Not All Sports Fans are All Sports Fans

Not all Sports Fans are All Sports Fans blog_imagesheader_image.jpg


In order to maintain an effective means of communication, companies must have a clear understanding of who their customers are and what they want or need.

As simple as it may seem, it’s an underestimated concept.

Foregoing proper research methods and relying on common misconceptions can lead to misinterpretation and inaccuracy. Using market research can lead to insights that would have been impossible to understand without data.

In the sporting industry, there are adaptive, strikingly different beliefs and interests among fans. A survey report called Voice of the American Fan sheds light on several interesting facts about sports fans. One question in the report asks respondents to reveal their favorite sport; after gathering the data, analysts noticed striking differences in opinions and values among fans who have different favorite sports.

Active Participation

The data analysts collected yield results from fans of the most common sports: football, basketball and baseball. The results about the respondents’ different levels of participation in sports reveal that basketball fans are more likely to play a sport currently versus baseball or football fans; however, the majority of all fans in these three categories have played some sport at one point or another during their life. In fact, 77 percent of baseball fans and 77 percent of basketball fans say that they have played a sport before, compared to the 63 percent of football fans who say they have played a sport before. As the majority of respondents are 41 years old or older, age is a large factor as to why they do not currently participate in a sport.

Interest of Population

In addition, the level of interest of fans within each sport is not equal. Eighty-four percent of baseball fans are interested “a great deal” in baseball, 81 percent of football fans are interested to the same extent in football, and 71 percent of basketball fans are interested in basketball. So, we see that baseball has a higher percentage of interest among sports fan bases.  

Team Associations

While respondents generally agree that they usually associate with one team or player per sport, opinions differ when a favorite player changes teams. Football fans are the least likely to follow a player if they move to a different team, which infers that football fans are generally more loyal to a team than a specific player.

Time Spent Following Sports

Thirty-one percent of baseball fans regularly spend eight or more hours per week following sports through TV, radio or social media, which is more than other sports. Twenty-two percent of football fans spend the same amount of time keeping up with sports, followed by basketball fans at 14 percent. Baseball fans are also the most likely group to have begun following sports at the age of 10 or younger.

Favorite Aspects

One of the most interesting results discussed fans’ favorite aspect of a sporting event. More basketball fans agree that their favorite aspect is the sport itself, while more football and baseball fans agree that their favorite aspect is watching their favorite team.


When inferred correctly, the data allows marketers to appropriately tailor their efforts toward fans who will have the greatest reactions; as sports and fans evolve, it is crucial to contribute to the industry propaganda in a way that is both informative and enjoyable.