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Marketing to Sports Fans - US - August 2015

"Technology has impacted sports by changing the way fans follow their favorite teams and as digital marketing takes precedence. Modern fans expect to be targeted online and will increasingly expect leagues to offer a seamless experience across various devices and platforms."

This report looks at the following issues:

  • Fandom trending downward among kids
  • Female fans are under-targeted and under-engaged
  • How greed and bad publicity dampen enthusiasm for sports

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Fans of the future: Fandom down among kids
            • Figure 1: Percentage of kids who watch sports on TV at least occasionally, December 2007-December 2014
          • Female fans: Under-targeted and under-engaged
            • Money, money, money: Fans think the sports industry is too greedy
              • Figure 2: Attitudes toward sports and money, May 2015
            • Extra! Extra! Bad publicity dampens enthusiasm for sports
              • Time is of the essence: Being a sports fan can be time consuming
                • The opportunities
                  • No child left behind: Targeting kids
                    • Figure 3: Following sports as a family bonding activity, by parental status, May 2015
                  • Market like a girl: Engaging female fans
                    • These fans ain’t loyal: Both team and player loyalty are important
                      • Spin control: Preventing bad behavior from tarnishing a team’s image
                        • Figure 4: Impact of negative press on opinion of team/sports, by parental status, May 2015
                      • What we think
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • Sports generate nearly $64 billion in North America
                          • Fans also spending on extracurricular sports-related activities
                            • The majority of US adults are sports fans
                              • Mobile devices, cord cutting impact how fans watch sports
                                • Following sports competing with more leisure activities than ever before
                                • Market Breakdown

                                  • Sports generate nearly $64 billion in North America
                                    • Americans place billions in illegal bets each year
                                      • Fantasy sports generate $3.6 billion annually
                                      • Sports Fan Breakdown

                                        • The majority of US adults are sports fans
                                          • Figure 5: Dedication to following sports, May 2015
                                        • Men, Millennials and more affluent likely to be sports fans
                                          • Figure 6: Sports fans, by gender, generation, household income, May 2015
                                      • Market Perspective

                                        • Mobile devices impact how fans watch sports
                                          • Figure 7: Cell phone/smartphone and tablet ownership, February 2007-March 2015
                                        • Cord cutting may hurt sports industry
                                          • Following sports competing with more leisure activities than ever before
                                            • Increasing involvement in fantasy sports may improve engagement
                                              • Kids’ interest in sports ebbing, could impact the industry down the road
                                                • Figure 8: Percentage of kids who watch sports on TV at least occasionally, December 2007-December 2014
                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                              • “Connected” is the name of the game – in more than one way
                                                • Keeping an eye on future fans and bad publicity
                                                  • Technology’s impact on sports only in its first inning
                                                  • Winning Moves

                                                    • Sports make people feel more connected
                                                      • Figure 9: “#THIS: Pence opts to avoid arm wrestle with young fan,” online video, 2015
                                                      • Figure 10: “Football is our everything,” online video, 2015
                                                      • Figure 11: “Chicago Basketball is Home – Derrick Rose,” online video, 2014
                                                    • And making sports more “connected” opens new opportunities
                                                      • Figure 12: “#49ersInHaiti playing catch with local children after hosting a football clinic,” Vine video, 2015
                                                    • More game-watching options keeps fans engaged
                                                      • Spotlighting celebrity fans can raise a team’s profile
                                                        • Figure 13: “LHN – All Access with Matthew McConaughey,” online video, 2014
                                                    • Losing Plays

                                                      • Failure to engage fans of the future could spell disaster
                                                          • Figure 14: Percentage of kids who watch sports on TV at least occasionally, December 2007-December 2014
                                                        • Bad publicity may deter fans
                                                          • Less popular sports still struggle, could benefit from increased involvement
                                                          • What’s on Deck?

