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ESPN/CHILTON TRACKED ATTITUDES TOWARDS SPORTS THROUGH 1994
Published January 19, 1995
Rich Luker, Exec Dir of the ESPN/Chilton Sports Poll, presented the results of their year-long survey of Americans' attitudes toward sports. Over the course of 1994, 13,000 adults (avg. 250/week) were surveyed by phone. The margin of error is no greater than 5% for any results. THE LEAGUES: Interest in all four leagues is up at the end of the year, as compared to January '94. NHL from 28% to 40%; NBA from 48% to 59%; MLB from 48% to 57%; and the NFL from 63% to 76%. Luker noted one break-down that should be of interest for the NBA: The league faces a drop in fan support at the beginning of its season. While interest was at 64% in November when the NBA season kicked off, it dropped to 59% in December. Without research from other years for comparison, Luker could not say whether this was a statistical "blip" or an emerging seasonal pattern. BASEBALL: As for baseball, by December over 50% cared if the sport comes back, compared to 44% in September when the players went out. Asked how long the strike would go, the number that said "through '95" rose steadily through the Fall peaking at 47% in November. But by December, the number was down to 41%. Similarly, the number of those who said they would boycott baseball peaked at 43% in November, dropping to 37% in December. However, of those boycotters, the number who said they would sit out the entire '95 season rose consistently to a top level of 92% in December. SOCCER: The survey identified a 30% core of Americans interested in soccer, but Luker questioned whether the soccer community will be able to maintain interest into '96 when MLS is scheduled to kick off. SPONSORS: The most mentioned sponsors: Nike 27%, Anheuser- Busch 26%, GM 11%, Miller 8%, Reebok 7%, Starter 6%, Coke 6%, Champion 6%. Nike showed strength among college football and basketball, while GM drew the most response from its golf presence (THE DAILY).