Portland Bracketology Goes Mobile

eROI set out to create its own interactive event to appeal to bracketologists fueled by the fanaticism that sweeps the country every March during the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The initial concept may have been to have some fun, while touting local culture, but the challenging road to completion and the eventual results of successful engagement deserved serious consideration.

Looking to crown a champion that would stand alone as the epitome of what makes Portland `Portland`, the top 65 competitors were chosen to face off one-on-one in a single elimination tourney. The campaign included email, social, and blog posts with a series of SportsCenter parody videos starring sock-puppet commentators that drove people to the site.


For two weeks in the beginning of March, amidst a full workload, Portland Madness was opened to the public for users to fill out and submit their bracket. Contestants included Food Carts, Flannel, Voodoo Doughnuts, and Bikes. Once the basketball tournament started, so did the voting phase for Portland Madness. Each round, votes cast by visitors to the site were counted, and winners and new match-ups were announced. Users who had filled out their bracket could check their results live, and they could also see how they fared among all 882 competitors as the standings were updated every round.

eROI had to overcome the technical challenges of a working bracket to create this out-of-the-box experience tailored for mobile provided us with some great tools.

Another bonus for participants was that the 65 eROI-crafted icons used were available as a downloadable font.


The `Flannel Four` of the tourney came down to Rain, Microbrews, Keep Portland Weird, and Powell’s. With 76% of the votes in the championship round, Powell’s City of Books was chosen as The Most Portland Thing About Portland.


Besides promoting the weirdness of our beloved city and providing an entertaining experience, Portland Madness gave us a product to promote eROI’s capabilities both conceptually and technically. We brainstormed an idea, designed a delivery system, and created a successful digital event. By doing so, we developed unknown abilities. Although the numerous challenges of Portland Madness are behind us, what we learned from it will be with us, and our partners, forever.

Average increase in communication
socially driven
visits from Facebook
brackets submitted
total votes counted
mobile traffic