Off-Topic: NFL Is King of Pro Sports

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I am an avid fan of our New England sports teams: Go Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins! So I periodically take a break from customer experience and write something about sports. With the start of the NFL season, I thought I’d examine who likes to watch pro football.

As part of Temkin Group’s consumer benchmark study in January, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about the professional sports they enjoy watching. As you can see below, NFL is BY FAR the most popular sport, especially with older males. Here are some specific observations of the data:

  • 57% of consumers like to watch football, outpacing the next highest sport (baseball) by 20 percentage points. Basketball is a close 3rd, and then it falls off after that.
  • Men of all ages like to watch football more than their female peers.
  • Football popularity with men increases with age, going from 55% for the youngest adults to 80% for the oldest.
  • Football popularity with women peaks between 25- and 44-year-olds, and drops to 39% for the oldest women.
  • The football gender gap is largest with consumers who are 75 and older (41 %-points) and lowest with 18- to 34-year olds (12 %-points).

1509_NFL

The bottom line: A lot of older woman are being left alone on Sundays

Off Topic: Older Men Love to Watch the NFL

Today is the first Sunday for the National Football League (NFL) season. So I tapped into our consumer benchmark data to examine who likes watching the NFL on TV (besides me). As you can see in the chart below:

  • Males older than 44 are the most avid football fans, although a majority of males across every age like watching football on TV.
  • Less than half of the females across every age group like to watch football on TV, but those between 25 and 44 are the most active fans.
  • Couples between 65 and 74 face the largest battle for the clicker, as they face the largest gender gap.

FootballByGenderationsOver the season, I’ll write additional posts looking at the data by ethnic group, income levels, and educational levels. I’ll also examine the characteristics of football fans (e.g., are they happier than other people) and identify which companies have the most and least avid football fans.

The bottom line: It’s time to watch some football (and let’s go Patriots!)

Football Fans Don’t Put Up With Bad Experiences

As a football fan, I’m thrilled that the NFL has come to an agreement with its referees. Poor calls from the replacement refs hurt the game, deflecting attention away from the core product—NFL players playing football.

In a previous post, I found that the NFL is by far the most popular sport in the U.S.; over 57% of consumers are football fans. That’s a huge audience. To get a sense of how these masses of fans might have affected NFL’s decision to end the strike, I dug into Temkin Group’s benchmark study of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

It turns out that the NFL had a lot of pressure to fix the problem. As you can see in the chart below, NFL fans are much more active in communicating their displeasure in just about every manner that’s possible. They’re especially vocal on Twitter where they are almost twice as likely as the overall U.S. population to tweet about a bad experience.

The bottom line: The NFL can’t afford to deliver bad experiences

Off Topic: Pro Sports Appeal To Different Ethnic Groups

Tomorrow and Saturday I’ll be attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. It’s an amazing line-up of the biggest names in sports. And they’ll be talking my language: sports, statistics, and analytics.

In honor of the conference, I did some of my own analysis of pro sports, digging into our recent consumer survey to identify which US consumers prefer watching eight different professional sports. As you can see below, the sports have strongholds with different ethnic groups:

  • Football appeals the most to African Americans
  • Basketball appeals the most to African Americans (basketball has the largest ethnic gap, 38 percentage points between African Americans and Caucasians).
  • Baseball appeals the most to Hispanics
  • NASCAR appeals the most to Caucasians
  • Hockey appeals the most to Caucasians
  • Golf appeals the most to Asians
  • Tennis appeals the most to African Americans
  • Soccer appeals the most to Hispanics

The bottom line: Analysis matters in sports, even on the business/marketing side

Off Topic: Who’s Watching Football Today?

It’s the most important day in U.S. sports, Superbowl Sunday. As you can see from my choice of graphics, I’m rooting for the Patriots. So let me say up front: Go Pats!

Given the importance of this day, I decided to do a bit of analysis on who actually watches football. In a recent Temkin Group survey, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their sports preferences. It turns out that football is the favorite sport by a wide margin. Fifty-seven percent of Americans like to watch football, which outpaces second place baseball by more than 20 percentage points.

I dug a bit deeper into the consumers that enjoy watching football. It’s not much of a surprise, but men are much more avid fans of football than females across all age groups. The largest gender gap is with males and females between 65 and 74 years old. It also turns out that older consumers are the most interested in football.

I also took a look at the customer bases of 249 large companies to see how many of them enjoy watching football. Led by Sheraton, Residence Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Infiniti, and Avis, 16 companies have at least 20% more than the national average of football enthusiasts. These companies should would probably do well taking out a Superbowl ad.

The bottom line: There will be a lot of people watching the Superbowl (and, go Pats!)

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