This year, there’s not going to be any college basketball brackets to bust with the NCAA canceling its annual March Madness tournament earlier this month amid the outbreak of COVID-19. However, Michigan Sugar is taking their own spin on bracketology.
After seeing a friend’s post, lamenting that they wouldn’t be able to fill out a bracket, Rob Clark, director of communications and community relations with Michigan Sugar, conceived the idea for March Sweetness.
“It was about 2 in the morning and I thought, ‘Maybe I can put together a bracket of “sweet facts” about Michigan Sugar Company,'” said Clark. “I could give each fact a seed like they do int the basketball tournament. Instead of having games, we could have polls on Facebook about different facts about the company.”
Clark put together a bracket of those 64 “sweet facts” and seeded each one. Last Thursday, the same day the NCAA tournament would have begun, Clark launched the first round of their polls via Facebook.
“It was kind of crazy because we’ve had 50 posts on this in four to five days,” he said. “I wasn’t sure how people were going to respond to them, getting on and voting in the polls. I thought, ‘Maybe we’ll get a handful of people who are interested.’ Quite the opposite happened. To date, we’ve had 48 different polls, and almost 6,000 votes have been cast.”
And like any bracket, there’s been some predictable outcomes. There’s also been some upsets.
“Originally, some of the things I thought would make it until the end, I’m now questioning based on the voting I’m seeing,” said Clark. “One of the number one seeds got knocked out in the first round by the number 16 seed—so that’s interesting to see what people find interesting about your company.”
Clark is already thinking of ways to tweak the bracket for next year. The Sweet 16 round kicks off at 6 a.m. Thursday morning. The final round will be held on Monday April 6—the same day the national championship game would have been held. To cast your vote, visit the Michigan Sugar Facebook page.