Dearth of a (Good) Salesman

March Madness brings out the best—but more often the worst—in hoops tie-ins
March 21, 2010

Every year enterprising admen hope to use the refracted glory of March Madness as a promotional stimulus. The results range from the relatively reasonable to the downright cheesy. Accordingly, we present SI's March Madness Cheeseball Ratings, which go from one ball (decent taste) to five (it's the cheesiest!).

Baseball Hall of Fame's Bracket Baseball

The best 32 teams of all time are bracketized; fans vote game by game, netting a mythical alltime champ

Breakdown

Classy fun, even if it means wasting more precious minutes filling out another bracket [One cheese ball]

Vas Madness

Urologists in various towns try to persuade you that the tournament is the perfect opportunity to have that long-sought vasectomy. After which, the pitch goes, "You can stay in your bathrobe all day"

Breakdown

Indeed, surgery comes with a doctor's note prescribing "four days' bed rest," thus optimizing tournament-watching time [Four cheese balls]

Mulch Madness on DIY Network

Nothing more than a clever title to get you to watch gardening shows

Breakdown

Zero hoops relevance, but you can use halftime to begin working on that gazebo you've been planning since Lew Alcindor was playing for UCLA [Two cheese balls]

SoBe Lifewater Zero Inhibitions Bracket Challenge

Fill out a bracket for a chance to win $9 million, meet TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith and former Playboy Playmate Kendra Wilkinson (above)

Breakdown

Ding ding ding—Playboy Playmate alert! (Disclaimer: Upon meeting Wilkinson, your chances are on par with those of, say, Lehigh) [Two cheese balls]

March Madness Hottiegram

Taunt friends with prerecorded, R-rated video e-mails by plugging in recipient's name or nickname (options include "loser" and "fatso") and favorite NCAA team

Breakdown

Getting busted streaming NCAA games on your office computer is one thing; getting busted with NSFW, tangentially hoops-related e-mails is another [Five cheese balls]

PHOTOLEAH-ANNE THOMPSON/FOTOLIA.COM (DOCTOR) PHOTOPHOTODISC/GETTY IMAGES (DEVIL) FOURTEEN PHOTOS©THINMAN/FOTOLIA.COM (CHEESEBALLS)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)