AT&T Inc. announced today that the company has ramped up its mobile offerings for NCAA March Madness. Customers will have exclusive access to all things NCAA basketball, including video highlights from each NCAA Tournament game. The highlights are available as Cellular Video (CV) via AT&T's MEdia(TM) Net NCAA March Madness portal on AT&T wireless handsets. And for the fourth consecutive year, AT&T will give fans an unprecedented voice in selecting the winners of the 2008 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T, which is the most prestigious national award given annually to the men's and women's college basketball players of the year.
Fan voting, through the power and ease of text messaging, will account for 25 percent of the Naismith Trophy selection process. This program sets the standard in college athletics for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major college sports award. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt in for their subscribers to participate.
In early February, CBS Sports' "AT&T At The Half" began featuring a weekly Naismith Trophy Watch to highlight some of the men's players in contention for the award. These players and others who have distinguished themselves throughout the season will be eligible for the final ballot when it is announced March 23 by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors. Fans will be eligible to cast their votes for the men's player of the year, women's player of the year, men's coach of the year and women's coach of the year until 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 5. The men's Naismith Trophy winner will be announced April 6 and featured during "AT&T At The Half" in the men's national championship game on April 7. The women's trophy recipient will be announced April 7.
The AT&T MEdia Net NCAA March Madness portal will feature in-depth information, such as top men's tournament news stories, scoring updates, polls and NCAA basketball trivia, as well as access to exclusive video highlights from every game. Hoops fans will also be able to watch expert bracket analysis, on-court interviews and the greatest championship moments video footage on CV. This is an extension of AT&T's goal to deliver exclusive, relevant content to its customers. During the latter part of the men's NCAA basketball regular season, AT&T launched Coaches' Corner, a six-week series of candid video interviews with some of the NCAA's most acclaimed men's basketball coaches available exclusively as CV content on AT&T wireless handsets.
"AT&T is pleased to be an NCAA Corporate Champion partner for the sixth year in a row," said Tim McGhee, director of Sponsorships for AT&T. "Once again, your AT&T wireless phone puts you courtside to all the excitement and action surrounding NCAA March Madness."
The AT&T MEdia Net NCAA March Madness portal also features the AT&T 2008 Bracket Challenge, giving wireless users the power to make, track and manage their tournament bracket from their wireless handset. Customers participating in the Bracket Challenge will compete against each other for a chance to win $10,000. Entrants are invited to predict the winners of men's tournament games and earn points for correct picks. Prizes will be awarded in a random drawing among the eligible entrants within the top 10 percent of overall points earned. The Bracket Challenge begins at 9 a.m. EDT on March 17 and ends at 11 a.m. EDT on March 19.
Customers can access the AT&T MEdia Net NCAA March Madness portal on their wireless handset by launching the MEdia Net option and then visiting the main sports home page. There is no subscription fee to access the portal, but standard MEdia Net data-usage charges apply. Customers will need an unlimited data package to access video content. For more information on the NCAA March Madness portal, visit http://www.att.com/ncaa.