A Tournament of Resources

One organization found a way to engage its members during the month of March by putting resources head to head in a tournament-style bracket.

What's the great idea?A bracket tournament to highlight your organization's offerings and engage members.

Who's doing it? Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)

What's involved?March is known for college hoops and filling out brackets. When ACC noticed a spike in internet traffic during the NCAA basketball tournament, Jim Way, director of membership marketing for ACC, thought the organization might be able to attract some attention to its products and services. Calling it March Mayhem, 16 ACC resources competed against each other, and members voted on which resources they find valuable. Members also filled out a bracket to predict which resources would be most valued.

"We started March Mayhem as a way to build awareness of our benefits, our resources, and our opportunities in a slightly different way and that was a bit more fun for the members and allowed them to engage with us and with each other," says Way.

ACC released bracket results on its website over a 10-day period. (ACC's jobs board edged out its annual meeting for the tournament crown in 2011.) The member with the most accurate bracket prediction received $600 worth of ACC product and service credit, branded merchandise, and a basketball signed by ACC staff members.

ACC also created a video to promote the tournament, with staff playing the roles of various ACC resources and explaining their purpose. A cross-functional team worked on their own time to produce the video and make plans for the tournament. "When we did the videotaping, we kind of tried to do it all in one day, and the office was buzzing because people were really having a lot of fun with it. They couldn't wait to get in and film their segment," says Way. "And it just seemed like it was a big side benefit of the project that I didn't anticipate, the actual enthusiasm and participation of our staff."

What are people saying? The first March Mayhem tournament began in 2010 and came back this year because members asked for it. Way says that more people were engaged with the tournament this year than last year, and there were even more members who visited the website but did not directly participate.

"It was good to have their feedback and their engagement, and also on our e-groups, basically our electronic forum for our members, people were talking about it there as well. People were talking about participating." For next year, Way wants to expand the tournament to more resources and more members.