The Mower Madness Tournament started with 64 lawn mower brands and used bracketology, pitting the top lawn mower brands against each other to eventually crown the 2014 Mower Madness Champion.
"I would have been happy with any result coming out of this final championship match-up but the Gravely fans clearly showed up to play," said Dan Ariens, Ariens Company President and manufacturer of the Gravely brand. "There is no doubt it was a tough bracket and we’re pleased with the results. I think PED has established a new rite of spring with the Mower Madness Tournament. And we’re looking to defending the title next year!"
Some manufacturers, like No. 4-seeded Swisher, rallied employees to vote and managed several upsets before eventually losing in the semi-final round against Ariens.
Other manufacturers, like Gravely, Grasshopper and Troy-Bilt, found victory by leveraging their online marketing efforts.
"The Mower Madness Tournament is a direct reflection of how well these 64 manufacturers promote their products online. Brands with a strong presence online tended to advance further in the tournament," said Jon Hoch, founder and president of Power Equipment Direct.
Gravely’s social media campaigns played a key role in getting the necessary votes to win. For example, the Brillion, Wis.-based manufacturer found itself trailing Kubota 36%-64% halfway through Round 2. They wisely issued a half-time pep talk on Twitter, encouraging fans to rally to an eventual victory.
Gravely, ironically, doesn’t sell their lawn mowers online. Instead, they drive traffic directly to their local dealers through Power Equipment Direct’s new Dealer Ads Program. Gravely also participates in their Preferred Placement Program, helping to achieve better rankings on www.MowersDirect.com.
Based on the initial success of the inaugural tournament, MowersDirect.com plans to continue hosting Mower Madness again in 2015.