Why Do Vasectomies Spike During March Madness?

An annual marketing campaign pushes college basketball season as the best time for men to go under the knife — and it actually works

Photo Illustration: Vocativ
Mar 29, 2017 at 11:07 AM ET

For sports fan, March is all about ball. And in more ways than one: every year, the conversation surrounding the NCAA’s March Madness is linked to a push for men who are not interested in future fathering to get vasectomies.

That’s because of a clever marketing campaign created by an Oregon urology clinic created eight years ago, according to an NPR look at the tradition.

“You go in for a little snip, snip and come out with doctor’s orders to sit back and watch nonstop basketball,” the ad said, promising men an excuse to be couch-bound at the most opportune time of the year.

The gimmicky campaign spawned copycat ads, and the annual reminder has maintained. Some medical practices have even begun offering special deals on the elective procedure.

This year, researchers actually put some data behind the phenomenon. They found that urologists across the athenaNet health network performed 41 percent more vasectomies during the first Friday of last year’s NCAA tournament than they did during the average week. The most popular time for the procedure was during the first round.

But for any man who feels like they may have missed their chance as the month comes to a close: there’s still time for a buzzer beater as the Oregon Ducks and North Carolina Tar Heels face off this weekend.