Relay Insights: Profiling the Female Super Bowl and Olympics Fan

On Friday evening, NBC will broadcast the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Together with Sunday’s Super Bowl it marks the second high profile sports telecast in a span of a week.

In addition to their proximity on the calendar, these two events also share the distinction of having two of the largest female fan bases in the U.S.

According to Simmons Consumer Research, 48.6 million women 18+ are fans of the Winter Olympics, while 35.3 million women are fans of the NFL (the only sport to boast more female fans is the Summer Olympics with 51.9 million). Nearly half of the Winter Olympics total fan base (49.4 %) in the U.S. is female, compared with 37.9 % of NFL fans.

Nielsen reported that last year’s Super Bowl telecast averaged 38.3 million female viewers, the most for any TV program since 38.6 million women watched the 1994 Winter Olympics figure skating competition, and the third-largest female viewership since Nielsen starting tracking female viewership in 1991. Nielsen estimates that Sunday’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV boasted an average audience of 106.5 million U.S. viewers, meaning the broadcast likely attracted an average audience of more than 40 million female viewers.

In contrast, last year’s Academy Awards averaged a total of 36.3 million viewers, an estimated 22 million of those being women.

Research from Simmons also indicates that a large percentage of these two groups of female sports fans (a total of 25.2 million women or 22.1 % of all U.S. women 18+) consider themselves fans of both the NFL and Winter Olympics.

So, who is this female sports fan who we presume will watch both of this week’s broadcasts?

Well, she’s more likely to be between the ages of 35-44 (20.1 %, index of 110), white (83.1 %, 107) and a parent (58.3 %, index of 108).

This female fan is also highly educated (she is 43 % more likely than a member of the general public to be a college graduate and 28 % more likely to have attended graduate school), more likely to be married (55.46 %) and more likely to have a household income over $100,000 (33.7 %, an index of 125).

In terms of brand preference, this fan prefers Diet Coke to Diet Pepsi, is more likely to carry a Motorola than a Samsung phone, more likely to use Verizon or AT&T than Sprint and prefers Coors Light to Bud Light.

So what else should marketers know about how to engage this group of more than 25 million women?

Here are a few tips:

This female fan likes commercials that make her laugh (80.0 % agree with statement, 120 index), always looks for special offers (72.9 %, 124 index), doesn’t mind brand name products in her favorite TV shows (60.7 %, 120 index) and often notices ads on billboards (62.1 %, 129 index).

She is also more likely than a member of the general public to be drawn to stores she doesn’t shop by coupons (134 index), buy magazines (132), read a newspaper most days (123) and rely on the internet for information (123).

Will marketers heed these suggestions to engage the female sports fan? Tune in Friday to find out.

Research Sources: Experian Simmons NCS/NHCS Summer 2009 Study and The Nielsen Company

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