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45.7pc of sports fans use smartphones to access content online: report

Sports fans are using smartphones and tablets in growing numbers to access online sports content, according to a new report from Burst Media.

Among all sports fans, 45.7 percent use smartphones and 31.6 percent use tablets to access online sports content and video at least occasionally while 23.8 percent use smartphones and 17.1 percent use tablets to watch live sporting events. The results points to the emergence of tablets and smartphones as sports content consumption platforms.

?The big news from a mobile perspective is that sports fans are consuming online sports content, video and watching live events from their mobile devices in impressive numbers across several gender and age segments,? said Jessica Chaset , senior vice president of mobile solutions at Burst Media, Burlington, MA.

?The proliferation of mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets, enable the sports fan to stay connected, even while multitasking, with over half of devoted fans consuming online sports content from their mobile device while watching sports on television,? she said.

Key findings include that sports fans enjoy multitasking on mobile devices while they are watching sports on television. Among devoted sports fans, 52.6 percent use a tablet or smartphone to access online sports content while watching sports on TV. The number drops to 25.1 percent for causal sports fans.

Men between the ages of 35 and 44 years old are the heaviest multitaskers, with 63.6 percent of men in this age group accessing sports content on their tablet or smartphone while watching sports on TV. .

The survey also found that 39.1 percent of devoted fans and 28.4 percent of casual fans use mobile devices while watching non-sports programming on television. Additionally, 12.1 percent of devoted fans and 4.5 percent of casual fans use mobile for online sports content while attending a game or sporting event.

Women 25-34 are strong multitaskers as well. However, they prefer to consume online sports content from a mobile device while watching non-sports related television programming, with 50 percent of the segment reporting as such.

Channel of choice
Other key findings include that sports-related Web sites are becoming a valuable source of information for sports fans, with 35.4 of sports fans saying sports sites are the best source of information compared to 41.3 percent for TV. However, sports sites beat TV as the best source of information among devoted sports fans at 45.1 percent vs. 35.3 percent.

Overall, 35.1 percent of all sports fans and 66.8 percent of devoted fans go online at least once per day as to check scores, read sports news, watch sports videos or play fantasy sports games.

Sports fans are reading content and watching video when they go online. Among 18-34 year-old respondents, 22.0 percent say their time is split between reading content and watching online video while 30.4 percent of all sports fans say most of their time online is spent reading content versus watching online video.

With digital media becoming an increasingly significant part of the sports fan experience, online publishers and advertisers now have access to a much wider set of platforms and tactics to use to engage audiences.

?Marketers need to be savvy in developing strategies to reach their target sports fans as the usage is distinct and varied among different age and gender segments, and it is critical that a mobile strategy is based on an in-depth understanding of how their target fan is consuming online sports content via mobile,? Ms. Chaset said.

?Additionally, marketers need to plan and strategize for mobile campaigns in conjunction with, not independent of, other media as the incidence of multitasking is significant,? she said.

?For both marketers and sports organizations, mobile is rapidly changing the media landscape, and needs to be a key component of any media buys looking to engage sports fans.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New  York