- Luxury carmaker Lexus returns for the third year to sponsor Yahoo Sports' Tourney Pick'em, according to a press release shared with Mobile Marketer. The car brand also re-launched the Lexus "0-60 Bracket Challenge" mobile game for the 2018 Men's College Basketball Tournament on April 2 to promote the latest model of the Lexus RC F.
- Yahoo Fantasy app users who enter the challenge are eligible to win a Lexus-themed trip for four to Las Vegas to see next year's college basketball tournament. Each round, players select which games will reach a combined 60 points the fastest. The app will let mobile users share updates from their brackets with friends on social media directly from their messaging apps.
- Lexus ran 15-second video ads on Yahoo Sports that are integrated with the "Tourney Bracket Live" show that aired on Sunday. The Yahoo Fantasy app can be downloaded for free from Google Play or Apple's App Store.
Lexus likely decided to focus on mobile platforms again with this year's sponsorship after seeing registrations for its bracket game on Yahoo Sports jump 38% last year from 2016, with 53% of fans signing up for the "0-60 Bracket Challenge" on a mobile or tablet device, according to the press release. Yahoo Sports is also becoming more mindful of increasing consumer preferences for mobile messaging with its added feature that lets users share updates of their bracket with friends on social media without needing to leave the app.
The Yahoo Fantasy app is among the profusion of mobile platforms dedicated to coverage of the anticipated annual men's college basketball tournament. The NCAA also has a web page for the tournament with links to numerous mobile apps on a variety of platforms. Acura, AT&T, Buick, Capital One, Coca-Cola and Infiniti are among the brands that are sponsoring those apps that offer basketball fans a variety of games and features surrounding the tournament.
Meanwhile, Lexus last month got high marks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona for the download speed of its mobile website, according to a ranking by Google. This highlights the carmaker's growing emphasis on mobile devices, as the company recognizes that consumers are becoming more comfortable engaging with content on smartphones and tablets. The search giant released several tools to boost and verify the speeds of mobile websites, per MediaPost. Google’s Brand Leaderboard showed an infographic to rank the leaders, including Lexus, in mobile speed from the Forbes Most Valuable Brands list. Lexus was in the top five with a mobile site that loaded in 1.8 seconds. ESPN.com led the group with a 1.4-second download time, followed by Apple at 1.5 seconds.