Sports Radio Listeners Unleashed


By Mike Rudd

They are all around us, waiting patiently and quietly for their top team to finally win the big one, and when it happens you will know who is a fan of sports radio.  They are loud and proud and their passion is unleashed when their team finally makes some noise.

But who are they and how do you find them before that moment?

I have been selling sports marketing and more specifically sports radio for almost five years.  I am often asked by those outside of the industry what is the sports radio listener and who can really go out and reach them?

The number one attribute that I love about representing sports radio is that such a higher percentage of the public likes or loves a sport compared to when I have sold at a music station.  If you break out a market or DMA it will look something along the lines of 35% of people like country music, 15% like hip hop, 22% enjoy classic rock, 18% are into new age indie music.  But when you get to sports the numbers are 80% and above!

That is a huge advantage as a seller and a great opportunity for clients.  Sports talk stations draw in a piece of the country station listener, a piece of the college radio station listeners, a piece of the active rock station listener, so on and so forth.  You form them all together and your demographic is a melting pot of all the music stations listeners in your market.

Sports radio listeners I have learned over the years tend to be absolute “die hards” for the station and when you see the “time spent listening” of a sports talk station it can only be rivalled by a news talk format.

They are much more likely to be active and on the go. The income levels are the highest that I have ever represented in four formats (country, classic rock, active rock were all stations I sold at my previous gig) over the past ten years. They are also in my opinion a little less likely to come out to every single event you do, but much more likely to call, email, or tweet in with their thoughts and opinions because they are so invested in what you are talking about.

The wrong Led Zeppelin song gets a true classic rock fan to switch the dial but it is much harder to push the change of the dial by a passionate sports fan because they are into just about every type of sport that you are talking about.

Who listens to the play by play of sports game on the radio people often ask me?

The active community.  Those that are helping build what we live in every day rather than those that are just sitting around watching TV all day.

No I don’t mean home builders.

I listen when I am driving back and forth on the weekends to the basketball games that I volunteer coach for the local youth school in Columbus.  My friend who is a striving entrepreneur and does all of his catch up work at the office on Sundays from 6 to midnight listens to NFL Sunday Night Football.  The guys who are going for their long run for their marathon training download our station shows on their I pod.  The standout sales guy who is in late every night tunes into the hockey games at night.

The sports talk fans are the ones that are making the community thrive, not just survive.

That is who you are getting when you invest your marketing dollars on a sports talk station.  Put value in your message and reach out and invite them in instead of just pushing aka spamming them and you will see results.  They are young, active, excited, affluent, and educated.  And they are ready to be unleashed on you today!

Thanks for reading today and always everyone!  Have a wonderful day and if you are looking for a way to burn a little of that holiday gift money…Hot Dogs A Little Marketing and A Lot of Fun may be just what the New Year ordered!  Pick up a copy HERE today.

If you want to get all of my updates on marketing, radio, and sales you can LIKE my Facebook page at or FOLLOW me at

Carpe Diem!


Mike Rudd is a Sports Marketing Specialist, Author and Speaker. He can be found at and his book Hot Dogs, A Little Marketing, and A Lot of Fun can be found on Amazon. This column originally appeared in RBR+TVBR on Jan. 28, 2013.