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Bracket Battle in the College Store

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 3/1/17 5:30 AM
Topics: college store promotions, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans, Bookstore marketing

Prepare yourself for the March Bracket Battle chaos! This month people will be asking you which college basketball team is going to go all the way and let’s face it, we have no idea which team is better and can only name a handful of players. But your Bracket Battle can be about more than basketball, and you’re going to take the annual bracket bonanza to a new level.

Bracket Battle in the College Store

The event

Download: Bracket Battle Kit
Bracket Battlee
Download Kit

Your Bracket Battle is going to consist of 16 “teams,” and they can be about any subject you desire: which movie star is a snappier dresser, which boy band will still be around in two years, or whether or not Star Wars characters are better than Star Trek characters.

Your event is about engagement and bringing customers into your store to be part of the action as opposed to a traditional sale. Luther College Book Shop held a Nutty Election Day Celebration and increased sales two-fold — nothing was discounted. The number of people through the door resulted in sales on their own.


  1. Pick your “competitors” – Like a basketball bracket, pick who or what will be going head-to-head.
  2. Let people know – Share your Bracket Battle with the campus and community. Take advantage of internal television monitors, place signage around your store and campus, and use social media as well. Here are some examples:



  1. Customer brackets – Encourage your customers to pick up a blank bracket and write in their choices. The person with the bracket closest to yours wins a gift card to your store. Offer daily prizes to keep up engagement.
  2. Invite votes – The winner of each day’s competition is picked solely by your customers. Have them vote in your store using the included ballot. At the end of the day, count the ballots and update your store bracket.
  3. Watch the fun – Post the daily results both in-store and on social media. Ask your customers to come vote daily. Pictures tell stories. Take photos of student’s brackets and customers taking part in the game.

Your kit

Everything you need is here:

  1. A blank bracket for 16 teams. Edit it as you see fit for your store’s master copy. Make additional copies for your customers to play along and vote.
  2. A ballot to vote for who you want to win the daily battle.
  3. Flyers to promote Bracket Battle around campus and in your store.
  4. Images for your Facebook and Twitter feeds.


Your Bracket Battle event can last less than a week with 16 teams being cut to eight after day one, to four after day two, two after day three and a winner declared on day four. Build engagement and be creative with your competitors. Your customers would love to see the Bee Gees take on Jabba the Hut in a cage match. Have fun.


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