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March Gladness

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
  • To do a makeover of an impoverished school in Herrera in the Dominican Republic.

In memory of Nick Fagnano we are working to improve the lives of orphaned and neglected children in the Dominican Republic by improving their schools and playing field at the Herrera Tatiana school through a school makeover and new sports fields.

That’s it! 900 brackets at $20 each builds helps provide a completely new experience for over 300 children in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Western Hemisphere.

About Herrera Tatiana School

Collegio de Tia Tatiana is a K-12 school in an extremely poor area of Santo Domingo serving the children of struggling and broken families who strive to meet basic needs such as daily food and clothing. The school is part of Vision Trust International’s global efforts to change the lives of over 17,000 children by creating healthy, hopeful and helpful conditions to thrive in. March Gladness will help fund a school makeover of classrooms for the school and a new sports field for the local orphanage in the same community.

       Click for Photos

Last November a group of ROI volunteers, lead by Mark Haney, came together to carry laptops to the Dominican Republic in order to install a computer lab at the school. Among the volunteers on this trip were Mary and Jay Fagnano who lost recently lost their 20 year-old son Nick, in a freak lightning storm that struck Venice Beach, CA on July 27th, 2014. When Nick was 13 he organized a baseball equipment drive with his little league teammates as he’d heard that kids in the Dominican Republic were so poor they had to play with sticks for bats, rocks for balls and milk cartons for gloves. Inspired by Nick’s concern for kids in the DR and using funds that had been raised for the trip by Nick’s grade school, the team assesed the huge need at Tia Tatiana for proper learning conditions including new classroom furniture, teaching aids, supplies, textbooks and teacher’s desks. After talking with the teachers and principal, in one day the ROI DR team was able to source new chairs, student tables, supplies, supply cabinet and other items and accomplished an extreme classroom makeover for the 6th grade. Seeing the expressions of joy on the students faces when they entered their new classroom, firmly established the goal of returning to the DR in April 2015 with the funds and volunteers needed complete the other 9 classrooms as well as begin work on a sports field for the children at the Remar Orphanage.

If you are interested in joining the trip, you can sign up for more information here.



We have thousands of $ of prizes. The winner gets an Apple Watch. Second prize is an iPad Mini 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 Jessica Duffaut at jduffaut@givingback(dot)com.

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

  • Grand Prize - Apple Watch (provided by Mercury/Vantiv)
  • 2nd Prize - iPad Mini 16gb WiFi (provided by IHL)
  • 3rd Prize - Fitbit Surge Smartwatch (Epicor)
  • 4th Prize - $100 Visa Gift Card (provided by Sodexo)
  • 5th Prize – $100 Best Buy Gift Card (provided by Alvin Fortson Associates)
  • 6th Prize - $80 BP Gas Cards (provided by The Pantry)
  • 7th Prize – $75 BP Gas Cards (provided by The Pantry)
  • 8th Prize - $50 Visa Gift Card (provided by Sodexo)
  • 9th Prize - $50 Visa Gift Card (provided by Sodexo))
  • 10th Prize - $50 Best Buy Gift Card (provided by Alvin Fortson Associates)
  • 11th Prize - $50 BP Gas Cards (provided by The Pantry)
  • 12th Prize - $30 BP Gas Cards (provided by The Pantry)
  • 13th Prize - $30 BP Gas Cards (provided by The Pantry)
  • 14th Prize - $30 BP Gas Cards (provided by The Pantry)
  • 15th Prize - $25 BP Gift Card- (provided by The Pantry)
  • 16th Prize - $20 Schlotsky’s Gift Card (provided by Schlotsky’s)
  • 17th Prize - $20 Schlotsky’s Gift Card (provided by Schlotsky’s)
  • 18th Prize - $20 BP Gas Card (provided by The Pantry)
  • 19th Prize - $20 BP Gas Card (provided by The Pantry)
  • 20th Prize - $10 Schlotsky’s Gift Card (provided by Schlotsky’s)
  • 21st Prize - $10 BP Gas Card (provided by The Pantry)
  • 22nd Prize - $10 BP Gas Card (provided by The Pantry)
  • 23rd Prize - 2lbs Honduran Coffee from Plan Escalon-- (provided by C-CORE Consulting Group)

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 15th. At that time you have 4 days to complete your picks which must be picked by 10:59am EST on Thursday the 19th.

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. Excess funds will go to help fund new homes for children orphaned due to Ebola in Liberia. 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.

Previous Years

March Gladness - 2014

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

March Gladness 2013

We built a school in Cayes Jacmel, Haiti. For more information click here.

March Gladness is now closed. If you would like to contribute to the Herrera Tatiana School, please donate here.