Play Ball with Radio

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

The role that sports plays in the lives of Americans became magnified during 2020. Whether it was the dribbling of a basketball on a court, the crack of a bat or the sounds from a huddle – people needed to watch and experience sports.

Sports fans are passionate, and they are engaged in the team or player they are following. They are emotionally connected – just like they are with radio.

Whether the person is a general or super sports fan, they are looking forward to watching a sporting event in person once COVID-19 has ended – 34% more likely than the U.S population. During the last six months, these sports fans were 38% more like to have attended a sports event virtually, based on MRI-Simmons April 2021 COVID-19 study.

Fans do more than just attend sports – be it live or virtual. They also listen to the radio. According to MRI- Simmons 2020 Doublebase data, 71% of general or super sports fans listen to broadcast radio. These general or super sport fan radio listeners are also smart lifers. They are 26% more likely than the U.S. population to listen to live radio on a smart speaker and 87% more likely to get sports updates.

These radio-listening sports fans are 136% more like to listen to any sports event on the radio, 112% more likely to have listened to a sports podcast in the past month and 202% more likely to tune into a sports-formatted radio station.

However, with a mean household income of over $107,000. these radio listening sports fans are also a rich target for advertisers across various sectors. When it comes to intentions, compared to the total U.S. population, they are more likely to:

  • Lease a vehicle +47%
  • Start or buy a new business +22%
  • Remodel their kitchen +16%
  • Buy a first home +15%
  • Purchase a new vehicle +14%
  • Travel within the U.S. +10%

As restrictions across the country begin to ease and sports fans are introduced again to the emotionally engaging thrill of live events, radio will be there to broadcast the events on-air, provide updates and discuss the events of each game. Radio will also be there to deliver the ad messages to this passionate, engaged and opportunity rich audience.


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