For years, sports have been played via broadcasts in family rooms on Sundays, on backyard basketball courts for pickup games, in sandlots during summer Wiffle ball tournaments, and more. But now, sports have transcended the traditional ball and field system, and millennials are consuming sports everywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And the screens are no longer just a family’s TV, but have gotten smaller and are in each individual’s hands, oftentimes more than one at a time.
Based on our insights and analytics as presented in our report, millennial sports fans are craving digital platforms, sports content and sports social influencers bringing them the content that they want to consume. Here are three statistics that prove social influencers on social platforms are what this generation is craving:
1. In our survey of 1,298 millennials, 13-24 year olds showed they favored watching their favorite social media influencers over their favorite professional athletes across five different sports.
Sports social influencers are connecting with millennial viewers. By providing an authentic and relatable voice, sports social influencers are reaching young consumers, engaging them and interacting with them. Variety found the same result when they asked 1,500 respondents a battery of questions assessing how 20 well-known personalities stacked up “in terms of approachability, authenticity and other criteria.” They discovered the top five — and six of the top 10 — favorite personalities were YouTube stars.
2. Eighty-seven percent of 13-24 year olds use social media to regularly consume sports-related content. This is nearly twice as much as the 13-24 year olds who consume sports content regularly through mainstream sports media websites or apps.
Social media is where it’s at. Whether it’s on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or a new platform, millennials want to consume content on the platforms that they are already on. For marketers, if millennials are on Snapchat, you should optimize your content and meet your consumers there.
3. Respondents that watch sports-related videos have positive purchase intent to buy from brands that use social influencers.
Brands should capitalize on this knowledge too. Nearly a quarter of today’s marketers cite influencer marketing as being their most effective customer acquisition tool, according to Adweek. As the percentage of marketers that enter the space grows and heavy hitter sports brands like State Farm, Under Armour and Pepsi look to market in the digital sports space, the time to engage with millennials is now.