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Welcome to RetailROI March Gladness

March Gladness

Every year millions of people enjoy playing a bracket for the NCAA basketball tournament. We thought, wouldn’t that be a blast to do that with a purpose?

The RetailROI March Gladness pool has a purpose.

  • Have some fun in our industry and among family and friends
  • Win great prizes and bragging rights with your colleagues
  • The proceeds build a computer lab for at risk kids in an urban school in Chicago.

LYDIA Urban Academy is an accredited, non-traditional high school that provides a safe, nurturing environment for students who may have experienced academic adversity in the past. We believe in empowering youth through education, advocacy, and discipleship.

That’s it! 900 brackets at $20 each builds a full computer lab with Smart Boards for teachers to provide training opportunities so these kids can not only learn, but get computer skills that many of us take for granted in our homes and our local schools.

About Lydia Urban Acadamy

LYDIA Urban Academy is an accredited, non-traditional high school that provides a safe, nurturing environment for students who may have experienced academic adversity in the past. We believe in empowering youth through education, advocacy, and discipleship. Each class is designed using differentiated instruction based on student interests, readiness, learning styles, and social-emotional needs.

LUA's core curriculum includes English, math, social studies and science classes that adhere to Illinois State standards for excellence.In addition, students are required to complete a curriculum of courses designed to develop the skills necessary for independent living. To learn more about the Lydia Urban Academy in Chicago, Click Here



We have thousands of $ of prizes. The winner gets 32GB iPad Air tablet. Second prize is a $500 Nordstrom Gift Card, and there are many others. See below for a complete list. Thanks to all of our sponsors. If you would like to donate a prize from you or your company to help grow the prize pool, please contact Nichole Riley-Doud at nichole@retailroi(dot)org. Questions about the tournament can be sent to Dan Gutwein at danielgutwein@gmail(dot)com.

Here is a list of the current prizes for the tournament. This list is building daily. Currently 28 prizes.

  • Grand Prize – 32GB Apple iPad Air (wifi) (value $599)
  • 2nd Prize - $500 Nordstrom Gift Card
  • 3rd Prize - iPad Mini 16gb wifi
  • 4th Prize - iPad Mini 16gb wifi
  • 5th Prize – Toshiba Excite 10" Tablet
  • 6th Prize – $250 Pier One Gift Card
  • 7th Prize - Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Tablet
  • 8th Prize - $200 Discover Gift Cards
  • 9th Prize - $100 in BP Gas Cards
  • 10th Prize - $100 Jared Jewelry Gift Card
  • 11th Prize - $100 Home Depot Gift Card
  • 12th Prize - $100 iTunes Gift Cards
  • 13th Prize - $100 iTunes Gift Cards
  • 14th Prize - $100 Visa Gift Cards
  • 15th Prize - $100 Visa Gift Cards
  • 16th Prize - $100 Visa Gift Cards
  • 17th Prize - $100 Visa Gift Cards
  • 18th Prize - $100 Visa Gift Cards
  • 19th Prize - $100 New Balance Gift Card
  • 20th Prize - $100 Johnston & Murphy Gift Card
  • 21st Prize - $100 Johnston & Murphy Gift Card
  • 22nd Prize - $50 Target Gift Card
  • 23rd Prize - $50 in Marathon Gas Card
  • 24th Prize - $50 in Marathon Gas Card
  • 25th Prize - $50 in BP Gas Card
  • 26th Prize - $50 Staples Gift Card
  • 27th Prize - $50 Staples Card
  • 28th Prize - $50 Converse Gift Card
  • 29th Prize - $50 Lid's Gift Card
  • 30th Prize - $50 Journey's Gift Card
  • 31st Prize - $25 Walgreen's Gift Card
  • 32nd Prize - $25 Walgreen's Gift Card
  • 33rd Prize - $25 Walgreen's Gift Card
  • 34th Prize - $25 Walgreen's Gift Card
  • 35th Prize - $25 Walgreen's Gift Card
  • 36th Prize - $10 Schlotsky's Gift Card
  • 37th Prize - $10 Schlotsky's Gift Card
  • 38th Prize - $10 Schlotsky’s Gift Cards
  • 39th Prize - $10 Schlotsky's Gift Card
  • 40th Prize - $10 Schlotsky's Gift Card
  • 41st Prize - $10 Schlotsky's Gift Card
  • 42nd Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Card
  • 43rd Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 44th Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 45th Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 46th Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 47th Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 48th Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 49th Prize – $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 50th Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Cards
  • 51st Prize - Justin Honaman Original CD
  • 52nd Prize – Scenic book by Fratch

There is one Prize per player. You will receive the best Prize even if multiple brackets are winners.
We want to spread the wealth.

