Caitlin Clark Boosted Betting on March Madness Women’s Games by 540%; a Bellwether on Her WNBA Impact: Optimove Insights’ Analysis

Results based on more than 19 million bets during the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament also revealed women’s games had more TV viewers, men’s games received more bets

Secaucus, May 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Optimove Insights, the analytical and research arm of Optimove, has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament, shedding light on the significant impact of standout player Caitlin Clark on betting behavior in women's games. The report revealed that she boosted betting on March Madness by an average of 540%, a bellwether on her likely impact on the WNBA. The report was released today at SBC Summit North America.  
Results based on 19 Million+ Bets

Between March 29 and April 9, Optimove Insights analyzed more than 19 million bets placed on the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament, encompassing both men’s and women’s games. The focus of this analysis was to track the betting trends surrounding games featuring Caitlin Clark, a prominent player in women's college basketball and the first pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. 

Women’s Games: The Caitlin Clark Effect 

Optimove Insights tracked the betting activity on women’s NCAA games from the Elite Eight stage through to the Championship game. The comparative baseline game, Oregon State vs. South Carolina, set at 100%, received the fewest bets among the games tracked. 
The data revealed the impact of Caitlin Clark on betting activity, with games featuring her witnessing an average 540% increase in bets compared to the baseline. This suggests a significant influence of individual players on the betting landscape, emphasizing the role of star power in driving fan engagement and betting interest. (See image 1)
Men’s Championship Game More Bets, Women’s Championship Game More Eyeballs

Of note is that the women’s Championship game had an average of 18.7 million TV viewers compared to the men’s game at 14.8 million viewers, yet the men’s game attracted more than 3X the number of bets. This disparity underscores potential differences in viewer engagement versus betting activity between the two tournaments. 

Men’s Games 

The analysis also encompassed betting behavior in men’s NCAA games. Despite the men’s Championship game showing a 139% increase in bets over the baseline, the percentage increase in betting was notably lower compared to women’s games. 

A likely explanation for this difference is the higher baseline of individual bettors in men’s games, resulting in lower percentage increases. Nevertheless, men’s games consistently attracted more bets throughout the tournament. 

According to Rony Vexelman, VP of Marketing at Optimove, “As the WNBA season is about to tip off on May 14, it is doing so with a generational player. The substantial boost in overall interest in women’s basketball catalyzed by Caitlin Clark is extraordinary.  Her influence on boosting betting, TV viewership, and more is already starting to drive a new women’s basketball economy in the trillions.”

About Optimove 

Optimove is the first Customer-Led Marketing Platform and the #1 CRM Marketing Solution used by iGaming operators. 

Its solutions ensure that marketing always starts with the customer (player) instead of a campaign or product. Customer-led marketing has been proven to deliver brands an average increase of 33% in customer lifetime value. 

Optimove’s CRM Marketing Solution provides iGaming and Sports Betting operators with the ability to deploy personalized iGaming Experiences across channels, unified player data, AI-led multichannel orchestration, and statistically credible incrementality measurement for every promotion, campaign, and journey. 

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About Optimove Insights 

Optimove Insights is the analytical and research arm of Optimove, dedicated to providing valuable industry insights and data-driven research to empower B2C businesses.


Image 1: The Caitlin Clark Effect