RAB: Sports Fans Are ‘Emotionally Connected’ to Radio.


While fans of all sports are clearly eager to return to stadiums and arenas to watch their favorite teams live, the Radio Advertising Bureau's latest “Radio Matters” blog serves as a reminder of how connected – and how important – they are to radio.


“Fans do more than just attend sports, be it live or virtual – they also listen to the radio,” RAB Senior VP/Insights Annette Malave says, backing that up with MRI-Simmons 2020 Doublebase data showing seven in ten general or super sports fans listen to broadcast radio, are 26% more likely than the U.S. population to listen to live radio on a smart speaker and 87% more likely to get sports updates. In addition, their connection to the medium makes them 136% more likely to listen to any sports event broadcast on radio, 202% more likely to tune into a sports-formatted radio station and 112% more likely to have listened to a sports podcast in the past month.


As to getting back in the game, general or super sports fans are 34% more likely than the U.S. population to be looking forward to watching a sporting event in person once COVID-19 has ended, and were 38% more likely to have attended a sports event virtually during the last six months, based on MRI-Simmons' April 2021 COVID-19 study. “Sports fans are passionate, and they are engaged in the team or player they are following,” Malave says. “They are emotionally connected – just like they are with radio.”


The blog also points out that radio-listening sports fans have a mean household income of over $107,000 and, compared to the total U.S. population, are 47% more likely to lease a vehicle and 14% more likely to purchase one, 22% more likely to start or buy a new business, 15% more likely to buy a first home and 10% more likely to travel within the U.S.


“As restrictions across the country begin to ease and sports fans are introduced again to the emotionally engaging thrill of live events, radio will be there to broadcast the events on-air, provide updates and discuss the events of each game,” Malave says. “Radio will also be there to deliver the ad messages to this passionate, engaged and opportunity rich audience.”

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