Rules & Scoring


  • First Round:This is the play-in round and no points are awarded. All brackets must be in before the first game on Thursday. At that time the tournament and picks are locked down.

  • Second Round: The weight for each correct pick is 1. The seed of the winning team is added to the correct pick total. This is to encourage risk taking and upsets So if you pick a 12 seed over a 5 seed and they win, you get 1 point for the win plus 12 points for a total of 13 points for that game.

  • Third Round: The weight for each correct pick is 2. The seed of the winning team is added to the correct pick total. This is the same as the second round. Our goal is to have chaos in the first two rounds and hope that everyone is still in it by the Sweet 16 regardless of how good they are at choosing the best teams.

  • Sweet 16: The weight for each correct pick is 15. There is no bonus applied. From here on out it is straight point scoring. No adders or bonuses for the picks.

  • Elite 8: The weight for each correct pick is 24. There is no bonus applied.

  • Final Four: The weight for each correct pick is 40. There is no bonus applied.

  • Championship: The weight for each correct pick is 70. There is no bonus applied.

  • Tiebreaker: The total score of the Championship game. (NOTE: YOU MUST COMPLETE THE FINAL SCORE OR YOUR BRACKET WILL NOT BE SAVED.)

  • Maximum Brackets: You can have up to 9 brackets per user name. $20 each or 3 for every $50.

Constitution: Together we can make a HUGE difference. Please do not share the password. We will match emails to payments. No payment, no winning of the Prizes as that would be stealing from the children. Let's have fun and change a world for a child.

Questions: can be forwarded to nichole@retailroi(dot)org


Can I pick my teams yet?

You can register now and CBS Sports will send you a link when the teams are picked on March 16th. At that time you have 4 days to complete your picks which must be picked by 10:59am EST on Thursday the 20th.

If I play multiple brackets, can both win a prize?

You will win the Prize for the best bracket. The goal here is to help as many people win as possible, not give all the Prizes to one person. So even if you play 3 brackets, it is your best bracket that decides the Prize.

Is there anything special about the scoring?

No, standard scoring for the pool as points increase as the games get further along.

Can we talk smack?

Yes, absolutely and that will be part of the fun. This will be monitored, so use respect. We may have younger age kids playing with their parent for fun so please use discretion. But if you want to talk company smack among friends, by all means go for it.

Are prizes only for the winners?

We are adding a couple of fun Prizes. There will be a Prize for the worst score after we get to the Sweet 16 and a Prize for the best score at that point. If there is a tie, we will throw the names in a hat and pick the winners.

What is tie-breaker for final?

We will use total points as the tiebreaker for the final games. This will be used for any ties for the top Prizes.

Can I learn more about the school and how to get involved?

Yes, first see more about the school here on our page. At that point if you would like further information you will see instructions on how to get in touch with the people in the US that are handling the project..

How will we be updated of progress?

The service will automatically email reports out to the participants after each round of games.

I don’t want to play, but can I contribute to this cause?

Yes, absolutely, simply go to our Donation Page. Enter “Chicago School” in project field and Thank You!

Is this a tax deduction?

If you play a bracket, no. Technically this would be entertainment. The point here is to have fun and build a school. If you need to be ultracompetitive and win at all costs, skip it and play elsewhere. Our goal here is to build a school through simple $20 from each person. Together we can make a HUGE Difference.

What happens if we have more players than needed for the school?

Well that is a good problem to have. We have a computer lab for Zambia that is planned for this summer that is also not funded yet. The proceeds would go there.


Thank you to all of the sponsors of RetailROI. Each of these companies either sponsored RetailROI this year or donated a prize for March Gladness. Thanks to all of you.

March Gladness is now closed. If you would like to contribute to the computer lab for the school, please donate here.