Beginning March 2022, the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Tournament will feature the “March Madness” branding and marketing that has long been associated with the men’s tournament, the NCAA announced Wednesday.
After players and coaches rightfully criticized the NCAA last March for inadequate facilities and amenities, a New-York based law firm—Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP—was contracted for an external review of the NCAA’s approach to branding the individual tournaments.
According to the report from August, the NCAA prioritized men’s basketball “over everything else in ways that create, normalize and perpetuate gender inequities.”
The report provided additional recommendations, including changes in leadership structure, staffing and coordination of planning for both tournaments, as well as hosting both Final Four’s in the same city.
In addition, the NCAA national office is allowing the men’s and women’s championship staff to start from scratch in determining their budgeting expenses as opposed to adjusting past season’s budgets.
The Division 1 Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee was a major factor in March Madness being extended to the women’s tournament by voting unanimously in favor of it.
However, the NCAA won’t include those recommendations until a future date, with the Women’s Final Four scheduled for April 1-3 of 2022 in Minneapolis while the Men’s Final Four will conclude on April 4th in New Orleans.