Marketing to Sports Fans - US - September 2017
"85% of US adults follow at least one sport. The most passionate sports fans, Avid Fans, almost never miss a game/event for the sport/team they follow and account for more than half of sport fans (43%) or 109 million adults. America’s sport of choice is football, which attracts the most fans and generates the greatest annual revenue. Despite improvements to give fans wider access to games/events through streaming services or apps, fans still prefer to watch at home, on TV, and in real-time. While watching, fans are often “distracted,” as many engage in other activities at the same time, namely their smartphones. However, viewing preferences, behaviors, and attitudes differ by the specific sport(s) that fans follow."
This report will look at the following areas:
- Game length may lead to multi-tasking viewers
- Cost of attending sporting events can be prohibitive for families
- Sports compete with a variety of activities for consumers’ leisure time
Due to a feeling of limited free time and a wide range of leisure options, sports compete with numerous activities to win over consumers’ attention and time. However, even when consumers choose to spend their time watching sports, they are likely also doing something else at the same time, such as socializing, scrolling through online sites using their smartphones, or even cooking. Multi-tasking may negatively impact the actual reach of a marketing message, as viewers may be too engrossed in other activities to receive brand messaging.
Despite efforts to ensure fans have easy access to watch their teams’ games/events, the vast majority of fans still prefer to watch games/events on TV, specifically in real-time. While delayed viewing benefits fans by giving them the chance to watch games on their own time (and the ability to skip ads), fans’ preference for live viewing gives marketers the opportunity to reach viewers during the game. However, as fans already express frustrations with game length and show interest in skipping commercials, marketers need to get creative with their game-time promotions, such as through split-screen or in-screen advertisements, to avoid impacting the pace of play.
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