Hoops goes social

Sport Business News

Nearly one in four online American adults (23%) revealed that they will be using some form of social media to follow this year's men's NCAA Tournament, according to new research released today from IMRE Sports, and conducted on their behalf by Harris Interactive. The research showed that among those who plan to use social media to follow 'March Madness' college basketball as the tournament is known, 27% plan to utilise a mobile application to do so.

These are some of the results released of the survey of 2, 366 American adults surveyed online between 24 and 28 February 2011 by Harris Interactive. The research was spearheaded by the Maryland–based sports marketing agency, IMRE Sports. Social networking sites top resources to follow the gamesThe way Americans utilise resources to follow March Madness paints a unique picture of how brands can focus their spending as digital and social media options continue to rise in popularity. Of the 23% of online Americans who plan to use social media to follow March Madness, the research study revealed the following:– 50% will use social networking sites– 31% will specifically utilise YouTube– 27% will utilise a mobile applicationThe research also revealed that those with higher household incomes ($75K+) and college graduates are more likely to be planning to use mobile applications and Twitter. Checking scores atop reasons why fans plan to follow games via social media channelsThe focus of why Americans plan to use social media to follow March Madness in 2011 reveals a variety of trends that brands can exploit via advertising. Among the 23% of online Americans who plan to use social media to follow March Madness, the research study revealed the following statistics:– 62% will use social media channels specifically to check the scores– 44% will use them to watch the games– 44% will use them to follow their favorite team/college– 40% will use them to follow their own bracket/other gaming purposes– 19% will utilise social media channels to follow their favourite player/coachThe research also shows that men will be more likely than women to use social media to follow March Madness, by a margin of 3 to 1 (32% men versus 14% women). Facebook is the most popular social media channel for men's college basketball fans throughout the season. March Madness aside, social media channels are very popular among men's college basketball fans year round. The survey revealed that roughly two in five online Americans (42%) follow men's college basketball throughout the year. Among those followers, the research also revealed statistics that might impact how brands spend money on college basketball next year. Of the 42% who follow men's college basketball throughout the year, the study showed:– 44% use social media tools to interact with the sport– Facebook is the most popular way to follow/interact with the sport(25%), followed by Twitter (13%) and blogs (13%). 11% interact via online forums. – Specifically, Facebook Pages (18%) and Twitter accounts (10%) hosted by sports or news networks are the most popular. – Roughly one in 10 (13%) follow/interact with a team/college Facebook Page. 7% follow/interact with a player/coach Facebook Page. " As more fans continue to engage in social media channels to view sports and follow their favorite teams and players, there are more opportunities for brands to share their messages with the very targeted demographic that lies within sports fans, " said Kelly Nowlan, research director at IMRE Sports. Meanwhile, sports fans should calm down if their home team doesn't win the big game, as a new study has found that closely contested sporting events are often followed by an increase in traffic fatalities. Researchers from North Carolina State University analysed traffic fatalities after 271 major games between 2001 and 2008, including college basketball and football championship and rivalry games. After rating games on a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being an easy win and 5 being a nail–biter – researchers found that car accidents increased by 21% for each time the rating moved up the scale. Furthermore, the results showed that fatalities only increased in areas associated with a winning team, meaning either the site of the competition or in the hometown of the victors. Dr Stacy Wood, the lead author of the study, said during a game testosterone levels rise in fans. After the event, the winning side will experience a boost of adrenaline that is linked with aggressive behavior.

Additional information