ESPN/CHILTON TRACKED ATTITUDES TOWARDS SPORTS THROUGH 1994
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
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%
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).