How Fans are Keeping Up with Sports

How Fans are Keeping Up with Sports blog_imagesheader_image2.jpg


News and media outlets seem to bombard their audiences from every angle seemingly imaginable. Every time we log on to social media or turn on the TV, companies and political figures instantaneously warrant our attention.

This is no different for the sports industry.

Often, people who don’t care about the results of a nail-biting game are forced into seeing or hearing a winning touchdown. Updates are available in realtime format, thanks to push notifications offered by TV stations, news outlets, and magazine publications.  

The sports industry has called for sports networks to maintain a constant presence front and center on every mainstream media outlet. As such, it is interesting to understand what outlets sports fans are using the most.

Some of these channels fluctuate in popularity while others remain stagnant in their reputation. To gather accurate and informative data, results were taken and analyzed from a national survey report, called Voice of the American Fan, which is dedicated to understanding the tendencies and opinions of the American sports fan. The survey asked individuals how often they use various methods to follow their favorite sport. Results were separated into three types of sports fans: neutral fans, fans who likes sports pretty well, and extreme sports fans. Answers were specified by levels of interest: never, occasionally, often, and all the time.  

Live TV and Sports

Watching a game, race, or match on TV prevailed as the most popular method for following sports. Seventy-eight percent of extreme sports fans watch their favorite sports on TV “all the time,” which is more than other, less-devoted sports fans. There are many reasons why watching sports on TV remains so popular. Because of its popular fan base, there are multiple television networks devoted to providing the latest update on a game. Walk into any bar or restaurant and you will usually see a plethora of hockey, baseball, and football games on the TVs. Because of its popularity, it is common for fans to gather in quantities of more than three to watch a game or pre-scheduled match.

Sports Talk Shows

Another popular method for keeping up with sports among extreme sports fans, and somewhat popular among fans who like sports pretty well, is watching sports shows on TV. This method is popular for fans who like to analyze the result of a game or match by listening to the opinions and information offered by the hosts of these shows. It is simple and cost-free to turn on the TV to a sports show and follow along. In addition to watching sports shows, extreme sports fans and fans who like sports pretty well, also enjoy talking with friends about sports. Interestingly, this method is not popular among fans who consider themselves to be neutral about sports.

Sports Publications & Social Media

Two other methods which are not quite as popular as those mentioned above, but continue to generate a notable amount of interest from fans, are sports publications and social media. These methods capture the attention mostly from extreme sports fans and fans who like sports pretty well. Fans who consider themselves neutral do not have much interest in these methods. However, as the rise of social media continues, it is no surprise that fans are increasingly following sports through social media. The sports industry is taking advantage of its strong platform opportunities on media sites by posting results, starting conversations between fans, and streaming games and sports shows live on these sites. It is likely that the amount of sports content on social media will only grow as the world becomes more connected.   

Decreasing Popularity: Game Attendance & Radio

There are a few unconventional methods that fans do not regularly use to follow sports. Due to the price and time it takes to attend a live event, most sports fans are tuning in to the match via digitally, or by means of social media. Around 46 percent of each type of fan indicated that they only occasionally attend the sporting event live. While this may seem vague, it was the only media channel in which all types of sports fans agreed in their answer, which leads us to believe that there are outside factors affecting all individuals; consider price, time, or weather, that would lead a fan to attend a game less frequently.

These results provide small insight into the mind of a sports fan and helps explain where fans’ interests prioritize. It’s important to note that other methods are also still popular beyond TV, such as sports shows, social media, talking with friends, and sports publications. So, it will be most beneficial for marketers to gear their ads and information towards fans who are invested in sports. Understanding where fans spend their time the most will help businesses most accurately inform fans about news revolving around the sports industry.