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Sports Fans Make Great Mobile Targets

  • Posted: Sunday, December 07, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana

Sports fans jump at the chance to keep up with teams via mobile.

Mobile phone usage in the US is so widespread that most of the country could be viewed as a potential audience for mobile marketers.

Yet sports fans are particularly avid mobile users, and their demographic characteristics have already drawn marketers’ attention in the form of some high-profile campaigns.

Nielsen//NetRatings’ 2007 “NetView” study found that sports fans were predominantly male and tended to be more affluent, educated and technically savvy than the total population.
Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer, said, “Sports fans are willing to pay for premium content and merchandise and are accustomed to the presence of sponsors and advertisers around sports events.”

Chris Murphy, director of digital marketing at Adidas, told eMarketer in an interview that basketball fans were among the most adept mobile phone users, which is why the company planned a big campaign around last year’s All-Star Game.

The game was played in Las Vegas, so Adidas purchased all the out-of-home space on the Vegas Strip and tagged the creative with an SMS callout. The company also tagged all of its traditional media placements with texts. Everything pointed to a WAP site, and mobile sports fans responded enthusiastically.

“About 47% of those who went online either called or texted us,” Mr. Murphy said. That type of response will help drive 40% growth in mobile ad spending next year, according to Myers Publishing. The market researcher predicts that mobile ad spending will reach $1.1 billion in 2009, up from $806 million this year. [eMarketer]

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