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Report: Sports Advertisers Need To Use Video Games

If you're an advertiser who handles sports content and you're not looking at sports video games, you're missing out on a big opportunity.

Or so says TNS, the world's largest custom research company, who today has released their findings from the recent ESPN Sports Poll, which "explored the similarities among traditional sports fans and the sports gamer audience." Conducted with the help of EA, the results suggest that sports advertisers should definitely turn their attention to the likes of franchises like Madden, NBA Live, MLB: The Show, and NHL. Said Robert Fox, Senior Vice President at TNS and Executive Director of the ESPN Sports Poll:

"Fans consume sports in multidimensional ways. Today's interactive entertainment enables fans to engage with their favorite sports on a platform that looks incredibly close to the real thing. When a person is engaged in the video game, there is no channel surfing, and the game is paused only for necessity. This is a terrific way for real-world advertisers and sponsors to develop incremental affinity for their brands."

"Avid Fans" should be the target for advertisers; fans who really follow two or three sports. The NFL has the largest number of Avid Fans, coming in at 85 million, which is followed by college football (64 million) and Major League Baseball (53 million). These very same avid fans also play sports video games: about half the households in this country have a gaming console of some kind and of these households, 69% of the avid sports fans own at least one sports video game. The relevant statistics include:

  • Three-quarters of these players are male
  • More than half are between the ages of 18-34
  • They tend to be single males with disposable income
  • Most surprisingly, they are more physically active than sports fans in general (60% of Sports Gamers have exercised or participated in a sports activity within the past week compared with 44% of sports fans.)

IEG Sponsorship estimates that around $12 billion, or 68 cents of every dollar, is spent on sports-related sponsorship. The recent poll study says that three out of four sports fans say that in-game advertising does play a part in reinforcing the impact of that sport. Said Elizabeth Harz, Senior Vice President of Global Media Sales at EA:

"Fans have grown to expect that the game experience mirrors the real world and allows them to be Mark Sanchez for the night. Part of the authenticity is the advertising that is imbedded in the game or that is dynamically served during connected play, and includes the finer details like in-stadium and in-arena signage. For sponsors looking to differentiate their brand in a crowded field, the Sports Gamer is influential and the messaging options robust."

2/10/2010 10:30:34 AM Ben Dutka

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