Study Shows Sports Fans Using More Social Media
A new study by Perform sports media group reports that more sports fans are using social media to engage with and follow sports in 2012.
Whether news content, score updates, replays, opinions or analyses, fans are consuming more content via social media and mobile devices than in years previous.
In a similar survey to the one conducted by the group last year, it was found that 26 percent of sports fans now use social media to follow their favorite leagues, teams and players. This number is a jump up from last year’s reported 15 percent.
Perform Group surveyed more than 1,000 adult American sports fans during February and March of this year to collect the data, which found that the average American sports fan spends an average of eight hours per week consuming sports content. Taking into account this year’s findings, that would mean roughly two hours a week total is dedicated to accessing sports content through social media.
The study reported an increase in the number of Americans using their mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, to get breaking sports news, from 13 percent in 2011 to 22 percent in 2012.
A large amount – 51 percent – of the content accessed consists of fans using the Web to follow leagues and teams, for example to check games they missed, while 46 percent follow individual players. Nearly as many use social networks to access video highlights and written articles, both at 48 percent and 35 percent, use social media to access news clips or interviews.
A majority of those studied also reported they stream video of games via social media, with 45 percent streaming video of live events. In fact, nine in 10 fans watch live sports coverage only via official social feeds.
The study reported fans aged 25 to 34 to be the predominant group engaging with social sports media. When asked whether mobile devices were the premier way they get breaking news and sports updates, 35 percent of this group reported yes, compared with 28 percent of the next group, 18 to 24-year-olds. Only 15 percent of those aged 35 to 44 answered yes to the same question.
With sports media available from a host of Internet sites, Perform Group also looked at the ways American fans use social media to follow their sports, distinguishing between those who lean toward Twitter (News - Alert), Facebook, Google+, etc.
In what some might consider surprising, Facebook was the clear lead, with 89 percent of those surveyed reporting they use Facebook (News - Alert) primarily, YouTube second at 65 percent. Twitter is often thought of as the most sports-friendly of the social platforms, but the study showed only 33 percent listed Twitter as their main vehicle for sports social media. In a somewhat more predictable find, only 18 percent reportedly use Google (News - Alert)+ for the same purposes.
Perform Group took advantage of the survey to ask fans their opinions on Internet-connected television, and though usage was found to be at a low 5 percent, most fans said they believe Internet-connected television will have the greatest impact on sports consumption over the next two years.
We’ll check with Perform Group’s 2014 study to confirm.
Edited by Braden Becker