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Renwick Review

Unveiling the Finances of March Madness: Where Does the Money Go?

Unveiling the Finances of March Madness: Where Does the Money Go?

Now, we know March Madness is a very popular event and watched by many people. But who really owns March Madness, who gets the money, the revenue? That is something not many people are aware of.

March Madness is expected to make approximately 1 billion dollars just from social media and marketing deals alone, crazy right? In 2023 the yearly income was 1.3 billion, a 14% increase from 2022. Around 85% of the NCAA’s $1.3 billion yearly income is created by March Madness. In 2023, 68 million Americans gambled an estimated $15.5 billion on the competition, as per the American Gaming Affiliation. In 2023 the NCAA made $945.1 million by selling broadcasting privileges to its games, and is supposed to produce more over the long haul.

About 85% of the NCAA’s 1.3 billion annual revenue is generated by March Madness. The NCAA does not keep all the profit from March Madness related marketing and media deals; instead, distributes much of it to its member sports conferences. The conferences then divide the payout between the teams depending on the amount of tournament games played, the more games played equals more money. They also give $171.2  Million of NCAA basketball profits from the 2024 distribution to D1 schools.

Let’s look at what the individuals get paid. The salary for college basketball’s highest paid coach is 9.6 million dollars (Bill Self, KU). The players? According to NCAA amateurism rules, they are not paid beyond tuition, room, board, books and other scholarship expenses. They are not paid to play, and there are no shares of the broadcasting and other revenues either. Although college athletes might be compensated by NIL deals it can also lead to imbalance in the players.

Now that we know the ins and outs of where the money from March Madness goes, I hope you can watch the game from a little bit different perspective. 

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Addison Workman
This is my first year participating in Renwick Review. I appreciate how hard everyone in Renwick works. I am involved with FFA and Renwick Review. The person that inspires me most is my mom because she is very hardworking. My favorite sports team is the Chiefs!
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Things that I appreciate about Renwick are the programs and how hard everyone works to keep them sustainable. This is my first year of Renwick Review. The person that inspires me the most is my grandpa, because he reminds me how to become a good person. My favorite sports team is WSU. The extracurriculars I am involved in is track, drama, band, and Renwick Review.
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