Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Julio Garin

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@2024 Shaliya C Heard


March Madness is one of the most prominent and lucrative events in college sports. While previous research has assessed the financial impact of the tournament on men’s college basketball programs, few studies have focused on the effects for women’s programs. This study aims to address this gap by providing an analysis of the financial influence of March Madness on women’s college basketball programs with data from 2016 to 2019. Using descriptive statistics and regression analysis, I find that participation and success in March Madness have a positive, significant effect on women’s programs’ revenue growth in the short term. Nevertheless, the gains in revenue do not translate to increased profitability because they are generally reinvested into the program, resulting in higher expenses. I also find that the financial benefits of March Madness are more pronounced for non-Big Five conferences on a year-over-year basis, suggesting that tournament success may be more crucial for the sustainability of smaller women’s programs. Despite this, the financial gains that women’s programs experience are still smaller than those of men, reflecting the continuous gender inequities.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.