in addition, gave away a prize of a special admission package.

Uniquely Arizona Bracket from Phoenix Mag

Local Event Bracket

Create a bracket around local events to engage your audience in a really fun way. You can use a bracket to create highly engaging matchups of local events or craft a bracket to highlight one individual event. If your event was canceled or postponed this year, a bracket is a great way to celebrate in its absence.

The Columbian partnered with their local county fair to create this Battle of Fair Favorites bracket campaign. It was a uniquely fun way to enjoy the fair even though they couldn’t have it this year. The paper filled the bracket with the attractions of their sponsor, Clark County Fair. Locals loved getting to vote their favorites and the client utilized lead-generation questions to learn important consumer information.

The Columbian Battle of Fair Favorites

Card of the Month Bracket

Run a bracket to tap into a particular niche group of audience such as pet owners or outdoor lovers. These campaigns are a phenomenal opportunity to work with a sponsor to host monthly brackets and drive recurring revenue.

Each month Scrapbooker Magazine hosts a ‘Card of the Month’ bracket to engage their niche audience of card makers. Best Craft Organizer, a speciality craft storage company, sponsors the annual campaign, which is a perfect fit for a crafting audience. The sponsor provides a $500 shopping spree to one random participant each month.

Card of the Month Bracket

Spiked Seltzer Summer

Create a bracket that’s relevant to a particular demographic you’re wanting to reach. A bracket like battle of the beards, best prenatal care, or best neighborhood will likely resonate more strongly with people of different sexes, age groups, or locations.

The Pilot’s female-focused lifestyle newsletter created a fun bracket asking their audience to vote on their favorite summertime spiked seltzer – a popular drink among their readers. They searched for a related sponsor and found a fantastic match in ETC, a local gift and decor store. The campaign was a great way for the sponsor to reach this targeted audience of potential customers!. And, by utilizing lead-generation questions, the newspaper provided fantastic consumer information for the advertiser!

Spiked Seltzer Summer

Favorite Golf Course Bracket

Give local golf fans and businesses an exciting promotion with a bracket! This opens up a great sponsorship opportunity for a local sports outlet, speciality golf supply store, or restaurant.

KRCG-TV secured Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail to sponsor this Fan Favorite golf course bracket. This campaign attracted golf-lovers in the area which created a perfect branding opportunity for the sponsor who was looking for a way to keep their course top-of-mind with local golfers.

KRCG-TV Favorite Golf Course Bracket


For even more voting-bracket ideas to pitch to sponsors, check out our list of 103 Ideas for a Year of Brackets!.

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