Long before the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) canceled this year’s 68-team tournament on March 13, Truly Nolen Pest Control had already created brackets for their 5th annual TRULY Insect Madness event. Despite the NCAA’s cancellation, the pest control company’s Facebook-based tournament is ready to get bracket talk going again with the bracket’s unveiling on March 23.
In 2016, the 4th seeded Ladybug stunned everyone by being voted through four match-ups as the company’s first-ever TRULY Insect Madness Champion. Although this is the 5th edition of the company’s March fun, this is the first time since 2016 the basketball-themed brackets have returned.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, athletic competitions across the country and world have been cancelled causing disappointment for many fans.
“From March 2016 through March 2019, we have prided ourselves as a company on creating something our Facebook fans could follow easily and vote for their favorites,” said Truly Nolen’s Public Relations and Communications Manager Toby Srebnik. “With families looking for things to do at home, we believe the brackets are a safe way to keep our fans entertained while providing fun and educational facts about insects.”
The 16 competitors from 2016 return for 2020; however, most were re-seeded based on how they fared in that inaugural competition. Facebook fans of Truly Nolen will be able to help choose the winner of each matchup by voting “like” for the favorite or “love” for the underdog.
This year’s four top seeds are defending champion Ladybug, 2016 runner-up Devil’s Flower Mantis, Orange Baboon Tarantula and Tarantula Hawk Wasp. Because the Ladybug and Devil’s Flower Mantis are slated to meet in the semi-finals if they win their initial two matchups, this year’s final matchup will include at least one new team.
Voting for the initial matchups takes place March 24-26. The eight winners will be announced Friday, March 27, with voting March 28-30. The four remaining winners will be announced March 31 with voting April 1-2. The Finalists will be announced Friday, April 3 with voting to take place April 4-6. The overall 2020 TRULY Insect Madness Winner will be announced Tuesday, April 7.
Truly Nolen Entomologist Scott Svenheim, ACE, provided a few facts about each competitor to help the bracket come to life. “I have enjoyed all of our March social media endeavors the last five years from my baseball lineup made up of insects to providing some weather-related insect details last year,” Svenheim said. “We enjoy thinking outside the box and providing educational opportunities for our fans.”
Truly Nolen Graphic Designer Cecelia Fleishman created the brackets that will come to life through voting. “I hope our cartoon version of these 16 insects bring smiles to the people who participate,” Fleishman said. “I look forward to designing the update matchups as the tournament continues.”
Srebnik is especially proud this is the fifth March in a row the company is doing something on Facebook for its fans. “When your company’s logo has ears and a tail, fun goes hand-in-hand,” Srebnik said. “We’re happy our original 2016 concept has resonated enough with our fans to come back with something every year since, and in today’s climate, we sincerely hope this year’s competition helps takes people’s minds off of other things while they decide who should advance between the Praying Mantis and Spiny Backed Orb Weaver.”
To vote in TRULY Insect Madness, visit Facebook.com/TrulyNolen.