South African sports fans go mobile

The IAB in partnership with Effective Measure recently polled their web and mobile publisher base to gain an understanding of their users online sports habits, and a total of 5900 users responded.

“The poll has highlighted how considerably the consumption of sport has evolved and given how important sport is in South Africa it is significant to note that 47% of the poll respondents said that they are increasingly using new technology to keep up to date and get better sporting information,” says Gustav Goosen, CEO of The SpaceStation and Head of Research at IAB SA.  He adds that it is particularly interesting for both advertisers and publishers that the emotional connection with sport is still strong.  “Over a third of respondents claimed that following sport is the best part of their day/week.”

Adds Natasha Fourie, Strategist at The SpaceStation: “In particular, the relationship that people have with their mobile phones is paramount with the devices influencing both live sports events and TV sport viewership.  Whereas in the past fans were limited to TV broadcasts and print news updates, the phone now allows a user to keep updated when they are on the go.  This translates into a highly engaged, mobile audience.”

The respondents were 40% female and 60% male with 33% sitting in the 25-34 age bracket.  The majority (36%) were English and came from Gauteng (37%).

Interestingly, when asked to rate their interest in sports,nearly half of the respondents listed themselves between 7 and 10 while 22% rated themselves as Super Fans.  The sport types that came out tops were Soccer, Rugby, Cricket and International Football.Again highlighting the proliferation of devices, 30% of the respondents said that they follow live score updates on their cell phones and amongst the Super Fans, this figure leapt up to 45%.

44% of the respondents said that they were aware that sport sponsors help deliver them a better sporting product and 24% said they trusted a product more if they saw it advertised in a sporting environment, highlighting the need for brands to be seen in trusted sporting environments like Sport24, KickOff and SuperSport. Content wise, 39% said that they liked breaking news about their favourite players while 37% said they looked out for highlights of their favourite sporting events.

The study also showed that the online sporting environment has a high potential for delivering a relaxed and receptive audience as 47% of the respondents felt that watching sport was an ideal time to spend with family and friends.

Adds Gustav: “This poll has affirmed that sport is a great environment for targeted advertising looking for a loyal and engaged audience.”

Contact The SpaceStation if you would like to see the full presentation of the IAB SA poll data, backed up by AMPS. Visit the website to get in touch: or tweet us @SpaceStationZA.




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