As the NCAA Tournament tips off in earnest today, athletic retailer The Finish Line is teaming up with Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine as part of the Finish Line Bracket Challenge—offering the ultimate basketball experience for consumers, who can win unique prizes, including the keys to LaVine’s BMW i8 and a shopping experience with him.
 
After the tournament ends with the National Championship game on April 2, one fan will have the opportunity to receive the keys to LaVine’s BMW, delivered to the winner by LaVine himself, if they filled out a perfect bracket. What’s more, the participant with the highest bracket score will receive a Finish Line shopping experience at the retailer’s Woodfield Mall location in Schaumburg, Ill., with LaVine.
 
Participants have until March 15 to register online to make their team selections.
 
Why did The Finish Line partner with LaVine?
 
“Zach embodies attributes that we stand for as a brand, including self-expression, personal style, versatility, and positivity,” Paul Diehl, Senior Director of Content, Social and Consumer trends at The Finish Line, explained to Loyalty360. “We foster partnerships that go much deeper than product endorsements. We’re looking for brand ambassadors, and Zach is definitely one. He’s a fan of sneakers and a Finish Line customer, so the partnership is authentic. Zach has already created a level of energy around the tournament and will continue to extend our story with that same excitement to a larger audience.”
 
The NCAA Tournament, affectionately referred to as March Madness, is one of the greatest sporting events of the year that involves millions of people.
 
“In March, college basketball becomes the epicenter of the sports world,” Diehl said. “Our customers stay plugged into the tournament the entire month, so it is natural to offer them an experience that’s unique during this cultural moment. Our partnership with Zach leads and creates conversations and brings our customers something they haven't seen before from a retailer.”
 
Officials at the Finish Line are excited about The Bracket Challenge and the attendant customer engagement. LaVine, who played college basketball at UCLA, was taken with the 13th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was traded to the Bulls last year.
 
“Zach’s idea and willingness to give away his customized BMW and personally deliver it as part of our campaign shows the tight-knit bonds we create with our partners,” Diehl explained. “He was excited to offer our customers a chance to participate in something completely over-the-top, and we're excited to offer him a platform to connect with his fans and our customers in a unique way.”

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