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NCAA women’s tournament to officially use ‘March Madness’ branding

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it will officially use “March Madness” branding in association with the women’s basketball tournament, beginning in 2022 in Minneapolis.

Previously, the branding had only been associated with the men’s tournament.

The Kaplan report, a gender equity review conducted in the wake of widespread criticism of inadequate facilities and amenities at the 2021 women’s basketball championship, suggested the NCAA expand the “March Madness” branding to the women’s tournament.

Released on Aug. 3, the report also found that the NCAA has consistently undervalued the women’s tournament. The revenue the NCAA generates from its media deal for the men’s basketball tournament, the report found, is prioritized “over everything else in ways that create, normalize and perpetuate gender inequities.”

“This is just the start when it comes to improving gender equity in the way the two Division I basketball championships are conducted,” Lisa Campos, chair of the NCAA Division I women’s basketball oversight committee, said in a statement.

“Adding the March Madness trademark to the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will enhance the development and public perception of the sport, and the oversight committee looks forward to its work to address other recommendations through the governance structure to continue those efforts.”

The details of how the branding will be put into effect at the women’s tournament are still in development.

The NCAA also announced that it has “implemented a zero-based budgeting method for the two championships,” meaning that the staffs of both the men’s and women’s tournaments are “starting from scratch” when it comes to expenses. According to the NCAA’s statement, each budget “must be justified and approved for each new period.”