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Sports Applications Technology

Football's On: Where's my Smartphone?

October 08, 2014


As the leaves change color and the temperature drops, there is one thing on the minds of millions of Americans: Football. Yes, the game has been all over media outlets from CNN to ESPN (News - Alert) with negative news, but the sport’s popularity has not suffered.  The National Football League (NFL) is a multi-billion dollar industry with its presence felt in multiple arenas (pardon the pun), and the influx of mobile technology and social media are showing the popularity.  A recent survey by RadiumOne reported some interesting statistics on NFL fan’s mobile device behavior.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m watching the NFL, whether it is Monday, Thursday or Sunday there is always a second screen involved—how else will I keep tabs on my fantasy football teams? Evidently, I am not alone in my diligent searches for statistics, scoring updates and App ownership.

Of the 1,501 people surveyed, 91 percent responded saying that on days the NFL plays, they check their smartphone for updates—this is not surprising, but the 51 percent who said they check their phones five to fifteen times a day is a bit eye-opening.

Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed also stated they have two or three apps for up-to-the-minute monitoring. After reading this, I did a little survey myself, and found that I don’t have one, two, or even three football related apps, but seven—what can I say, I love football.

Many users not only want information in real-time, but they also like to share their NFL content (31 percent of those surveyed).  The primary method used by ‘sharers’ is texting, but social media comes in at a not-too-distant second. The lionshare of social media sharing is via Facebook (News - Alert), with Twitter and Instagram in the rearview mirror—Facebook is used at a 6:1 ratio to Twitter to put the disparity in perspective.

The survey used the September 4 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks to illustrate the avid usage—74 percent of all searches regarding the game were done so on mobile devices, according to Google (News - Alert). Mobile device activities included: texting, social media, email and buying NFL merchandise. The activities are slightly different while at the game, with 57 percent, taking pictures being one addition and 33 percent use their device for checking fantasy football scores.

The NFL has seemingly overtaken Major League Baseball (MLB (News - Alert)) as America’s game with the proliferation of fantasy sports and streaming ability. Those who have been longtime NFL fans know the frustration of not being in ‘your’ team’s media market, hence not having the ONE game you want to watch not on TV—not as big of a hurdle as 10 years ago. Today’s advances have created a global game, and as these statistics show, the game is quite mobile as well. Don’t let all the negative news mislead you, the NFL is alive and well. Maybe that’s why the Super Bowl—annually the highest rated TV event—is able to charge its 2015 halftime act, not the other way around.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi