IMRE Sports Research: Sports Fans to Follow March Madness through Social Media on their Mobile Devices

Our March holiday is here once again: March Madness, where basketball loyalists and casual fans alike fill out brackets, participate in office pools, and root for schools they didn’t know existed to upset top seeds. For the second straight year, research by IMRE Sports studied the behavior of sports fans using social media during the tournament.

Our poll found that more than one in five adult Americans (21 percent) who have a mobile device plan to use social media on their mobile devices to follow March Madness. We found out last year that there was opportunity to reach fans via social media, and that trend extends to mobile marketing as well.

Quick updates are what users plan to use their mobile phones, iPads and tablets for. Our research found that of those using social media on their mobile devices to follow March Madness:

69 percent will use it to check scores
43 percent will use it to follow their favorite team/college
40 percent will use it to follow and/or check their bracket
Last year we learned there was opportunity for sponsors to reach potential customers through social media, and that trend will continue with mobile users. Another interesting factor to consider is the female consumer.

While men are still more likely to follow March Madness compared to women, our study found that among women who use social media on mobile devices, those ages 18-34 are significantly more likely to use social media to check the scores (29 percent), follow their favorite team/college (24 percent), and share game updates with friends (19 percent) compared to women aged 35 and older (12 percent, 7 percent and 7 percent respectively).

We’ve already learned just how lucrative the female consumer can be…women make 80 percent of all consumer-purchasing decisions. But this information also means that sports marketers should pay especially close attention to marketing the young woman. It’s clear this group continues to show strong interest in sports.

March Madness will once again be followed through social media, and a sizable part of that following will come through mobile devices. An emerging demographic of female fans may also be a potential goldmine for brands and marketers to take advantage of.

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