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Bracket-lytics Challenge

Thank you to all our contestants who competed for an analytics paid internship with Merkle — and $1,000 in cash

Congratulations to this year's winner, Big10sBasement

This four-person team, with members from the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin have won $1,000 and a paid internship at Merkle. For more details on how their model led them to victory, and to sign up early for next year's competition, visit our blog post rounding up the competition.

Registration is closed for this year, but you can still watch our video to learn what the competition is all about


Inspired by the 2018 men’s college basketball tournament, Merkle’s Bracket-lytics Challenge is a model-based tournament prediction competition where students go head-to-head for a chance to win an analytics paid internship at a Merkle office and $1,000 in cash.

Individuals or teams (of up to 4 students), are building models to predict the winners of the tournament. The entry with the most accumulated points at the end of the tournament series will win the challenge!

Quick Links

Wondering how to start building a model? Read a blog post from a Merkle employee who built one last year and correctly predicted the winner of the tournament.

Competition Timeline:

  • January 8-March 8, 2018: Register for Merkle's Bracket-lytics Challenge by selecting the Register Now button in the bracket above. During this time ALL team members MUST visit our competition details page to accept the challenge rules before the challenge begins on March 15.
  • March 11-15, 2018: After registering, enter your picks on this page and then email a write-up of your model to [email protected] before the games begin on March 15. Using a Word document or Powerpoint presentation, the write-up will validate your model and should include the factors you used to build it (i.e. home-court advantage, hot and cold streaks, etc.) To understand what information needs to be included in your model, visit our page with additional details on the competition.
  • April 3, 2018: Winners will be on Merkle’s blog

Prize Details:

The winner will receive a 10-week paid analytics internship at a Merkle office location in the United States, plus $1,000 in cash.

The Rules

  • The challenge is open to students of a United States-based university or college who are 18 years of age or older and have a valid .edu email address.
  • Each team entry can consist of one to four students and may only submit a maximum of one entry. Each teammate must submit their .edu email address and accept the challenge rules on our competition details page before the first game tips off on March 15, 2018.
  • The awarded paid analytics internship is a 10-week engagement for each winning team member(s) at a Merkle Americas office location. The cash prize of $1,000 will be split amongst winning team member(s).
  • The challenge is not endorsed by, associated with, or sponsored by, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). This challenge is devised as a non-gambling promotion and is intended solely for entertainment purposes.
  • If you register before February 1, 2018, a preliminary data set will be provided to help you begin creating your models. A complete data set will be provided to all registrants on March 11, 2018 after Selection Sunday. You are free to use other data sets provided they comply with competition rules.

Download Complete Rules

Why intern at Merkle?

Merkle is a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency. We work with world-class brands like Dell, T-Mobile, Samsung, HBO, GEICO, Regions, Kimberly-Clark, AARP, Lilly, Sanofi, NBC Universal, DIRECTV, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and many others to win customers and build brand loyalty.

As a winner in Merkle’s Bracket-lytics Challenge, you’ll gain invaluable experience as an analytics intern working on our audience, experience or digital media analytics teams. Interns receive comprehensive training and mentorship and are assigned to hands-on, meaningful projects linked to one of our brand-name client accounts. Learn from marketing industry experts and use your analytical prowess to conduct customer segmentation, journey mapping or loyalty analysis.

An internship with Merkle is an amazing opportunity to practice your skills in an exciting and fast-paced environment.