Fans no longer passively watch their favorite baseball teams. Instead, they are actively engaging with them and other fans through their mobile devices, according to Nielsen Sports.
Just in time for All-Star Week, the research details how tradition and technology are merging when it comes to America's favorite pastime.
Nielsen Sports SponsorLink research has found that fans associate the word “traditional” with Major League Baseball more so than any other sport. “American” is the most popular attribute fans use to describe baseball, followed by “traditional,” “family oriented,” “entertaining” and “fun.”
However, if you’ve been to a game lately, it’s readily apparent that many in the stands are looking at their mobile devices as much or even more than the action on the baseball diamond. Fans, particularly Millennials, have broadened what they view as “traditional” by multitasking on their mobile devices.
According to Nielsen Sports 360 research, 81% of Millennials use their mobile device as part of a live sporting event experience, compared with 38% of adults 55+. Avid MLB fans are more likely than the general population to contact friends and family, check fantasy league content, and browse for sports information while at a live event.
But fans don’t just follow league games. At the game and in front of television sets, they also actively engage in social media conversations about the Home Run Derby and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
There were 306,000 tweets sent by 138,000 people in the U.S. about the Home Run Derby on July 11, 2016, and 370,000 tweets sent by 154,000 people in the U.S. about the 2016 MLB All-Star Game the following day, according to Nielsen Social.
The 2017 MLB All-Star game is July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.
The study included data from several Nielsen properties including Nielsen SponsorLink, a national, syndicated tracking study designed to measure consumer attitudes and consumption of different sports and their sponsors, and Nielsen Sports 360 report, an online survey of 2,500 U.S. general population consumers ages 13 and older.