Connecting with a new breed of sports fanBy William - 26 September 2022
With over half of all U.S. states now embracing legalised sports betting, the potential target audience for operators is greater than ever before.
However, as regulation has progressed, so too has media consumption, and companies now face the new challenge of marketing to a younger, more tech-savvy customer base. Troy Paul, SGG Media’s Co-Founder and President, offers his thoughts on a new age of betting and getting players off the benches.
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen something of a sea-change in the way customers approach sports betting. As a recent article in Business Insider put it: “being a sports fan is no longer just about the game itself – research shows that fans want to be a part of the narrative.”
At SGG Media, we firmly believe that to be the case, but in order to truly cater for the appetites of the modern-day sports fan, you have to first understand the background they’re coming from and how they conduct their betting.
With residents in the 27 states where sports betting has already been legalised accounting for roughly 58 per cent of the total population of the U.S., there’s a huge audience out there for sportsbooks and DFS sites to target.
In order to do so effectively, however, it’s important for them to consider how they’re deploying their advertising spend and to ask themselves: “does our marketing reach this new breed of sports fan effectively and do we have the tools in place to maintain sustained bettor engagement?”
A New Age Of Online Betting
In order to answer these questions, they first need to consider the social make-up of the current sports betting market in America. In a recent survey by Kagan – a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence – it was discovered that customers from Millennial and Gen Z age brackets account for over 60 per cent of all online sports betting.
One of the things these generations have in common is an aptitude for tech, which largely explains why 86 per cent of sports wagers last year were placed via mobile.
Armed with this knowledge, we can begin to build a picture of what kinds of media modern sports fans are more likely to engage with. Younger adult sports fans are watching sports while simultaneously interacting on social media via their cell phones.
We give them videos, photos of the top plays, gambling odds, injury reports and yes, advertisements from the sports companies, directly to their phones, reaching 23 million fans in real time.
Getting Fans Off The Benches
With an estimated 45.2 million Americans placing a wager on the previous NFL season – a 36.2 per cent increase on the 2020-2021 campaign – it looks likely that this number will continue to grow as more states update their legislation to accommodate sports betting.
Indeed, having “some skin in the game” appears to be a key driver for fan engagement, with an American Gaming Association study finding that 37 per cent of NFL fans intend to wager on the upcoming season, including half who identify as avid fans.
When we combine that data with the fact that Kagan’s study also revealed that approximately one third of all sports bettors had an average annual income of $100,000 or above, it’s clear there’s a hugely lucrative audience out there for advertisers to target.
SGG Media enables them to do just that by providing access to a network of over 1,000 sports content creators whose daily postings receive millions of impressions, all for “pennies on the dollar when compared to traditional advertising costs.”
Harnessing The Power Of Social Media
Naturally, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Twitch have been the main beneficiaries of the way younger sports fans receive their daily sports content – and while the NFL has previously eschewed having any direct ties to gambling, the league is now actively looking to harness the power of these platforms to promote sports betting.
It is therefore vital that any organisation wishing to tap into the potential of social media has an understanding of the content young sports fans desire and consistently opt in for.
Returning to the opening theme of how the current generation of sports fan is actively seeking to become part of the narrative, it should come as no surprise that viewers and bettors are more engaged with live updates and in-game media content than ever before.
With comments, live polls, forums and interactive video all helping to foster a sense of community among fans, identifying how these channels can be used to effectively deliver a marketing message will be key to brands’ future success.