Beth Nilssen
May 11, 2022 / Great News

Great Clips influencers go #Hats Off for March Madness

The #HatsOffSweepstakes highlights Great Clips as the official hair salon of March Madness®

In January 2020, Great Clips announced a multi-year marketing partnership with the NCAA that included NCAA March Madness®, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four® as well as marketing, media, and activation rights surrounding all 90 NCAA Championships. (Great Clips’ partnership with the NCAA is through a joint agreement with Turner Sports and CBS Sports.) 

It was an exciting time for all of us at Great Clips because college basketball is a big deal for many customers of Great Clips salons, and we knew this partnership would really connect with men ages 18 to 35 who make up a big proportion of Great Clips salon customers.

And then…well, we all know what happened in March of 2020—the madness wasn’t about basketball! The good news is that this partnership is stronger than ever in 2023 with a fun influencer marketing campaign that is taking March Madness by storm.

So what exactly is influencer marketing? Here’s how Influencer Marketing Hub describes it:

“Influencer Marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign. The main differentiator in the case of influencer marketing is that the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers.”

They go on to define an influencer as someone who has:

• the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
• a following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche.

As March Madness 2023 gets into full swing this month, Great Clips is leveraging the social presence of four media influencers and two current college basketball players to highlight the #HatsOffSweepstakes across TikTok and Instagram. Each influencer visited their local Great Clips salon to get fresh haircuts and encourage followers to go hats off all March Madness long (because with a fresh haircut from Great Clips, you won't need to cover your hair!).

Matthew Mayer, University of Illinois forward, brought back his locally infamous mullet when he visited the Carriage Center salon in Champaign, IL (franchisee Dave Hands) and showed off his shooting prowess. Check out his posts on Instagram and Twitter.

Christian Stoinev, a basketball halftime performer, visited the Fort Apache salon in Las Vegas, NV (franchisee Deepak Shroff) and posed for an epic hat flip with his star-studded Chihuahua, Scooby. See Christian and Scooby on TikTok and Instagram.

Sam Carlson, an award-winning trick shot artist, received a haircut at the East Town Plaza salon in Onalaska, WI (franchisee Carrie Langan) and engaged the stylists in his famous ping pong trick shot challenge. Watch the challenge on TikTok and Instagram.

Lucas Shapiro, a sports commentator and basketball superfan, headed to the Lakeview salon in Chicago, IL (franchisee Manzoor Pervez) for a hair refresh before showing off his best hat flip. See his new ‘do on TikTok and Instagram.

Kenny Chao, a basketball fan, headed to the basketball courts to practice his best hat flip before visiting the Promenade at Downey salon in Downey, CA (franchisee Steve Paul). See Kenny’s posts on TikTok and Instagram.

Caroline Ducharme, University of Connecticut guard visited the Starbucks Plaza salon (franchisee Jack Patel) for a hair refresh – her social posts will be going live soon!

The Great Clips #HatsOffSweepstakes has been getting a lot of attention from mainstream media, like here and here. (What fun to see Wally Szczerbiak speaking up for the brand!)

MORE: Mar. 7 through Mar. 19, the #HatsOffSweepstakes gives fans a chance to share a photo or video of their hat flip on social media using or on Check it out for more info on the prizes and official rules on how to enter.

Want to know more about how Great Clips, Inc. supports its franchisees with cool promotions that drive customers to their salons? Give me a call. I’d love to talk with you.

Beth Nilssen 
Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on May 11, 2022
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