SBJ/20081117/This Week's News

Study: Fantasy players spend big

Fantasy sports players are voracious consumers, strongly outspending the general population in many leading product categories, according to new research commissioned by the Fantasy Sports Association.

81% of fantasy sports players use a credit card at least once a month
73% of sports fans in general
72% of the U.S. population
Source: Ipsos Public Affairs study

The data, to be released this week and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, aim to give depth to earlier general studies commissioned by the FSA and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association regarding the overall size of the fantasy sports market.

The most recent studies have positioned the fantasy sports market at nearly 30 million players in the United States and Canada with an average household income of more than $94,000. The new research seeks to build on that by tracking fantasy player spending within several leading product categories, including beer, air travel, credit cards and wireless.

In many of those sectors, fantasy players consumed products at a rate well in excess of both the general population and sports fans at large. In the beer category, for example, 73 percent of fantasy players made a purchase within a month of the study’s September and October compilation, compared with 47 percent of the general population and 52 percent of all sports fans.

Fantasy players, real (strong) buyers
Fantasy sports players are stronger consumers of many goods and services than sports fans in general or the overall U.S. population, according newly compiled data.
In the past 30 days, purchased:
Fantasy players
Sports fans
General population
Beer
73%
52%
47%
Other alcohol*
68%
52%
48%
Fast food
92%
87%
86%
Soft drinks
94%
91%
89%
In the past 12 months:
Flown on an airline
52%
42%
42%
 
At least once per month:
Read a sports magazine
63%
49%
48%
 
General:
Own a computer
97%
95%
96%
Have cable/satellite service
95%
91%
90%
Use a cell phone
93%
89%
88%
Own athletic shoes
90%
80%
77%
Own a video game system
58%
42%
40%
* Includes wine, vodka, whiskey/bourbon, rum and tequila.
Notes: Results from online polling of more than 1,200 fantasy sports players between Sept. 5 and Oct. 10.
Source: Ipsos Public Affairs study conducted for the Fantasy Sports Association

Double-digit spreads were also seen in air travel, ownership of athletic shoes and video game systems, and sports magazine readership (see chart).

Specific brands that were particularly popular among fantasy players compared with the general population include Bud Light, McDonald’s, Subway, Visa, Nike, Sony and Sports Illustrated.

The research, the result of a series of interviews conducted by Ipsos, will be used as the fantasy industry continues its pursuit of major corporate advertisers.

“We need to tell Madison Avenue that we’re not just this small, nichey geek audience,” said Greg Ambrosius, FSA president and editor of the Krause Publications-owned Fantasy Sports Magazine. “This gives us the next step into really seeing who the fantasy consumer is. In the ’90s, we were often positioned simply as fantasy geeks. But looking at this, we’re really big-time consumers.”

FSA paid $30,000 to conduct the research. Ipsos has performed many of the prior studies for the FSTA and obtained the consent of that organization before beginning the FSA study.

While the FSA generally represents larger fantasy operators than the FSTA, there is some overlap among the members of the two groups, including Ambrosius.

“This is sort of common sense looking at what the prior research [and] income numbers suggested. But some of the best research is common sense, and with this, we didn’t know until we did the research,” said Aaron Amic, Ipsos vice president. “Still, you don’t necessarily have a lot of ‘Wow’ moments in research, but in this, there was a bit. These are definitely hyper-consumers we’re talking about.”

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