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Radio is the Winning Play to Attract African American College Football Fans.


The players are pumped, the stadiums are ready and the fans are, well, fanatic for the start of the 2022 college football season. Plus, national and local advertisers are eager to fill their scoreboards with significant foot traffic and sales from a highly anticipated season.


Local Sports Insights, a sports research service, conducts regular proprietary surveys of sports fans. A 2021 survey found 17.3% of African Americans were college football fans and approximately 50% of them have middle household incomes, representing the bulk of consumer spending, and more than one-third have either a college or advanced degree.


Overlaying more in-depth data from The Media Audit’s 49-Market 2021 Aggregate Report on Local Sports Insights’ findings reveals interesting insights about African American college football fans. Advertisers should take particular note of the comparison of those who listen to college football on the radio to those who watch games on TV.


A comparison of generations shows African Americans who are college football fans skew younger for heavy exposure to radio (180+ minutes during the average day) than those heavily exposed to TV (300+ minutes during the average day). Considering the challenge of engaging with younger audiences on radio, advertisers are likely to use their ad dollars more effectively during college football broadcasts.


The Media Audit data also shows these African American college football fans who are heavily exposed to radio daily had an index of 148 for attending a game during the past 12 months while those heavily exposed to TV had an index of 85.


Of even greater significance is African American college football fans heavily exposed to radio daily had an index of 218 for having listened to a game on radio during the past 12 months, compared to an index of 105 for those heavily exposed to TV. Even those heavily exposed to TV had a higher index for having listened to a game on the radio at 110. In addition, radio listeners also indexed higher than TV viewers for having visited a sports team’s or league’s Website during the past 12 months, or 154 and 112, respectively.


A closer look at household incomes for African American college football fans who are heavily exposed to radio and TV reveals radio delivers a more valuable consumer-spending audience than TV.


To maximize the value of The Media Audit insights, advertisers are advised to create ad messages and utilize voice talent with which African Americans can identify. Surveys have found they feel underrepresented in advertising portrayals and are more likely to favor advertisers who represent them correctly.

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