March Madness is one of the most famous sporting events in the United States. Each year, sports fans spend a huge amount of time online streaming live games and keeping on top of the brackets and results.

With the Sweet 16 in play this week, we wanted to take a look at how much mobile data has been used to keep up with the tournament so far.
We analyzed the enterprise mobile data traffic going to five major sporting sites and apps during the first week of the popular NCAA basketball tournament. When comparing this usage to the week prior, we begin to better understand the impact of these major sporting events on IT.
March Madness

March Madness = data madness

The analysis includes the mobile websites and Android and iOS apps of five major sporting news services – NCAA, ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Yahoo Sports. The most obvious trend was a 46% increase in mobile data traffic when the tournament started on the 14th of March.
March madness
Although we expected to see an increase in traffic, the actual numbers were unexpected for one particular reason – all of this activity was on corporate devices.
Interestingly, our data comes from companies that have an option to block non-work related sites and apps on employee devices, but it is clear from this analysis that many choose to leave access open. This could be a reflection of changing policies in the workplace, but it also represents an area of potential risk for the enterprise.
March Madness

March Madness an afternoon distraction

Our global enterprise customers look to us to provide explanations for spikes in mobile traffic so they can select the right data plans for their employees or impose the right policies to ensure productivity is maintained during work hours.
The analysis showed a spike in usage at 2pm with usage remaining high throughout the afternoon. This suggests an element of productivity drain may be negatively impacting businesses during afternoon business hours throughout the competition.
march madness
It’s difficult to balance strict corporate policy with convenience, and enterprises often struggle to successfully manage their assets without being overly restrictive.
This is the kind of mobile activity that mobility teams need to stay on top of. Not only to maintain productivity but also to ensure they don’t suffer any unexpected data overages in next month’s mobile bill.

Mobile productivity zone defense

The good news is that it’s possible to minimize the impact of events like March Madness through mobility management tools that focus on real-time data insights and control.
We always recommend that mobility teams find out more about how end users like to use their corporate devices, this will help to ensure they don’t feel restricted. Acceptable use guidelines will help to minimize negative impacts on employee productivity while providing a reasonable level of freedom, so that events like March Madness remain an enjoyable distraction, rather than a costly affair.
[text-blocks id=”banking-case-study”]