                                                            • Wearable technology goes pro
                                                              • The stadiums of the future
                                                                • Figure 15: “Capture Your Moment,” online video, 2014
                                                              • All about access
                                                                • Daily fantasy sports could lead to more engaged fans
                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Football is America’s favorite sport
                                                                    • TV shows and networks most popular, fans prefer to watch full games
                                                                      • Home is “home base” for watching sports
                                                                        • Fans likely to watch alone, with housemates
                                                                          • Men more interested in details and commentary, more likely to play in fantasy leagues
                                                                            • Water and soda help fans stay hydrated
                                                                              • Salty snacks, meat, carryout fuel fans
                                                                                • Following sports provides a sense of belonging
                                                                                  • Greed puts off fans, negative press dampens enthusiasm
                                                                                  • Sports Followed

                                                                                    • Two thirds follow professional sports, four in 10 follow college teams
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Engagement in professional and college sports leagues – Sports fans, May 2015
                                                                                    • Football: Professional and college – is a fan favorite
                                                                                      • Football draws the crowds
                                                                                          • Figure 17: Sports followed at least occasionally, May 2015
                                                                                      • Who are Sports Fans?

                                                                                        • Sports Fans population skews male
                                                                                          • Black fans drawn to fast-paced sports
                                                                                          • How Sports Fans Stay Up-to-date

                                                                                            • TV shows and networks most popular, fans still prefer to watch full games
                                                                                              • Figure 18: Resources sports fans use to stay up-to-date, May 2015
                                                                                            • Social media important, Facebook in particular
                                                                                            • Watching Companions

                                                                                              • Fans likely to watch alone, with housemates
                                                                                                • Figure 19: Watching companions, May 2015
                                                                                              • Female fans bring the family together
                                                                                                • Figure 20: “Play Like Me!” and “#FuelGreatness with School Breakfast,” online videos, 2014-15
                                                                                              • Millennials – always looking for an experience – more likely to watch with others
                                                                                              • Where Fans Watch

                                                                                                • Home is “home base” for watching sports
                                                                                                  • Millennials are key target for out-of-home viewing
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Watching venues, by generation, May 2015
                                                                                                  • Sports bars are the venue of choice for the biggest fans
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Watching venues, by level of sports dedication, May 2015
                                                                                                • Information of Interest and Related Activities

                                                                                                  • Fans follow players, team news
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Information of interest and related activities, May 2015
                                                                                                  • Men more interested in details and commentary, more likely to play in fantasy leagues
                                                                                                    • Millennial sports fans are significantly more engaged
                                                                                                      • Fantasy websites provide access to high-income fans, dads
                                                                                                        • Hyper-fans predictably more engaged
                                                                                                        • Food and Drink Consumed While Watching Sports

                                                                                                          • Water and soda help fans stay hydrated
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Beverages consumed while watching sports, May 2015
                                                                                                          • Millennials are the thirstiest sports fans
                                                                                                            • Urban fans opt for alcohol
                                                                                                              • Hyper-fans’ taste more sophisticated than may be expected
                                                                                                                • Salty snacks, meat, carryout fuel fans
                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Food and snacks consumed while watching sports, May 2015
                                                                                                                • For Black fans, watching sports works up quite an appetite
                                                                                                                  • Hyper-fans eat healthy snacks
                                                                                                                    • Eating, drinking, and watching sports go hand-in-hand-in-hand
                                                                                                                    • Motivations for and Barriers to Following Sports

                                                                                                                      • Following sports provides a sense of belonging
                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Motivations for following sports – Any agree, by generation, May 2015
                                                                                                                        • Greed puts off fans, negative press dampens enthusiasm
                                                                                                                          • Fans believe pro sports more about money, being a fan is too expensive
                                                                                                                            • Time is money
                                                                                                                              • Bad publicity may deter fans
                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Barriers to following sports – Any agree, by generation May 2015
                                                                                                                            • Consumer Segmentation

                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Sports fans segmentation, May 2015
                                                                                                                                • The Die-hard Fans (35%)
                                                                                                                                  • The “Not a fan” Fans (38%)
                                                                                                                                    • The Other Fans (27%)
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Attitudes toward sports, by sports fans segments, May 2015
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Engagement in professional and college sports leagues, May 2015
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Percentage of kids who watch sports on TV at least occasionally, December 2007-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Kids’ ownership of any licensed sports clothing, December 2007-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Sports league apparel owned by kids, December 2007-December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Percent of kids who play sports video games, December 2007-December 2014

                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                          To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                          Marketing to Sports Fans - US - August 2015

                                                                                                                                          £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)