In this new study, we further confirmed and expanded upon the definitions of the three distinct fan groups we call Receptives, Selectives and Non-Receptives. These fan definitions can be found in the below Receptivity Glossary. Most importantly for marketers, Decoding 2.0 provides insight into how to convert the most Selective of consumers to a receptive mindset.
Decoding 2.0 solidifies the need for a shift in thinking when selecting and marketing sport and lifestyle sponsorships. This unique study arms brand marketers with the quantitative data they need to specifically target those consumers most open to brand messaging in sponsorship as well as provides a specific roadmap that identifies those tactics likely to produce the most receptive fans. Until now, the sponsorship industry has focused more on fan passion and avidity to identify sponsorships and develop activation strategies; Decoding 2.0 reveals the need to also understand the importance of fan receptivity.
In sponsorship, there are three types of consumers – Receptives, Selectives, and Non-Receptives. Identifying and activating the right sponsorship is not about fan passion or avidity, it is about receptivity to a sponsor's message.
of sports fans following one of the major sports was non-receptive — meaning they were not influenced by sponsorship.
of sports fans were not influenced by sponsorship, making it essential that sports marketers be strategic and plan their programs accordingly.
eSports fans in general show the lowest levels of non-receptivity of any other fan segment, which is maintained across all video game genres.
Foodies who attend specific events like festivals, demos and expos showed even higher levels of receptivity than Foodies overall. This is due, in part, to the endemic nature of certain brands and products to this lifestyle segment, which are showcased or highly visible at these specific kinds of events.
Across the broad spectrum of entertainment, there are a wide range of sponsor opportunities and the majority enjoy a highly receptive fan base.
While music lovers show fairly consistent levels of receptivity across genres, it is important to look at the individual genres of music when targeting fans.
I appreciate what a sponsor provides to the sports fan experience
Without corporate sponsorship, everything else would cost more for the fan
Sponsorships dollars are essential to the continued existence of sports
Money spent on sponsorship is no different than money spent on advertising
In general sponsors do a good job enhancing the fan experience
I enjoy the access I get to athletes / artists through social media
I get most of my sports news through social media
I know much more about my favorite teams and athletes than I did 3 years ago
I spend more time following sports now because of smartphones and other new technlogy
I can’t watch sports without also having my phone or mobile device to check stats or other scores
Receiving a branded giveaway (t-shirt, water bottle, etc.)
Receiving free tickets and hospitality to a sporting event/concert
Sampling a sponsor’s product (food) while attending an event
Participating in any sport-related promotion or sweepstakes
Testing a new product while attending an event (non-food)
Signing up to receive offers related to my team
Participating in a sponsored promotion
Purchasing a product because a sponsor gave special access
Speaking to a sponsor representative at an event
Participating in a sponsored VR experience
The findings about fan receptivity are best viewed in the context of engagement and consumption trends in the marketplace. Understanding receptivity through the lens of a dynamic and rapidly evolving media and marketing landscape will provide marketers a greater window into how to best leverage sponsorship activation resources.
Sponsorships can offer brands unique ways to get their message in front of the right consumers. But not every activation is created equal, and fan behavior is difficult to predict. Just because a fan says they will engage with a sponsor’s message or product doesn’t mean they will.
Receptives are likely to interact with sponsors across virtually all types of activation. The most effective way to spur reaction among Receptives is online or through social media as well as through retail activation. This might include anything from an in-store display to branding on packaging. The challenge comes in convert Selectives.
The 5-year trends show how relevant digital and social have become in the everyday life of sports fans. While TV, print and radio are still important, social media has fundamentally changed the ways that fans engage with the entire sports and entertainment ecosystem. understanding these ever-shifting nuances in consumption
Technology and social media have brought me closer to my favorite team
Prefer reading sports sections of newspapers and print than going online or reading a tablet
I get most of my sports news through social media
Social media has replaced my need for watching sports and highlight shows on TV
Most fans prefer to engage with their favorite teams and brands on Twitter and Facebook. They are not yet as keen to follow brands on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, which is where they typically engage most with their favorite athletes
It is no surprise that the Millennial and Gen Z generations are engaged the most on social. However, it was surprising that Millennials tend to be more engaged with brands, teams, and athletes on social than their Gen Z counterparts.
