Which Sweet 16 team has the most well-known brand?
That’s the question we’ve set out to answer.
As branding fanatics, we wanted to take the NCAA’s Sweet 16 teams and put them into our own branding bracket to see how well people recognize these brands and why. We surveyed nearly 1,000 participants' ability to identify brands according to font and color. We also asked them to rank the 16 college brands by overall preference.
The results were pretty interesting:
- UCLA was ranked as the brand people prefer most
- UCLA also took the top spot when it comes to brand color (90% of respondents correctly identified its color)
- Villanova took the top spot when it comes to font (73% of respondents correctly identified its font)
The Final Four Color Bracket
Most people could identify these top four schools’ colors:
- UCLA (90%)
- Kansas (89%)
- Michigan (88%)
- Arkansas (87%)
The Final Four Font Bracket
Most people could identify these top four schools’ font:
- Villanova (73%)
- Iowa State (71%)
- University of Arizona (71%)
- Kansas (62%)
The Final Four Favorite Brand Bracket
Most preferred school brands of the NCAA 2022 Sweet 16:
Our survey results show that the majority of people are better at identifying a school’s colors correctly than its font: Not a single school had higher font recognition than color.
UCLA ranks as the number one brand people prefer (92.8%), but if we break it down by respondents, Gen Zers have Texan pride, ranking Houston and Texas Tech as the number 1 and 3 spots in regard to brand preference.
What’s more, Gen Z cares more about a school’s branding when choosing a school to apply for than any previous generation. (Gen Z ranked its importance as 4/10, while other generations ranked it 3.4/10.)
Keep reading for more of our key findings…
More March Madness brand stats:
- Overall, respondents were much better at recognizing a school by its colors than by its font. For instance…
- 89% of people correctly identified University of Kansas’ colors, but only 62% correctly identified its font.
- 88% of respondents correctly identified University of Michigan’s colors, but only 52% correctly identified its font.
- 90% of respondents correctly identified UCLA’s colors, but only 71% correctly identified its font.
- 87% of respondents correctly identified University of Arkansas’ colors, but only 43% correctly identified its font.
- UCLA ranks as the number one brand people prefer (92.8%), but if we break it down by respondents, Gen Zers have Texan pride, ranking Houston and Texas Tech as the number 1 and 3 spots in regards to brand preference.
- Carolina schools are strong contenders for brand recognition as well: Duke and UNC hold seats in the final four “favorite” bracket and scored highly in the color surveys as well, each with above 80% accuracy.
- Gen Z students care more about their university's branding when choosing a school than other generations.
- When asked what played into their decision for ranking their preferred brand, people said overall brand recognition — or how well-known a school is — was the most important factor:
- 47% brand recognition
- 21% overall appearance
- 16% color
- 10% mascot
- 5% font
- However, it seems that color must play a large role in determining brand recognition and preference, as UCLA and Michigan hold seats in both the Final Four color and favorite brackets.
- The majority of students/alumni think their alma mater is doing a great job with the look of their brand, but they take even more pride in seeing their school logo
- On a scale from 1-10, people give their schools an average 5/10 in overall branding, but ranked the amount of school pride they feel upon seeing their logo as 5.3/10