KFC Returns to Yahoo for March Madness Campaign

For the second year, Kentucky Fried Chicken is working with Yahoo to take advantage of the large public interest in the NCAA “March Madness” basketball championships in a way that avoids expensive official sponsorship.

KFC is one of several brand advertisers using Yahoo and the Web to capitalize on such big sporting events without buying high-priced TV ads or other cost-prohibitive placements that usually involve official involvement or sponsorship.

As it did last year, KFC is again serving as the March Madness “Tournament Pick’em” sponsor on Yahoo Sports. Fans will be able to create printable tournament brackets that can be taken to KFC restaurants nationwide to garner discounts on hot wings. Yahoo regional sales VP Chris Karl said KFC was so pleased with the success of last year’s similar campaign it is committing to Yahoo all of its March Madness online ad spend.

“The Yahoo relationship is a great one, with excellent visibility for our brand with a key customer base, and we’re going for a breakthrough number of impressions and video views compared to last year,” said a KFC spokesman. KFC’s 15-second commercial spot is included with each view of tournament video highlights and the printable bracket.

With the NCAA championships, a 4.5-week marathon of games involving 64 teams, college basketball fans rabidly participate in Yahoo’s “Tournament Pick’em” game, Karl said. He called the month “arguably one of the best opportunities to engage sports fans because of the length of time.”

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