For receptive sports fans, the devil is in the details. Decoding 2.0 breaks the code and helps marketers understand what makes fans tick based on a range of demographics and psychographics data points. Ultimately, it helps brands understand what all that means for their consumption and engagement habits.
A committed sports fan, Doug doesn’t discriminate when it comes to how he gets his sports. Either on TV or live and in-person, he will watch. And while he uses the internet to catch up on sports news, you’ll be more likely to find him using it to keep in touch with friends and family, either through email or on Facebook.
89% likely to subscribe to Cable TV, with a 21% chance of also having an NFL subscription package
Mostly watches TV for shows and movies and sports, but also makes sure to get his news fix
Spends 21 hours online per week, mainly emailing and surfing the web
Averages 8 hours per week on Facebook, but uses it to keep in touch with friends and family
Sports is his main passion, and he has found a way to balance consuming them with his other interests
Realizes he can use technology to better follow sports, but still thinks live sports are the best
Micah is a sports fan for the modern age. TV, laptop, mobile phone, it doesn’t matter…he’ll be watching sports however he can get it, and he always has his phone in his hand, even if he’s not streaming the game on it. His social media habits are also geared towards following teams and athletes almost as much as his family and friends, especially since he uses social media and the internet to stay up to date on the latest sports news.
83% likely to subscribe to Cable TV, but twice as likely as Doug to use a streaming service
Mostly watches TV for shows and movies, and less so for sports than other live events like concerts and cooking shows
Spends 20 hours online per week, mainly on YouTube and catching up on emails
Averages almost 18 hours per week on Instagram and Snapchat in order to follow friends, family, and sports
Loves sports and leverages technology to better engage with the sports he wants to follow
Despite all his online sports engagement, he still thinks live sports are more exciting than concerts
Julie loves watching TV and going online, but has a wide variety of interests, not just sports. In fact, she’d rather be watching TV shows and movies, home improvement shows, or programs on travel and cooking than sports. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t a sports fan, as she uses technology and the internet to bring her closer to her favorite teams and sports.
87% likely to subscribe to Cable TV, and is more likely to watch sports programming than younger female sports fans like Melissa
Mostly watches TV for shows and movies, as well as DIY, travel, and cooking shows
Spends 27 hours online per week, mainly emailing, shopping, and on social media
Most of her time online is spent on Facebook, where she keeps in touch with friends and family
Embraces technology and how it helps her stay up-to-date with sports news and to watch games
Has an emotional investment in sports, as its always been a part of her life, but it isn’t a daily passion
Melissa likes sports but it’s not a big part of her daily consumption. TV watching is mostly spent on shows, movies and travel; and online, she surfs the web and shops. But it’s on social media where she’s frequently engaging with sports teams as well as friends, family, and celebs.
82% likely to subscribe to Cable TV, with a 20% chance that she uses a streaming service too
Mostly watches TV for a variety of shows, with sports not really on the radar
Spends 25 hours online per week, mainly emailing, shopping, and surfing the web
Averages 15 hours per week on Instagram, using it to follow and engage with everyone and everything, especially sports teams
Loves using technology to feel closer to her friends, family, and favorite sports teams and athletes
Only marginally sees a live sporting event as more exciting than other live events
50% of Sports Fans have watched ESPN/ESPN2 in the past 7 days
TNT and Fox Sports are second and third most watched channels
NFL RedZone and NFL Sunday Ticket are the most popular sports packages among sports fans
34% of Millennials with a Twitter account follow a Sports Team on Twitter – most of any other social platform (31% Facebook, 26% Instagram)
36% of Sports Fans have watched a Live Sporting Event on a smart phone or Tablet in the last year
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