Sports TV, Consumers and Retail

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Introduction to the Sports programming report
According to conventional wisdom, men are generally believed to be more difficult to reach than women. But if that’s what you need to do, then this is your audience. That is not to say that the group is devoid of women — but this is not a corner of the media where they can be counted on to congregate in huge numbers. But if you’re selling male-oriented products, that’s a good thing — less wasted impressions.


We’ll start out the three part study with the demographics, going beyond gender to look at age, occupation, and other defining characteristics. We’ll then move on to media information — how the group is influenced, what else they use. Finally, the retail habits of sports television fans will be examined.

Part One: The Sports Audience

Gender/age
You want men? We have men! This programming audience leans male 68.9% to 31.1%. The average age is 46.9, and the biggest demo cell is 45-54.

Employment/household income
This group skews a little on the high side for business owners and professional/managerial people. It’s low on clerical workers, homemakers and students. And here’s the good part – it’s average household income is almost $6.5K above average.

Hispanic/ethnic
African-American viewers are the highest consumers of TV Sports programming among the big three ethnic groups. Caucasians are a whisker above par and Hispanics and run just a little on the low side.

Part Two: How Sports Fans Use Media

TV ad influence/TV ad online search
The Sports fans are receptive to advertising and willing to go to the internet to seek further information based on an ad they’ve seen along the same general lines as most TV audiences.

Tune-in dayparts
Sports fans are watching TV in greater numbers than the 18+ population around the clock, and provide advertisers with a double-digit viewership advantage during prime time.

Format listening
Sports radio is a destination for almost three in ten Sports TV fans, far above the national average of 11.6%. The bulk of the audience claims Rock as a preferred musical genre, with Oldies and News making a strong showing as well. Lots of Hip Hop, R&B and Country fans too.

TV viewing
The core Sports audience is comprised of better than 37% of 18+ viewership, and occasional Sports viewers add about that much over again to the total audience. When not watching Sports, this group skews very high for News programming.

Part Three: Sports Fans and Retail

This is a programming style weighted heavily to the male side, and that definitely affects spending habits. One habit that should be interesting to certain advertisers is the impressively high percentage of this audience that’s in the market for a new car.

Buying women’s/men’s/children’s clothing
Clothing is not a huge category for this group, and it would be relatively pointless to spend a lot of money pitching women’s clothing to this audience. Men are worth pitching, however, and they are big on department stores.

Data Flashpoint: That said, this group is not running out to buy clothing all that often.

Buying children’s toys
53.2% have no preference as to a toy-buying venue. More will head for a discount store, as is the case with the general population. Sports fans skew positive when it comes to using specialty stores.

Buying shoes
Discount stores are not much of a factor in the Sports TV purchasing routine, and both shoe stores and department stores seem to benefit.

Buying electronics
This is yet another broadcast audience that cares where it buys products in this category by a factor of 10% more than the general public, and specialty stores are the beneficiaries.

Data Flashpoint: The Sports audience is one of the weaker audiences for electronics we’ve noted thus far – this is the 10th report we’ve worked on. They are below average when it comes to movie rentals, and only slightly to moderately above 18+ in other categories.

Buying sporting goods
60% of this group cares where it goes to get sporting goods, compared to about 435% of the population. Sporting goods stores get most of the benefit of that disparity.

Data Flashpoint: This is a prime venue for advertisers who deal in the equipment used in team sports and golf – the Sports TV regular group skews very high for both categories. In fact, it is above average in all the others, and is going on twice as likely to attend a live sporting event, and tailgate at that event.

Buying linens/bedding/draperies
Discount stores seem to rule the roost in most broadcast audience categories, and we thought they’d rule even more strongly with a bunch of domestically-indifferent men, but the data says discount stores aren’t a big favorite with this group. The business seems to be spread out fairly evenly.

Buying home improvement
This is another broadcast audience with a stated preference, and a preference for shopping at home improvement stores, that are close to being equal.

Data Flashpoint: When this group is ready to engage in leisure activity, team sports and golf apparently do not leave much time for gardening and working around the house. The Sports fan group is about average when it comes to their enjoyment of this type of activity.

Buying groceries
Grocery stores 55.5%, discount stores 17.9%. That’s around the standard breakdown we’ve been seeing for broadcast audiences.

Data Flashpoint: The Sports audience is  good bet to buy once weekly in a lot of categories, and if you’re selling potable items containing alcohol, this is the group for you – of course, we personally watch sports now and then, and it seems you beverage manufacturers and distributors have somehow figured this out on your own. At least, let this be a confirming reminder – these are your people!

Buying health and beauty aids
This audience is fairly indifferent when it comes to this category, with results close to the national average.

Data Flashpoint: See above.

Buying prescriptions
Like most broadcast audiences, drugstores are the venue of choice – but this group skews just a little bit on the high side for grocery stores.

Data Flashpoint: The non-prescription drug-buying habits of the Sports TV audience are very much along the lines of the general public, as are the medical conditions that this audience is prone to suffer from.

Buying furniture
Sports fans like furniture stores for furniture, are OK with department stores compared to the average citizen, and tend to avoid discount outlets.

Buying appliances
It’s department stores, specialty stores and home improvement stores in that order for the Sports fan in the market for an appliance.

Major planned purchases
This group is planning to spend, and the plans are spread out across the spectrum of possibilities in a fairly unremarkable way. There are a lot of categories that may want to make a pitch to this group.

Car/truck planned purchases
Over 3% more Sports fans will be in the market for a new car or truck in the next six months than the 18+ population. That’s a difference of 15.8% to 12.7%. With a single sale valued in five-digit figures, that is a huge positive for advertisers who’d actually like to sell a vehicle or two.

Data Flashpoint: Almost a third like Fords — 31.3%, and the taste for Chevy is a couple of points above the national average at 23.5%. For the most part sports TV fans are near or below average for a lot of foreign brands.